Try the impossible

In my lifetime, I have done a few impossible things–at least two!
Impossible: unable to be done; not possible. That’s one definition. But there’s another one.
Impossible: very difficult! And I’ve accomplished some very difficult things.
The first impossible thing involved my mother and happened in Edmonton, Alta. in 1966. My mother was 63 years old at the time.
After she was widowed at the young age of 55, my mother decided to leave her home in upstate New York and relocate close to us in Edmonton.
Fortunately, she landed her dream job in a residential facility for handicapped children. She had very good friends among the staff and loved the children.
Then one day, the administrator told my mother she would have to leave. The province had issued a new ruling that only Canadians would be allowed to work in provincial institutions.
She was crushed. At age 63, what would she do?
I felt I had to do something. In desperation, I decided to go to the top and wrote a letter to the Alberta minister of health. I never got a reply but a week later, the administrator joyfully informed my mother she could keep working until age 65.
The second impossible thing happened about 1970.
Our small college town had a very important vacant lot, with a baseball diamond and playground equipment. Except for grass, the only vegetation was three huge trees.
Imagine my horror when one day I was returning from work and saw two of the trees on the ground—and workmen getting ready to saw into the third one. I stopped my car and took charge.
I said, “Don’t you dare touch that tree!” Taken aback, they listened to me!
Once home, I called Maurice Clark, the CEO of the power company at that time. He was gracious and listened to my impassioned plea, but was non-committal.
But later that day, Clark had a meeting with my husband, and he said, “Your wife saved a tree today!”
Those fallen trees had 70 rings at the time. And that was more than 40 years ago.
Because of that day, North Newton has a beautiful 110-year-old towering tree at the edge of the vacant lot where children still play today.
And just last week, I heard another “impossible” story. My good friend, Ralph Lehman, was a conscientious objector in World War II and was assigned to a unit in a psychiatric hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
The men assigned there found deplorable conditions and tried to right them.
Then one day, Eleanor Roosevelt visited the unit. Impressed at the much-needed service, Eleanor wrote about her visit in her daily column “My Day.”
Ralph was fascinated with Eleanor’s compassion and craved more conversation with her. So once back home in northern New York after the war, Ralph called Eleanor at her home in Hyde Park and asked to speak to her.
Eleanor’s secretary relayed the message. Then told Ralph, “You aren’t too far away. Mrs. Roosevelt would like you to come and have tea with her.”
Impossible! But it happened.
Remember, when something seems impossible, it may be just “very difficult.” So don’t be afraid to try the impossible!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist.
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