Thursday, 26 May 2011

Highway To Hope.

It's a cold, dark, rainy early morn in the sleepy little town of Hope, British Columbia.  And I listen to the rain as it taps and dances and splashes upon the bedroom window.  In this moment of quiet solitude, I reflect  upon the ongoing significance of my journey back to this other world, my other home, my other reality.
I'm staying with my dear friend Heather and her husband Wayne, a gentleman I've known for a very short time.  Yet, time enough to understand that through all the adversity he has endured, flickers the flame that will not give negativity permission to dominate and overwhelm his life.  With the ongoing support of his remarkable wife, Wayne has understood, that through trauma and tragedy, we have choices.  Wayne knows he can and he must give himself permission to be positive.
A few days ago, Wayne and I went off to the local shop.  We got to talking to the lady behind the counter.  During our good natured chat, she mentioned that her husband was in a tribute band that did 'AC/DC' songs.  Naturally, the name of the tribute band is, 'Eh C/DC'.   "Ah yes", I mentioned, "AC/DC the band that did a song  titled, 'Highway to Hell'.  Well, I suppose we're on the highway to Hope."
Wayne and I headed back down the road and back to their beautiful home.  A home nestled amongst the breathtaking beauty of Mount Hope and Mount Ogilvie.  I walked along and Wayne wheeled along.  Yet, I do not see this man now confined to a wheelchair.  For, I see beyond the wheelchair and what I see is Wayne.  His eyes tell the story of a man trying to move on from the shackles of his physical restraint.  And deep down inside, I know he senses that the magic of imagination, the spirit of creativity, can never be allowed to be stifled.  Through such a trying time, Wayne will become a stronger man, a better man, for he knows he can make it so.
I'm not here for a holiday.  I'm not here for a sightseeing trip  No, this is a deeply profound and inspirational experience that I believe is clear demonstration of humanity at its finest.  Through transparency and the desire to create a positive environment, Heather and Wayne, you and me, can find a way.
Indeed, life is truly about choice.  We choose the highway that determines how we travel through our lives.  So, do we choose the highway to hell, or do we take take the highway to hope?


  1. Hi Gary

    I was deeply moved reading this. Beautifully written Gary. The Highway to Hope is definately the best place to be.

    Take Care


  2. Dear Gary,
    Your journey seems to be becoming as much an internal, as a physical one, and in this beautifully written post you truly evoke what an inspiration your friends Wayne and Heather are.
    Indeed, you, in your own hirsute, hippy way, are also an inspiration, Gare.
    Here's hoping your trip continues to hold many wonderful and enlightening experiences for you.
    With Very Best Wishes,
    From your pal, David.
    P.S. Things in Stoke are perhaps not quite as beautiful as in the sleepy town of Hope, and Stoke City FC managed to lose the FA Cup (as you perhaps know). Despite this, though, we Stokies are managing to retain a resolutely positive outlook (well, some of us are, anyway). But, by 'eck, Gary, as you will know, things are sometimes grim up North!

  3. Lovely to meet Wayne and his family! He sounds like someone I could have a beer with! Eh C/DC made me smile! Highway to Hope via hell perhaps? There is always hope, always.

    Take care

  4. Nice piece with a solid message. Thanks for the "shake up" this morning. I especially like the message to give yourself permission to be positive.

  5. I believe what you're saying strongly illustrates the difference between a hopeless life and a life of hope. Thanks, dear Gary for putting the choice so elegantly. I choose hope every time.

    What a beautiful post.

  6. If I ever someday choose to share my story(s) of trauma & tragedy, you'd know I feel we have no choice but to keep on the highway to hope, living on & laughing or smiling in the face of influential negativity the whole way no matter the hardships we've been through.

    I really commend Wayne for his inner strength. That's no easy feat in such a position. Very admirable!

    So good to see a new post & a lil update from you here, Gary. =) Seems as though I somehow missed the last one? =( =/ I've just recently come back out of my shell.

    Hope to hear from you again soon! Be well, be safe, and take good care my friend. =) <3

  7. hi mr gary! for sure you gotta have hope.
    ...big hugs from lenny

  8. what a beautifully written piece thank you for sharing

  9. I hope you have many happy experiences, while visiting 'Hope'.
    Lovely post.

    In peace,

  10. Heather and Wayne sound as remarkable as this beautifully written post - especially the following passage.

    'Yet, time enough to understand that through all the adversity he has endured, flickers the flame that will not give negativity permission to dominate and overwhelm his life'.

    Hope or Hell? Sadly, as you've just demonstrated, many people don't get to make that choice.

    I wish, Hope, for your friends, Heather and Wayne.

    Humbling post.

  11. Hi Gary,

    Long time- no hear from much, except the occasional message on Fartbook. Good to see you're blogging again. Hell, good for me to have time to comment again- on your blog and everyone else's.

    Welcome back to Canada. I HOPE it's everything you expected. Lil' joke there. Eh, very little.

    Seriously, I would think that both Heather and Wayne are lucky to have a friend like you to help them out and inspire them if and when they feel low. You are a great supporter and know how to keep fighting through the lows to see the highs in any situation. I admire that, envy that and try to do that, myself. It's a struggle but there are really only two or three choices- the way I see it. You can fight and live. Lay down and die. Or pretend that nothing is happening at all to you or those around you and delude yourself like some fools will do. I'm glad you always seem to choose to live, push onward and hope.

    Heather and Wayne sound like they would be great friends to have, as well. I wish the three of you nothing but the very best. Take care.

  12. The rains seem to be coming down everywhere on this continent now even up there in Canada.

    Glad to see you posting again, and that you have time to spend with your new friends.

    Negativity is like a disease raging through ones soul and mind and a positive outlook and hope are the white blood cells that destroy the disease.

    Nice post!

  13. Hi GEM,
    Lovely to see you and thank you for your very nice comment.
    I shall see you on the 'Highway to Hope':)
    Take very good care of yourself and keep smiling.
    Warm wishes, your way, Gary :)

  14. Dear David,
    Thank you, my friend, for such a kind and thoughtful response to this posting. I know that I discussed with you before the start of my trip to Canada, that I sensed it would be of great significance for me and for my friends, here. This has turned out to be the case.
    Thanks for your well wishes for the duration of my trip. I appreciate that.
    I was saddened to find out that Stoke City lost in the FA Cup final. Still, despite this, I do sense an air of optimism emanating from your good self. My apologies for not visiting your blog or other blogs over the last few weeks. This has been time away from my regular routine. I shall get back into the 'loop' upon my return.
    Take care eh. Gary.

  15. Hey Old Kitty,
    I know that when Wayne reads your comment, it will put a smile on his face. That will be one heck of a positive result :)
    For sure, we can all live in hope. Take care, eh.
    Kind wishes, your way, all the way from Hope, British Columbia.

  16. Hi mybabyjohn,
    Hey, thanks for that and I'm heartened to know that you give yourself permission to be positive. If we all did that, what a wonderful environment we would create for ourselves and for each other.
    In peace, Gary :)

  17. Hi Joylene,
    Thank you. And thanks for such a beautiful and eloquent addition to my posting.
    May we choose hope and positivity in our lives.
    Have a great day, eh! :)

  18. Hi LilPixi,
    My dear friend, beautifully put. I know that if someday you choose to share your tales, they will be balanced with your remarkable ability to seek the positive out of a negative situation. That's one of the many reasons why I have so much respect for you :)
    Indeed, Wayne is testimony to never giving up. He and his wife are commended for embracing the positive possibilities that are on offer.
    It's been therapeutic to manage the occasional blog during my trip to Canada. When I get back home, I shall endeavour to be more proactive in blogland. Actually, you did comment on my last posting. It showed up as an email, but did not show up on my blog. Very strange.
    I'm glad you are out of your shell and when I have time, I shall visit your site and have a laugh with you on 'Farcebook' :)
    Really nice to hear from you, LilPixi :) You are one awesome lady and don't you forget it :)
    Take care, eh, Gary.

  19. Hey Lenny! :)
    For sure, my young buddy, we all got to live in hope :)
    Hope you have an awesome weekend.
    Take good care and keep smiling.
    Hugs and smiles, your way, from Canada, Mr. Gary :)

  20. Hi becca,
    I appreciate that and may you find inspiration embracing the positive way.
    In kindness, Gary :)

  21. Hi Dixie,
    Thanks for your kind wishes. I'm living in 'Hope' and I hope that 'Hope' and the times spent here, will lead me onto being a kinder, more caring human :)
    Please take very good care of yourself, Dixie.
    In peace and respect, your way, Gary :)

  22. Hi, Gary, so good to hear from you - and Hope:) Your dear friends sound like they are as much amazing examples of humanity as you are. Wayne is obviously a man so very much larger than the wheelchair that rolls his physical presence.
    There is a special place in this world for such beautiful people as you and your friends; you leave your marks in the hearts of so many who are inspired by you!
    I'm honored to know you, and always impressed by your thoughts and your writings.
    Best wishes to all of you,
    may the beauty of Hope wrap Comfort and Peace around you.

  23. Hi Gary,

    Hope really does spring eternal. What a beautiful reminder
    To look to the positives. I'm also so happy to read a post from you! Your trip to Canada seems to be yielding quite a treasure trove of memories, eh.

  24. Dear Gary
    What a beautifully written and inspiring post. Your friends sound like wonderful people. You have all been blessed with the ability to see light out of the darknes and I wish you well on your journey to the highway of hope.
    Best wishes
    Di xxx

  25. Hi Wendy,
    Thank you so very much for such a kind and supportive comment. Indeed, some poignant and inspirational lessons that are true and raw demonstration of two amazing people who will not allow negativity to dominate their lives. I have found this to be a profound and humbling experience. May we seek out hope as best we can.
    Thanks Wendy.
    Positive wishes your way, Gary.

  26. There's something about that little town that seems to bring out the best in people. I'm not sure what it is but every time I've spent time there you feel different.

  27. Hi Kelly,
    Yes indeed, I've been rather in the background when it comes to blogging and being proactive within the blogging community. Of course, much of this has to do with me being over in Canada and away from my usual routine. My blogging will be rather sporadic until I go home. I'm really glad that you have been able to find some time to make the rounds :) I'm looking forward to when I can do the same.
    And Canada has led me to the town of 'Hope', a very significant place in my life on many different emotional levels.
    Thanks Kelly and I like to think we have been of great inspiration and support to each other. And my friend, I know that you are doing your utmost to discover the positives in what can seem like a most daunting negative situation. I have tons of respect for you.
    I like the way you are approaching life as so clearly stated in your heartfelt comment. We must all strive for the positive way and be here for each other.
    They are great friends and it's my honour to know them. Kelly, it's my honour to know you.
    In hope and friendship, your way, Gary :)

  28. Hi Greg,
    Yes, I've heard about the rain coming down all over the continent. In BC, on the west coast, it rains an awful lot.
    Thank you for such a kind comment and it's greatly appreciated. It's been very nice to spend some quality time with some very special friends.
    I love your analogy in regards to negativity and may the 'white blood cells', reign supreme :)
    Thanks friend and when I have more time to be proactive, I shall pay a visit to your terrific blog.
    In peace and positivity, your way, Gary.

  29. Hi Kim,
    Thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring comment. My friends are indeed amazing examples of humanity at its most caring and compassionate. Just like you, my dear friend, are a shining example of humanity at its most caring and compassionate. I do my utmost to embrace such positive ideals.
    Well said. Wayne and his determined spirit makes one see beyond the restraints of his wheelchair. This man has a calling and he will inspire himself and in turn, inspire others.
    Thank you so much, Kim. I know that there are many beautiful minds and spirits in this world. All we have to do is seek and we shall find. Thank you for your beautiful soul and your wonderful response to this emotive posting.
    It is my privilege to know you and I'm looking forward to be more proactive with your good self.
    In peace and hope, your way, Gary.

  30. Hi THE SNEE,
    Thank you for your warm, ongoing positive interaction. This trip to Canada has been a time of cherished memories. I sensed this would be a special time and I was right.
    Thanks Rebecca and I shall endeavour to visit your awesome site, sometime soon.
    In peace and friendship, your way, Gary, eh :)

  31. Dear Diane,
    Thank you for leaving such a kind and thoughtful comment. Most appreciated :)
    I would hope, that through hope, we can all create a positive energy force for the betterment of all mankind and of all living creatures. May we all embrace the highway to hope. My dear friends in Hope are inspiring examples.
    Thanks Diane. In peace, hope and positivity, your way, Gary xxx

  32. Hi The Wolf,
    I so know what you're saying about the special little town of Hope. I know that this town has greatly impacted my life.
    And hey, the Canucks in the Stanley Cup final. Now there's a feel good factor, eh :)

  33. Dear Gary!
    It's been a very long time since I visited your blog, but as always, I have found nothing but inspiration here. Once again, this post has made me question what I am doing with my life, and whether I am willing to fight against my mind and continue to be human, continue to search for hope or join the fast lane of the highway to hell.

    Once again, thank you, and I hope you have an excellent weekend :)

  34. Hi Y'all,

    Just stopped to catch up on your visit to BC. There are many people in the world who choose not to be defined by their handicaps but by their being and accomplishments.

    BrownDog's Momma

  35. Beautiful post, Gary. No matter what, we always have choice. To be happy or sad, hopeless or hopeful. It takes courage to be hopeful but it's the better way, the more generous way, to live amongst others in positivity.


  36. Lovely post. Sounds like Gary has the spirit and the will he needs! Highway to Hope is the road i want to be on :)

  37. Dear Nas,
    Hey, thanks very much for your thoughtful comment. I truly hope that we can inspire each other, to find our calling in life and travel along the highway to hope:)
    Thank you, my friend and I hope you had an awesome weekend.
    In peace and kind wishes, Gary.

  38. Hi browndogcbr
    Thanks for checking me out. I do appreciate that and your comment, which is spot on:)
    When I get back to a more regular routine, I'm gonna' come and visit your awesome blog :)
    Thank you BrownDog's Momma. Hope y'all have a peaceful and reflective Memorial Day.

  39. Hi Jai,
    Exactly, my friend. What a world this would be if we embraced the choices along the road that leads to peace, hope and compassion. Permission to be positive. What a result for us all.
    In peace and positive wishes, your way, Gary :)

  40. Hi Jemi,
    Thanks for that. I know that Wayne and his inspiring wife focus on the positive aspects that refuse to be dominated by a negative environment.
    See you on the highway to hope :)
    In kindness, Gary.

  41. What sensitive and caring entry this is my friend. I'm tearing, yes....I'm a woos, but an adorable woos, go figure. Your writing reveals a man who has many facets to his character. You touch me, 'from a distance that is'lol. Seriously, thank you for the compassion you have towards others. It only goes to prove that when one has suffered, hopefully that one will be compassionate towards others, but as I know from personal experience in my own life and family, that is not always true. But in your case absolutely! Can't wait till you are home, I miss you good buddy! And Penny, the mild mannered, moderate internet star. Just a note, what's happened to Grandpa?

  42. Another wonderful, deep post, Gary. Finding the good in all things takes have to look for the good in every struggle.

    I hope you are well....

  43. Hi The Manic Chef,
    First of all, my fine Canadian buddy, apologies for such a late response to your very kind and caring comment. Due to the fact that I've been visiting my dear friends, here in Hope, my interaction within the blogging community has been rather inconsistent. Should return to a more 'normal' routine upon my return to England.
    My friend, I do try to display genuine caring and compassion for my fellow man. This trip to Canada was an inspirational and learning experience for all concerned. It has been clear demonstration that we can all truly be here for each other.
    And I know from our shared empathy, you and I good sir, have been of great support to each other. I am very grateful for that.
    See you on the other side. Soon it will be time for me to go back and see my son and of course, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star :)
    Being out of the loop, I have no idea what has happened to Grandpa.
    Peace and positivity, your way, Gary :)

  44. Hi Sharon,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. Indeed, no matter how daunting it may seem to be positive, we must try to cling onto those glimmering flickers of hope.
    Thanks Sharon and I will now mention this will be my last usage of a computer until I get back to my own computer in England.
    I'm very well, thank you and I hope all is well with you, Sharon.
    With kindness and respect, Gary.

  45. Hope lies ahead. If we try to guide our way by focusing on the rear view mirror we'll get lost or crash. With determination and positive outlook we can get where we're going-- or at least be heading in the right direction.

    Mighty fine reflective post.

    Tossing It Out

  46. Hi Lee,
    I greatly appreciate your sentiments on my reflective post. Look forward to travelling along with you on the highway to hope.
    Stay positive and keep smiling, friend.
    In kindness, Gary.


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.