Monday, August 22, 2011


Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party, passed away this morning after a battle with cancer. He was 61 years old.

Today is my Dad's birthday. He is 76 years old.

My Dad was pretty blue when I phoned him this evening to wish him a happy birthday. He's a big fan of Jack Layton and was pretty upset about his passing.  Whenever someone in the news who is younger than my Dad passes away, it really brings mortality into a sharp and painful focus for him.  And for me too. I cannot imagine a world without my father in it.  I've had to live in a world without my mother and that has never gotten any easier.

He told me he spoke with his brother this morning and felt like he was never going to see him again. My Uncle lives in Malta and has had various health issues over the last decade. Aside from my Dad, my brothers and myself, our entire family still lives across the ocean. So it's on rare occassions we get to see them. And usually it's for a wedding or a funeral.

When my Dad gets like this, I tend to yell at him mostly out of my own frustration, but also because I just want him to snap out of it. So I yelled at him to get a plane ticket and get over there if he really felt like he was never going to see his brother again. And after some more yelling on my part, he decided he would think about it.  I think I'm just going to make the decision for him and buy him a ticket to go spend part of the winter there.

As we get older, the inevitable has this really annoying way of getting in your face all the time.

I want to go find some sand and stick my head in it.