Once again this year, members of Team Wookie will walk in honour of our beloved Maria Christine Wilkie. As she did from the very beginning, Maria continues today to bring us all together.
Even in the difficult moments I know each and every one of us feel the bonfire that is Maria, warming us and illuminating the path ahead. In the ups and downs of life, Maria has taught us all to focus on the ups.
I know the members of Team Wookie realize how lucky we are to be a part of this community. One person. One beautiful, amazing person, brought us together over the years, one by one, from different walks of life. Work, Government, friendship, the arts, music, dogs, love. Forever fostering this… thing that has such depth. I want to continue this tradition – Maria’s generosity of time and energy and tenderness – in the days ahead. Finding new and enjoyable ways to foster this community, honouring the person responsible for it. I am immensely grateful for every Wookie in this wonderful group. Thank you for gathering with me at the walk of hope, and other events during the year. I can’t tell you how much that means.
I seek guidance, constantly, from Maria. And I try to live a life that makes her smile. Lately, I have been struck by another source of inspiration as well, of which I’m sure Maria approves.
I watched an interview with Fred Rogers on the Charlie Rose program from 1997. Charlie asked Fred, “How many kids do you think are out there who you have influenced, who you have made a difference in?”
Fred replied, “I don’t care how many. Even if it’s just one.”
It’s the small things, I realize, that do the most good in this world. And these things – conversations, gatherings, events like the Walk of Hope – if they help one person, in some way, just a little...
Maria, you have been, and always will be, the love of my life. I have learned much from you, my beautiful Snowberry, my Moglie, my amazing Manasweetie. And I will carry that love and wisdom forward, living each day in a way that makes you smile. As always, you take me weird ways.
I welcome friends, family, colleagues, anyone who wishes, to join Team Wookie to gather and celebrate Maria’s luminous spirit, and support this important cause in the process. Thank you all very much.