Cancer again…

I was going to post about how my daughter started walking this weekend, but first I read the letter Jack Layton wrote before his death and now I’m crying. So I thought I should talk about him instead.

I didn’t like Jack Layton that much. I’ve been voting NDP ever since I moved to BC because I couldn’t vote for the Bloc Québécois anymore and the NDP is the closest to my social-democratic values. But to be honest, their leader irritated me. I didn’t follow the last election as closely as I should have (I was moving and I had a baby), but in the previous election, I found Layton aggressive in televised debate. He was cutting everyone. He was shouting. He sounded mad. And he seemed determined to pretend that he could become Prime minister when everyone else knew it was impossible.

But he became opposition leader. True, his success was largely due to the fact that Quebeckers got sick of the Bloc and fell in love with Layton’s personality on a very popular talk show. But Jack was putting himself and his party out there. His anger was probably justified given the way things were going in Ottawa. And although I found him annoying, it seems like he knew what he was doing.

Most of all, from what I can tell and from what everybody is saying, he was true. True to himself, and honest with the public. He was idealistic. Of course, if he had managed to seize power, he may have hit a wall and been unable to lead with the same integrity as he did at the head of the NDP. It is much, much easier to make promises when you can’t realize them. But I think he truly meant what he said. He didn’t act like a careful politician. He didn’t speak the same politically-correct language. He was a breath of fresh air.

And now he’s gone. For years, I wanted the NDP to replace him because I didn’t think he would succeed. Now I think that Canada has lost a very important person. And I’m sad. He was 61, younger than my parents are. He had a 2-year-old granddaughter who won’t remember her Grandpa. That’s life. But it’s sad.

One of my coworkers lost his father last week; he is 47 and his wife is pregnant, due in 6 week, after years of IVF treatments. He really hoped his dad would meet his only grandson. It was not meant to be. Life is ironic. Life is a bitch.

Add that the fact that my neighbor’s 5-year-old is dying of a brain tumor and you might understand my state of mind. Death sucks. I have never wished harder that I could believe in God. But I don’t. I don’t want people I love to die. I don’t want to die. But it will happen. All I can hope for is to delay it as much as possible. That sucks.

Sigh. I’ll feel better tomorrow. At least I’ll try to.

2 Responses to “Cancer again…”

  1. Mireille Says:

    C’est drôle comment on n’a pas les mêmes perceptions : ici, on voyait toujours Jack Layton souriant, positif, jovial. C’est pour ça que le monde l’aimait. Il était différent des politiciens habituels, il semblait facile d’accès, à l’écoute. C’est certain qu’en comparaison à Gilles Duceppe, qui a toujours l’air d’un bulldog enragé, et Stephen Harper, qui ressemble à une marionnette sans expression, Jack Layton avait l’air du bon gars en qui on a envie d’avoir confiance! Peut-être était-il différent lors des débats en anglais ou lors de ses interventions au Canada anglais…

    Mais je suis d’accord avec toi sur un point : life’s a bitch!

  2. sophie Says:

    Je crois qu’il était différent en entrevue et dans les débats. Mais comme j’ai dit, je ne l’ai pas autant suivi dans la dernière campagne, il s’était peut-être calmé un peu!