My mother passed away this summer. She was elderly, 84 actually, and as one of my friends said, she had a “good innings.”
But, she was my mother and we are only issued one, and I miss her. She had led a full and varied life as artist, farmer, and entrepreneur. She was raised in the Great Depression by staunch United Empire Loyalists. She was widowed at 21 with a newborn son and remarried to a wild Italian at 26.
My mother was tough and uncomplaining but almost always upbeat. At the end, she was virtually blind, deaf, and in constant pain from terrible osteoporosis. However, every time I saw her she would say, “but all in all I’m doing pretty well, don’t you think?” She loved where she lived and she loved being a Canadian. Both my father and my mother were diehard Canadians.
Oh, they thought we gave too much money to crooked Quebec politicians and not enough money to our once-proud, courageous, and now stripped-down and humiliated military, and not enough to young heroic athletes trying to represent our country.
They believed in a Canadian flag, universal health care, and universal education. They believed in hard work, paying the bills, and living and dying with dignity. I now realize that these values are my own, and that now, as my wife and I try to raise our children to be valuable people with an understanding of what is important and what it means to be Canadian, I need to look no further for role models for them to emulate than my mother and my father.
I also realize how fortunate I have been.