“No dress rehearsal. This is our life.”
Gord Downie, The Tragically Hip
A man who was never widely known outside of Canada for his musical abilities is now gone. Maybe, though, he was meant never to have worldwide fame, but instead to be Canada’s musician and to do what he did, to speak powerfully about how we’ve treated Indigenous people in this country, Indigenous youth for more than a century.
I am thankful Canada has a leader who can show emotion.
A friend died, a fellow Canadian, and I know people still thought it silly that Justin Trudeau became emotional.
He is human, isn’t afraid or so unfeeling and dead inside as to let his emotions out, and I will take that over other options, in other countries, right now and any day.
I am thankful for a comforting and hopeful yet bittersweet mid week medical appointment.
I felt a true disappointment when I realized she was coming to the end of what she, herself, could do to help me.
She is one of the best physicians I’ve ever seen and that is not always so easy to find. She did her best for me and I could sense she felt truly bad that I wasn’t feeling better from any of her treatment ideas. Again, hard to find, feel from some doctors.
So, she is always open to seeing me, if I ever need something, but has given me suggestions for what to try next and where to go.
I really did feel sad when I left her office this time. I guess that is a sign I’ve seen too many doctors in my life.
I am thankful for the ability to go into my local bank and deposit a cheque I earned all by myself, into my account.
This shouldn’t be such a big deal for someone my age, but it is.
That’s just the honest to God truth of it. More where that came from, but my fear is always there that it won’t last.
The pressure now feels compounded, though still thankful, this week anyway.
I am thankful for a writing group evening that started out moodily and ended wonderfully.
I must have been in a bit of a mood, myself, but the personalities of the writers in that room soon brought me out of my funk.
That’s why I go. Sure, it’s nice to write and hear some good old stories, but it’s those minds where the ideas for said stories come from that I am most grateful for, why I keep on going back.
I am thankful I was able to keep up with my first evening of secretarial duties.
We had our first official meeting of Ontario’s chapter of Canada Federation of the Blind.
I wanted an app to record the conference call, but I couldn’t be sure any were accessible and so I took notes. I did better with that than I thought I would.
We have multiple issues I feel are important enough to take on and hopefully tackle, to make even a slight difference.
I may never have a child to leave behind, but I do want to leave behind something. Maybe I can make a difference somehow.
I am thankful for a day of rejection and acceptance.
I pitched to two places. One came back thrilled for me to tell my story and the other had to pass.
I had a feeling on the second one and it hurt at first, but what I have to say isn’t right for every place. It might be the wrong time, though I would like to write about being a woman who may never have a child, not because I don’t want one, but for several different factors.
This writing journey brings both acceptances and rejections, and from what I’ve heard and read, it isn’t always about the writing. Sometimes it’s timing or luck. I’ve been very lucky this year so far.
I do like the lessons I am learning, over and over again, and I hope that sting of rejection will continue to happen and teach me that it isn’t the end of the world and that maybe something else can come along another date and time.
I am thankful for a lovely dinner with family and friends.
My mom went to a lot of work to make everything look nice. She is a lovely hostess. She put coloured peppers in the chicken. She baked a new fluffy casserole recipe for the yams. She put time and attention into welcoming a new friend into her home.
We all had a lot of fun and laughs.
I am thankful for wine.
And the wine I had with the evening didn’t hurt any either. It was nice to be able to wind down, at the end of a busy week, wind down with wine.
I am thankful for a short walk for mail.
I still haven’t been sleeping well and I needed a brief Saturday morning walk in the sunshine, with my neighbour, down the street to the mailboxes.
It was a beautiful morning and I came home refreshed and fully awake for the day.
On a day like that, it isn’t so bad that my mail doesn’t come right outside my door anymore.
I am thankful for the attention a dying man brought to what Canada’s next 150 years should look like.
Gord Downie cared about his country and knew he was leaving it and leaving this life. He wanted to take a step toward bringing us all together before he went.
I watched the live broadcast of the concert he put on a year before his death. It is a sad story, what happened to this one boy and so many other boys and girls and their parents and families for so long.
Different circumstances of course, but I see it as Chanie Wenjack was a symbol of so many other children here in Canada being forcibly removed and reprogrammed, just like Anne Frank went on, after her death, to symbolize all the children during the Holocaust in Europe during World War II.
I can easily imagine being taken from my home and forced into residential school. What a scary thing, especially if forced to speak another language and be separated from everyone and everything you know and love.
What were Canada’s governments and churches thinking?
RIP Gord, (1964-2017)