Sunday, August 21, 2016

Getting back to 'normal'

Sunday morning, and like millions of parents I stand over my stove top flipping pancakes. I woke up this morning with a bit of melancholy. If you are a Canadian and aged 35-55 you know why. If you are a visitor here I will explain. 

An iconic Canadian band named the Tragically Hip bid us farewell last night. Their lead singer is dying and cancer sucks and their farewell show was televised so we could all say 'see you on the other side'. Many people were glued to their TV during the show and we became part of something sad and amazing and moving and raw.  Please Google them and look up their music on you tube. I can guarantee they will not disappoint-especially if you are a poetic type. 

So this morning I think about Gord Downie and his family's day ahead. Now I do not know Mr. Downie and his family personally, but like many people my age we feel like we grew up together. His poetry is ours. Snapshots of Canada. Landscapes, history, love and of course hockey. 

This is where the melancholy seeps in. I am making pancakes for my family. I imagine Gord's wife let him sleep in today- waking him with a cup of tea and some pancakes she made with their kids. I envision them remaining in Pjyamas and taking the day to be still and rest because they know now they will need to get on with the task ahead. 

That task is dying. 

I can see him and his wife exchanging looks and in their minds asking Why us? why again? This isn't the first time Cancer has struck this family, Laura is a breast cancer survivor-does she feel cheated now that this disease is going to take her partner and father of their children?  

I guess what I'm trying to sum up here is last night we took part in something that represents what could be any one of us. Gord Downie is us-partner, father, son, collaborator. 

It's hard to imagine after seeing him on stage so many times and even last night as he awkwardly danced with his mic stand -offered primal screams and his affected face and hand gestures while donning feathered hats and those amazing -sparkling-glorious suits that this man was saying see you later. This man of my generation will soon be gone leaving a family and poems and music behind. 

'Now for Plan A'
he's said good bye to all of us, now he can focus on his family.


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