before you can dream, you need to live

Part 2 of 2.

After nearly two weeks on the Atlantic, they arrived in Halifax at Pier 21. After the documents and signatures checked out they got on the train and began the four day ride from Halifax to their sponsors house in Niagara Falls, Canada.  His tiredness from the trip was trumped by his gratefulness of finally being “home”.

He woke-up and immediately set-out to find work.

The young man was an educated man. He was a university graduate and a well respected builder. Being a university graduate he could have been stubborn about working at a loading dock, but he left his ego behind and threw himself into a number of low-paid manual labour jobs. It was his dream to have a life of prosperity with his wife, but the young man knew what hard work meant.

Before you can dream, you need to live.

Early mornings were followed by late evenings. Saturdays were opportunities to find new work and develop new skills. Sundays were for resting but that didn’t always end up being the case.  This was just the way it had to be. There was no room in his life for laziness or excuses and he certainly wasn’t interested in having a behavioural psychologist justify his lack of success as having to do with being a victim of his past.

He had poor English and poor sponsors. The odds were weighed against him, but thankfully, he wasn’t a betting man. Just enough money to survive combined with a heart of gratitude and a determined attitude fueled the sort of work ethic that people nowadays pay top dollar to learn.

The young man put in over a decade of good labour and finally had the resources needed to begin his own building company. He combined his knowledge from university with the skills he had acquired over the years. Soon his work was recognized all over the city.

The rest, as they say, is history.

But somehow in the middle of that “history”, on September 7, 1977, the young man founded a community for those transitioning from their homeland to their home.

34 years later, at 87 years of age, the young man published a book on the history of that community. Last night, friends and family gathered to celebrate the release of this book. When asked why he wrote the book, he said, “I wrote the book so that our story, our little bit of history, will be remembered.”

Before you can dream, you need to live.

The Young Man

The Young Man

The young man with his proud grandson

The young man with his proud grandson

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Categories: story


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3 Comments on “before you can dream, you need to live”

  1. December 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I love that, “Before you dream, you have to live.”

    • December 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

      THat was Vince typing that. You didn’t log out.

  2. December 16, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Thanks, Vince.

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