One year later – reflections and gratitude

As we just finished celebrating Canada’s 147th birthday, and as the 1 year anniversary of the completion of our trip across this amazing country draws near (Sunday, July 13) I think it’s a good time to say thank you and to reflect on the last year.
So, thank you to all of you. Those that have been keeping in touch through emails, blogs, texts and tweets, those that came out to all of the events across the country, those that shared their homes, the road, their stories, their laughter and their tears, those that worked tireless hours organizing and preparing. And a huge THANK YOU to the members of the team, the board, the steering committee, Terry, Al, Sue and Patrick and our families who made such sacrifices for the effort.

We covered almost 6900 km over the 10 weeks. There were flat tires, breakdowns (both mechanical and human), storms, heat waves, mosquitoes, black flies, long days, sleepless nights, headwinds, aches and pains and lots of hills. There were also tail winds, down hills, incredible vistas, wildlife, sunrises and sunsets, clean laundry days, great food, great company, amazing music and wonderful new friends.

Because of what you contributed and because of the love you shared, we reached hundreds, maybe thousands of people and offered hope, love, understanding, a voice and an ear to all of them. I also want you to know that after expenses, we were able to share over $48,000.00 with local mental health charities in every province across Canada.

Over the past year, I have tried to keep our mission in my sites. It’s been hard, as life seems to push and pull in every direction at the same time, business, grandparenting, home renos, etc. But we keep telling Hillary’s story and encouraging people to keep the conversation going. I was honoured to be the keynote speaker at the fundraising breakfast for The Support Network in Edmonton in September. I also got to speak to a class of grade 5/6 students at our daughter Katie’s school, Delton Elementary, about the journey, the country and the stigma. And we were thrilled to work on “Clara’s Big Ride” with The Canadian Mental Health Association and The Support Network in Edmonton.
We are not sure what’s next on Hillary’s Ride agenda but we know that we will be working on new projects as time moves forward. We have made some wonderful friends through this process and know that with your help we can make a difference.
I’m pretty certain Hillary would be proud of all of us.
“love is all you need”

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  1. Thanks for wonderful comments, Bill. With iniatives like this and increasingly open conversation, the stigma may begin to crumble and wash away. But the challenge remains… access to appropriate medical services and care at any stage of an illness, any age. Then we’ll see people, whether they are patients or their families, being helped. Only then will the stigma, the guilt, the shame, fade away.
    Linda Howitt-Taylor

  2. Right On, or should I say “Ride On”. Accolades to participants, organizers and supporters. It was delightful following along with you, a virtual tour across this vast and amazing country!

    B

  3. Bill and family it is amazing all that you have done in Hilary’s memory to get such an important message out that has touched many of our lives.
    Rolande and Darvin