Several weeks ago, James had his commencement for graduating with his B Ed (with disctinction). After getting his Honours BA in History, James returned to school for another year to pick up some more courses so that he could have a "second teachable" for if he went onto getting his teacher's degree. He then went to Korea for a year, returned to Canada and worked with street kids at a Youth shelter in downtown Toronto for a year before going back to get his B Ed. After alot of hard work, he has reached his academic goal. He has graduated at a time however when, due to the recession, there is a hiring freeze in the education system in Ontario. He has not let that deter him however and he is back working with the street kids at the shelter in Toronto, honing his skills and giving back to society.
James has put alot of thought into his life journey, and it has truly paid off. He has become a very mature, responsible man who still has that "little boy" inside of him. He has always been our very sensitive one, the one who was easily hurt by others, yet also deeply felt the pain others went through. As such, he has a deep empathy for those around him who are marginalized by others and by society as a whole. I watch him now as he reaches out to others who society has forgotten. I watch him as he brings kids out of their shell who no one else can reach. I watch as he empowers kids to make informed decisions. I hear as he challenges kids to think outside the box, to think for themselves, to search for answers. I watch and listen as kids respond to him and see how he has become a teacher, a mentor, a friend.
Many years ago, when I was workin in the classroom, James said to me, "Mom, I could never be a teacher, I wouldn't have the patience." Several years later, when I started working with the homeless and those living in poverty, he said' "Mom, I could never do that, I wouldn't have the patience."
Well my son, it is clear that to me that God has given you the gift of patience. He has given you the gift of teaching, and more importantly the gift of reaching out to others. You truly are an inspiration. I stand in awe of the man you are, and I thank God daily for the example and mentor you are to others, and to me.
James with his Nana & Papa
Bruce & I with James