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Vive le Canada libre

The most gorgeous Canada Day imaginable – hot, bright, breezy. I just called my mother who was, of course, watching the events on the Hill, so I turned it on, to see the beautiful Kate wearing a little red maple leaf hat. What a cutie. Hundreds of thousands wearing red and white on the hill, waving flags and cheering. The Air Force Snowbirds doing a flyover, thrilling. And then a little girl came out to sing O Canada, and alone in my living room, I stood up and sang along and had a little cry.

I was not born in this country, but I have lived here, with a few breaks, since the age of 2 1/2 months. And how glad and grateful I am for that.

I am a sandwich today – a mother and a daughter. After a month of homelessness, my son moved to his own place across town this morning; my friend John and I drove him across with his entire worldly possessions in the back of a small van – a mattress, a bunch of boxes, and a bag from his mother with ketchup, eggs, tuna fish, mayonnaise, chocolate chip cookies and a lasagna. And then home, to do piles of laundry left by him and by the upstairs tenant, to water the garden, to call my mother, and to watch a handsome, shy prince and his lovely princess wearing a little red maple leaf hat.
Too bad we also have to look at that frozen hunk we call Prime Minister. He just got up to speak, and I just got up to turn off my television.
And of course, on this stunning holiday, my neighbour has all his renovation machines out in full force. Sometimes, even on a day full of brotherly love, like today, one longs for a tranquillizing dart gun.
P.S. Here comes the cup runneth over department: a friend just called. During our many talks, I found out that over forty-five years ago, when she was 16, she gave up a baby boy for adoption. She had never considered trying to find him. I urged her to think about it, if not for herself, then for him; if he had sent out a message that he would like to find his birth mother, didn’t he have the right to know something about his genetic past? Let alone get to know her, an amazingly accomplished and fascinating woman? She was dubious but did think about it, and eventually let me know that she’d decided to go ahead.
She just called. “I’m with my son,” she said. “He came over yesterday for a quick first visit, and he hasn’t gone yet. He may never leave. He’s just like me. And,” she said, “it’s all thanks to you.”
“Yeah, thanks a lot,” I heard a male voice saying something jokey and sarcastic in the background, and they both laughed. If my father were here, he’d say something about the miracle of genetic continuity.
Yesterday, I read again the quote I printed here last month, about the importance of living a useful life. When I hung up, I thought, well, you’ve done one useful thing, that’s for sure. Happy Canada Day to the reunited mother and son. And to all of you, as well. Go find someone you’ve lost, and say hello.



3 Responses to “Vive le Canada libre”

  1. Jason Allen says:

    "…alone in my living room, I stood up and sang along and had a little cry."

    just one of several reasons why I love you…


  2. beth says:

    Jasoni, and I you. Happy Canada Day.

  3. bon de partager vos sentiments, peu importe la vie dairly triste ou heureux

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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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