You never know where something will go in life until you release it to the universe and see. This journey Holly and I are about to embark upon is one of those moments. I can admit that I was more nervous of the thought of fundraising in our daughter Alyssa Rae’s memory than anything this journey may throw at me, simply because this was a place I go with great difficulty, even after 15 years. Twenty short days with us on this planet…and then 15 years of having her around us in such gentle, sweet ways. I can safely say I’ve never had a greater example of Alyssa’s presence than a few minutes ago. A friend of mine whom I greatly admire, Virginia Munden, had posted a lovely note on Facebook about our motorcycle journey and a talk we had last week about whether or not I was out of my mind to think we could raise $25,000 for SickKids Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals around North America. Here’s part of what she wrote:

“I had a chat last week with Bruce Johnson from RE/MAX of WASAGA BEACH about a very special ride he is taking with his daughter in their quest for support. When he called me, he did not ask for a donation ( which we will be donating ) he only asked ‘ is it possible to raise $25K? My reply to him was ‘ Bruce, anything is possible as long as you have good people behind you. ‘ That is all he wanted to hear, a humble man. I had received the email yesterday from Aaron Sanderson of SICKKIDS who works tirelessly in helping those who SUPPORT, GIVE and SHARE to the Charity he represents and I would like to share this with you all this morning. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, stepchildren etc, you will want to read this beautiful story of Father and Daughter and their journey to make a difference.”

Bruce and Mary with Alyssa before Blessing

December 4th, 1998

When Alyssa Rae was born we had a small cassette player at her bedside in the NICU at SickKids Hospital in the hope that the gentle music of lullabies soothed her after the steady stream of needles, surgeries and tests. We soon found ourselves playing one song over and over and it’s come to symbolize Alyssa for us over the years. It’s called Baby Mine by Alison Krauss. As we were reading Virginia’s note, Alyssa’s song came on the radio. It brought gallons of tears to my eyes. I couldn’t have received a stronger message from Alyssa. A very powerful reminder that those who leave us never truly leave us.

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