I really had no idea how much this week meant to me until today. Until I put it all together. And when I did, I realized that this was a week of anniversaries, of days that really changed my life.
On January 13th my wife’s parents got married. Diane (French pronunciation please) was a television producer for Radio Canada and Valerie’s dad, Dave was a performer. It’s hard to imagine now but a lot of the most important English entertainment at one time came out of Montreal. So a stridently Quebecoise television producer fell in love with a tete-carree Anglo from British Columbia. All because of Expo 67. My wife was born a few years later in Montreal and she is the single most influential person in my life in the last 23 years. The only reason I am alive.
January 14th is the birthday of my father’s second wife. Her name is Dawn and she comes from a rural-ish backround in Kenora, Ontario. She was with my dad for about the last thirty years of his life and she is the only reason he lasted that long. She has a beautiful soul and a generous spirit and she’s the closest thing I have to a mother these days, though she feels much more like a friend. What could be better than a mother who feels like a friend?
January 15th. Yesterday was Martin Luther King Junior Day. Almost every aspect of social consciousness and compassionate awareness that I have absorbed came out of my study of the fifties and sixties. It might have been folk music, it may have been JFK speeches, it may have been movies about resistance. It was about Jackie Robinson and MLK and Ali and Malcom X and Dylan. There was a time when popular culture changed lives for the better. I may be too old now to see it. I hope it’s still happening. But MLK was ground zero for all of this. If he wasn’t the first, he was the most important.
January 16th was my maternal grandfather’s birthday. In 1900. He lived in the horse and buggy age. He heard and saw TV and radio before us all. He watched movies go from silent to talkies, from black and white to colour. He fought in the Great War, when aeroplanes were weapons of mass destruction, only to see them become transportation to take him and his wife across the country to see his daughter and grandchildren. He lived in the age of ice trucks and lived in the age of space travel.
He heard Babe Ruth home runs on the radio and saw Gary Carter home runs on TV.
This week not only changed my life, it was just about everything that created my life.
Each of us has weeks like this, even if we are not aware of them. But today, I am aware.