Small Town, Big Heart


I grew up on a farm, a ten minute drive from the nearest small town of Harrow, Ontario. My mom and several family members still live here: my great Aunt operates a local business and my cousin’s husband pastors our home church – the church Mark and I were married in, the same small church where my parents avowed their love and commitment 28 years earlier.

Canada’s small towns are slowly disappearing – being amalgamated into larger municipalities and this is an unfortunate loss to the Canadian landscape. Small towns are ubiquitously defined by their character, comfort and community. This is not to say that larger metropolitan areas are deficient  – after having spent the last 10 years away from home, I recognize that the modern conveniences associated with larger population centres have their benefits but I am always grateful for my roots and the sense of community intrinsic to these smaller areas.

When my brother and sister-in-law, both employees at TD in nearby towns, informed me that the TD bank in my hometown was organizing a fundraiser for Theo and our family, I was humbled with gratitude. Life has carried me away from my home and still these individuals selflessly devoted their time and effort to us – exemplifying the caring, supportive relationships that lay a foundation for a true sense of community.

The small phrase Thank You seems largely inadequate. Theo became sick one week after I returned from maternity leave, and both Mark and I have been off work since that time. Our focus these last two months has been Theo’s care – when you’re told to expect your son’s passing at any point, it leaves little room for much else. But in the back of our minds, our current and future financial state allowed additional worry to infiltrate. The generosity from my hometown has provided more that just assistance during a difficult time; it has provided us with peace and assurance.

When Theo is strong enough to travel for more than short periods of time, I look forward to taking him back home for a visit – to the small town with a big heart.



  1. It is an honour to share your personal experience(s) and heartfelt, genuine feelings while caring for your “little warrior” Theo.
    I look forward to receiving my e mail Monday’s with Theodore’s Post however this week I am so o pleased to have received an additional post.
    Your words are written so eloquently, your posts are magical allowing us to feel connected, revealing your most heartfelt sentiments.
    Thank You for making time to communicate your love, pride and commitment
    Your blog is inspirational, it enables us (friends, family, loved ones) to share your journey
    Your words deeply touch each of us.
    Very well written, I am grateful, thank you…
    Please keep them coming

    Best regards, Maureen Paul

  2. Glad to hear Teddies for Theo was a success! So happy that finances are not in the forefront of both you and Mark’s minds. What a great community you grew up in!

    p.s. anxiously awaiting pics of a lil hero 🙂

    1. Hello Ashley, Mark and Theo, my thoughts and prayers are always with your family. Even though I experienced my own miracles in my life within the past three years, your beautiful powerful messages remind me to never, ever stop being grateful in life. Never to take things for granted. Thank you for continuing to share with us your ongoing miracles. God is really amazing, isn’t he! Having experienced my own miracles and now wonder how many more that I might have missed in my past and just thought I was lucky. I now know that there is no luck with God only Miracles. Take Care. I look forward and expect more Miracles to continue for Theo and yourselves. God Bless.

  3. I don’t know you but I work in Harrow and saw the setup for fundraiser at the TD bank. While I would not presume to say I know what you are going through, I can identify with the big heartedness of this area. My grandson he’s 3) has a condition which is potentially fatal and has spent a lot of time in his short life at SickKids, and will be returning there this summer for additional surgery. Friends and family organized a fundraiser for him after he was born (we knew about his condition prior to his birth) and we were so astounded by the generosity and caring of this community. You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I think of Theo every single day. Wishing you all the best.

  4. That’s incredible. I am so pleased to hear of how many have come together to support your family. Praying for you guys everyday. 🙂

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