A lovely moment the other day – As it Happens speaking about Joey Moss, a man with Down’s syndrome, the brother of Wayne Gretzky’s girlfriend of the time. Wayne got him a job as a locker room attendant with the Edmonton Oilers where he remained until his recent death. Gretzky’s voice quivered as he spoke about Joey, what he meant to the team, and so did that of another hockey insider. At the end, they played Joey singing the Canadian anthem at a game – at the top of his lungs, tunelessly but with so much enthusiasm and joy.
I thought, as I wiped away tears, how foolish it is to be as self-conscious as we all are. My friend Judy, whose beautiful book Writing with Grace is about her friendship with a young woman with Down’s syndrome, tells me that because of extensive genetic testing, people with the condition are becoming an endangered population. They have a great deal to show us, to teach us, to share with us.
That, too, is the subject of my new book.
Speaking of which, a few more reviews: From Karen: Your book is brave, honest, touching, funny, very well written and — above all — real. While reading it I felt as though I were right there with you, inside the print. What I particularly like is the way you lead the reader through your train of thought, rather than from event A to B. You are a terrific writer and a remarkable woman.
Wow! I’ll take it.
And from Isobel: I think you capture the zeitgeist of that era perfectly, especially for young women — the naivete, the incomplete, just-forming notions of feminism, the trying-it-all-on, the forging ahead on headstrong yet flimsy aspirations…. which don’t turn out to be so flimsy after all!