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Today’s heroes: Jane and Hilary

Just got this quote from Cousin Ted in NYC:

It all makes sense now – gay marriage and marijuana being legalized on the same day. Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned.” We’ve been interpreting it wrong all these years! 

So, in some states in the benighted U.S., marijuana use is decriminalized; here in humane, wise Canada, penalties even for minor use have just increased. A howl of rage in today’s “Star” from Christopher Hume: cities worldwide are adding bike lanes like crazy, but here in Toronto, the Jarvis bike lanes will start to be dismantled today, because they add a minute or two to Rosedale’s commute home.

Not much to be proud of in Canada today. And after yesterday’s heavenly sun, it’s dark and rainy to boot.

But there are Canadians to be proud of, and one of them is my friend and former student Jane Field, a phenomenally brave and open woman, and her British partner Hilary, likewise. Jane’s story of disability and recovery is too long to go into here, but briefly, after years as a quadriplegic (she came to my class in a power wheelchair and wrote using a voice-activated computer), she was re-diagnosed, laboriously regained mobility over a few years, and plunged back into her busy life. Suddenly, this year, she was afflicted again, back in hospital, completely paralyzed except for minor movement in one arm.

I just got a long email newsletter from her in the convalescent hospital – she can now use an iPad. With her occupational therapist, she is learning to walk again in a kind of Jolly Jumper, is managing to cook meals and play pingpong from her chair(!), and despite the effort involved in transporting and caring for her, she and Hilary have managed several weekends at their cottage. She writes:

I’ve gone out on day passes most weekends. We’ve seen a few movies, attended a fabulous benefit concert celebrating the music of Phil Ochs, met friends for lunch, and gone home for a few quiet evenings. I attended the 40th anniversary celebration of Wendo Women’s Self Defence and performed a song I wrote after being inspired by the program a number of years ago. I’ve also managed to attend my choir practices on Wednesday evenings, though I usually have to leave early in order to get back to Lyndhurst in time to be put to bed. But it’s great to have a regular activity outside of hospital.

Her strong and loving partner Hilary has made most of this possible. “I really am the luckiest woman on earth,” concludes Jane.

A reminder: life is short. Live with gusto.



3 Responses to “Today’s heroes: Jane and Hilary”

  1. The opening of this blog post is everything.

  2. beth says:

    Yes, it's wonderful. Thanks for writing, Shawn.

  3. Unknown says:

    After i and my lover spent about 6 years together, my boyfriend told me that we can not be together. and already We were making ready ourselves to get married this year and I was very happy and absolutely ready to marry him. this breakup started when he went a little far from the city where I live, a year before. He found a good job out there. And he promised me to come back in one or two years. In the mean time, I found a job around his place (we take it as a good opportunity for us to start living together) but the company I worked for resist to leave me since i am a responsible person in the company. They offered me a very nice salary increment with huge responsibility of work. Then I told to my boyfriend I preferred to stay where I live and work, since, he has not a plan to live there forever. He was very upset at the moment and ignored me totally. I tried to contact him but I can’t. Following so much effort he sends me a message saying “our relationship is over”. I never expected such a thing to happen, so I got sick. Even after so much begging he allow me to see him, but told me the same thing that it is over. I asked him the real reason. He said, you never listened to me, you never gave me credit, and you disrespected me…..and so on. I never noticed such a thing in our relationship before, so I got shocked and couldn’t say a word in front of him. For me our relationship was perfect. And I really love him. I want to be with him. I send so many letters saying I’m sorry, I tried to contact him but there is no reply. i did everything to attract him and live with him forever but nothing was going through. so I needed a help on how to get my lover back. I had the feeling that he still loves me, though he did not say a word. I needed help seriously. i thought it will never possible to get him back and be the happy couple again? so when i read testimonies about i contacted him and he told me that my case is a simple one to solve, so after his consultation and casting of his spell my boyfriend emailed me telling me he was sorry for all that he did to me, that he is ready to marry me now, i was shocked, i never believed that dr.marnish could make such thing to happen with his spell, today i am getting married to my boyfriend, and i will never forget this spell caster i will always talk about him anywhere i go
    whitney portia

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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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