Over my years I have spent a lot of my time with many different people, but no one has taught me the power of genuine contribution more intentionally than a young man in our community named Jordan Turk. Jordan lives on the outskirts of our small rural town in the midst of the corn and bean fields and takes great pride in all things he sets out to accomplish. A young man of his word and impeccable timing, Jordan inspires me to listen and believe in ways I have not yet explored. As a dedicated and determined employee of Farmers plus in Arthur, he provides the optimum customer experience that includes humour, excellent service and a willingness to be helpful. I have come to the realization that this young man is extremely thoughtful and communicates ideas and stories with distinct creativity and passion.
Jordan often shares with me, his experience of connection with one man in particular. He boasts of this man having great kindness, offering genuine kinship and being an avid card player. This gentleman, affectionately known as Papa, contributed lots of laughter, fun and an authentic appreciation for his friendship with Jordan . Papa was a special person to Jordan and together they created a connection that was meaningful and inspiring to others. Papa recently passed away and left a feeling of great loss to those closest to him. In his infinite wisdom Jordan would often say, Papa was gone now, but he could still see him a little bit.
When thinking about how to keep a place for Papa, where his memory could be easily reachable, Jordan decided playing sevens, a favourite card game between the two, was a good place to start. When I asked him to teach me his eyes lit up and his smile widened bigger than I had ever seen. Jordan was a patient teacher and forgiving opponent when I needed a reminder of the rules. Midway through our games the story would always come about how papa and him would play for hours. Sometimes he won and sometimes he would let Papa win.
We thought but a moment before an idea was born. An idea that created a space to teach, learn and be with others in a way Jordan wanted to contribute. Jordan and his facilitator met with local GIFT ARTIVITY owner and operator Rene Ariens and shared his story about his love of cards and papa. The two collaborated on offering a free card and games night to their community, with the vision in mind that it would be a place to share games, meet people and connect with others in a fun and informal way.
Rene offered the space for free and was willing to help promote the event. Jordan decided he was comfortable being the host and would try to teach others the game that brought him close to the memory of a man he loved dearly . The GIFT ARTIVITY centre, along with Jordan will welcome enthusiastic "gamers" every third Tuesday of the month, starting in September from 7-9. Jordan invites everyone to bring their favourite game and munchies to share with others during the evening. When I think about the many components it took to coordinate this amazing idea and the true nature of its simplicity, I am speechless. All I can say is "This nights for you PAPA"