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Macca’s birthday, and Radical Acts of Love

A quick word, have to write today, because IT’S MACCA’S 78th BIRTHDAY! Thank you, dear man, for all you’ve given to our world, and to this one Canadian in particular, who has loved you faithfully since February 1964. 56 years. Ye gods. Here he is singing his fabulous birthday song on the Plains of Abraham in 2008. I was there, renewing my vows, along with hundreds of thousands of others. Can you see me? I’m the one dancing.

And … I have discovered the name of my rosebush! I Googled “peach-coloured double rose” and what came up: the William Morris heritage English rose. I could not be happier, as a huge fan of Mr. Morris and of English heritage roses, of whom my mother was one.

One of my William Morris roses, this morning.

I am reading a vitally important book given to me by Isabel Huggan, who’s a friend of the author: Radical Acts of Love: how we find hope at the end of life, by Janie Brown, a nurse who started a kind of hospice in Vancouver that provides counselling and support to those who are dying and their loved ones. The book shows that facing death with calm acceptance is the greatest gift we can give not only ourselves but our loved ones. It’s not an easy read but it’s a very important one. It makes me sorry that when my family and I were dealing with my dying father in Edmonton in 1988, we had not a clue what to do. We didn’t ask him what he wanted, we didn’t once use the word ‘dying’. But we were there, and we surrounded him with love as best we could. At the end, he’d had enough; he went upstairs alone and took the morphine he’d been stockpiling. I honour his courage, and I urge you, particularly if you are facing your own ill health or that of someone you care about, and even if you’re not, to read this book.

Before that I skimmed a nonfiction library book – When Time Stopped. An interesting premise destroyed, in my opinion, by being far, far too long. Where are the editors? she cries.

Cooling down after a hot one, it’s 7 pm and another day has passed when I’ve not a clue what I did. Well, I went for our usual Thursday walk with Ruth; I went to the LCBO and bought 7, count them, 7 different kinds of rosé; I fertilized the garden and will now water; I read the Star and many websites and emails and of course had aperitif with Monique and breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What else, during the eleven hours since 8 when I got up? I have no idea. Oh – a tiny nap. And I found out the name of my roses.

So – not nothing. Not a new book started, not a vigorous exercise regime begun, but not nothing. Still alive. That’s something.



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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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