Sunday, 29 July 2012

Day 24

Pow wow weekend on Six Nations and I brought "Chris" along with me, again. I was not as busy as yesterday, but a couple friends/clients needed a shoulder, and an ice pack. I am glad I was there for them.

I finished the end of "book 1" and started "book 2". Reading the death of his mom hit hard.

There's a quote from the book (which I can't pull out right now because I'm in bed and others need to sleep without a light) about why it isn't until the end of someone's life that you realise you need them so terribly. And one other one about just waiting for death to come. Or maybe, that's how I read it.

The last time I read this book was a few months after the kids granda died (Jeff's dad - long bout of cancer). We were called to his bedside 3x telling us that it was his last night. How bad/good/terrible it was that he made it through those bad nights. When he did pass, they weren't there, Jeff and Ken. The other was, though. And his beloved wife. Oh, how they loved each other!

I won't delve into family politics for fear of being sued, but it was tough on all of us. Our brains/emotions/mentalities were still traumatised from the fire and the fallout from it. It was rough but we got through. Or, for Jeff, still getting through.

When Mr P talked about the funeral, I know a bit of how he felt. When my mémé passed away, I was pregnant with my oldest. She died quite suddenly. What finished her off was flesh eating disease. When that was diagnosed, she gave up. I don't blame her. She was 94. Good French Canadian blood!

Our "family" church was St Anne's in Tecumseh, Ontario. I had been to many a family wedding, first communion, Stations of the Cross, and funerals there. Then a new priest came in.

He didn't know mémé. At all. What he said in his speech was static, plain, English (not that I would have understood French, mind) but mémé was Québécoise to the core. She used to be the cook a lumberjack camps when she was 16, in the bush in Québec. That's where she met Napoléon, my pépé. She was so proud when, at age 10, I won the very first French student of the week in my class. She was perfect with children of any age. Her home canned pickled beets were the best. Still are. And her baked beans & ragoût. Aaaahhhh. They are still my favourite meal. She sewed on a push-pedal sewing machine, never told me to be quiet, always had an extra hug. At the end, after I was married, she would turn to Jeff and say in French, "You are a lucky man. She is beautiful."

But also being near the end and her memory going, she would ask about her children, some of whom had already passed onto the other side. She would grieve them all over again

The priest didn't know this. He talked with some family members and write his talk from that info. But it was cold, no heart. He didn't know her, how could he speak like that, so lightly, of one of the most important people in our lives?

They did play my dad & my & (I think) mémé's favourite hymn as we followed the casket out: "How Great Thou Art." we left halfway through the second verse with me still singing/crying. Jeff didn't like that - my continuing to sing part.

I sang that hymn at his dad's funeral with our niece. I told his dad I wanted to sing it at his funeral. He said that alone was a reason to stay alive! We had a unique and quite honest relationship, when we were alone. As Jeff's illness got worse, our immediate family's relationship with him and his wife slowly disappeared. Just like with my parents. It's just easier not to talk when all you want to do is complain. And complaining gets us nowhere.

In this section of the book, we also read about the fall of the English Quebecers. The rise of the proud Québécois. We read how Montreal's mayor did not want to be a part of WW II.

The rise and fall of radio plays was an interesting tidbit on CBC history. How he met William Shatner, Oscar Peterson. Incredible!

I didn't know Toronto was such a boring city at that time.

Mr P was also a shy fellow. Even if he did have a relationship with a married woman. He writes of being completely clothed listening to a completely naked Ms Barrymore who was laying on a bed.

He writes of the strong women who led his life in literature, music, sports...I think I would have loved to have their influences in my life. They seemed well-rounded. His mother and aunt guided him into acting, getting him backstage to meet the stars.

Hmm, I wonder if that's a thing my kids will say about me...I'm trying. Stratford - there's been a couple do backstage tours, meet & greets with cast. I also helped Dakota get into a Simple Plan video and Braeden backstage for Barenaked Ladies twice. I think Luke and Cordelia are set on meeting everyone and anyone at Stratford Festival. That is turning out to be a nice surprise. I didn't think they'd get this into it. I'm very pleased. I guess holding a bloodied sword & a severed head by the lead (Graham Abbey in Cymbeline) helped clinch it for Luke. Plus, Graham said he'd been on the stage for the first time at Stratford when he was Luke's age (then 10).

I also learned in today's reading that Québécers became priests to dodge the draft. That these priests also were incredible skiers down Mount Royal. And so were he and his mom.

When the reading stopped today, he was leaving radio to move to Bermuda to work at a year round rep company. Not a bad gig.

And, lastly for tonight, he talked a out great jazz. I love that jazz. See previous posts (with YouTube links).

I drank 2 cokes at the pow wow I worked at today. I can't sleep!

I shall try again. Nite.