Grandma and Nana
This weekend was not as expected. While I wrote to you last week with the expectation of celebration at a wedding of friends, instead I unexpectedly, and unpleasantly experienced the loss of a very loved one. Yes, the weekend was not the revelry that I had hoped for and anticipated. I was in the Finger Lake region of upstate New York, on my way to Vermont when I got that call that my loving Grandma had slipped into a coma. While I was assured that I did not need to return home, I didn't consider it an option. I had to try and make it home to say goodbye. So after 8 hours in a car, I turned around, caught a red eye bus from Syracuse driving through the night, and bringing me back home. I did indeed make it to the hospital in time to say my goodbyes, and although my grandma was mostly unresponsive, I wanted and needed that chance to tell her how much I loved her, and how much she had meant to me over the years. She passed away Sunday morning.
This morning I heard of new of another cancer related death. Jack Layton, leader of the NDP, Canada's left wing political party, and Canada's current official opposition succumbed to his second battle with cancer. It was a quick blow, it had been merely weeks ago that he had announced his break from politics to try and recover from a bout of cancer. But the writing was on the wall as even at that time he looked gaunt and unwell.
So with a heart of sadness I leave you with some inspiration. For each sadness helps us to appreciate what we do have more, and reminds us to live every moment, and to always, always say I love you. I leave you with some beautiful words from Jack Layton's farewell letter.
"To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better... As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world... consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."