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Yesterday, as I was getting ready to go out for dinner, I had an email from Lori Fazari, the terrific editor of Facts and Arguments, about my piece which she was preparing to run in the Globe today.  I had written about the time my then 15-year old daughter walked out the door after I’d told her she couldn’t, saying “Fuck off” on the way.  The editors wouldn’t allow it, Lori wrote, so we’d have to say that she “cursed me using the f word.”  I couldn’t bear the coyness of that, so Lori and I wrote back and forth for half an hour, trying to find a substitute for the f word while I put on mascara and nice shoes.  Finally I came up with “threw a vile curse word my way.”  And actually, I like it better.  

And then I went out for dinner with the nutty children described in the piece, now mature, warm, thoughtful, gorgeous adults (if I do say so myself), and their father Edgar and his wife Tracey, who are up visiting from the States.   It could not have been a nicer evening.  We went to the restaurant on the Toronto Islands where Sam works, so on his night off we were treated to superb service and food – it pays to have a foodie in the family.  Everyone at the table has a good sense of humour and so did our waiter, an old friend of Sam’s, so the laughter was continuous.  As the moon rose over the lake, we sat outside under the trees and reminisced about sad things and happy.  Edgar’s beloved father and older brother Don died last year; there were many toasts to and stories about them both.  
Our circle of family was complete; the kids were there with both parents, who are no longer married but are still dear to each other, and with their dad’s new wife, a lively and welcome addition to the family.  At the end of the evening, I took a picture of the kids with their dad and Tracey, and then she took a picture of the kids with their dad and me.  And tonight we’re doing the whole thing again, only here in the backyard on the barbeque.  A wound has healed.  
I thought about being single.  Since our separation, my ex-husband has almost never been without a partner, whereas I have almost never been with one.  I am simply happy with the smooth, slight path I make, swimming through life as a one, not as a two.   I am deprived of the daily companionship, support and comfort of one vital person; this is a huge loss.  In return, however, I have freedom and independence – and a lot of companionable, supportive and comforting friends.  
One of my father’s wisest sayings was, “Choisir, c’est renoncer.”  To choose … is to renounce.  



2 Responses to “Family”

  1. Lynnie says:

    Beth, would Lori have accepted “Eff off”? Just wondering.

  2. beth says:

    Good suggestion. I did see the offending word in an Globe article only a few weeks later – but I guess “Facts and Arguments” is a family page.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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