Just a thought… Perhaps love is like a resting place, a shelter from the storm. It exists to give you comfort, it is there to keep you warm, and in those those times of trouble when you are most alone, the memory of love will bring you home. [John Denver]
I hope you had a safe weekend and managed to survive those nasty winds yesterday. Rob and I had the warmest welcomes imaginable at Wooden Sticks Golf Club on Saturday afternoon and yesterday morning; we must have spent a couple of hours signing books both before and after. Last night was a bit of a different experience in that the first of our two nights in Oakville met up with two obstacles: awful weather and a tight deadline.
As last night’s event wrapped up, I had my eye on the long line of people I trust wanted to (and eventually got to) meet and hug and talk. But the other eye was on my watch, with worries about the 7 am call time for Breakfast Television. I get to be on their post-Oscar show today in the 7 am hour!
But here’s the thing: I chose to make this an airtight schedule because, when one Oakville event (tonight) sold out, I said “yes” to a Sunday one, even though the Blue Heron Books (at Wooden Sticks) was all carved in stone. Or wood. So this is my doing! But I wouldn’t have this any other way.
I was reminded of the term that so many bereaved mothers use for themselves: “Angel Moms.” I have never considered myself an angel anything…but I found myself humbled to meet the teary-eyed women who formed such a strong support group for each other and came together to share in these early events for Mourning Has Broken. The hour I spent on stage was met with tears and lots of laughter – just as I wanted it.
After being introduced Saturday and Sunday in Uxbridge by the talented best-selling (million-plus) author Susanna Kearsley, I asked anyone who had lost a child to stand if they were able. Some 20 did. Then I asked everyone who had suffered a loss close to them to stand. That number included almost everyone who was still seated. And finally, I said “Anyone who knows someone suffering a devastating loss, please stand.” As you can imagine, all were on their feet. And there were plenty of sniffles.
The numbers are staggering and truly you don’t know how many Angel Moms are out there. But I do. I talked with them, we hugged, they teared up and we held hands. I listened to their pared-down-for-time stories of loss and love and sadness and recovery and could have stayed for hours. Maybe I’ll get a chance to do that one day. I would be honoured just to listen.
There were so many gifts (more about them later). We received cards and yellow roses, but most of all, the gift of these people’s time. These women and, yes, a few men, who joined us to laugh, to ask questions, to just share some time.
One of the greatest gifts of the past few days has been the chance to visit with dear friends: on Thursday it was with sweet Helen, our dear friend, then dinner at Benihana at the Royal York that night with Mike. We were having such a good time that I thought it would be appropriate to buy dinner for the mother-daughter pair from Ottawa who shared our cooking table. It just felt right on so many levels…
Friday night after a busy day of shooting back-up video for The Marilyn Denis Show (I tape our interview today and it airs April 26 – not a typo) and CityLine with Tracy Moore (airing March 13), we got together with Allan Bell, the longtime friend who’s truly our family’s angel in so many ways. We awoke to a beautifully and caringly written piece in the Toronto Star by Paul Hunter. Rob and I were touched and grateful.
And later, the icing on the day’s cake (if I’d had time to eat any) was the pure joy of seeing my longtime broadcasting sister and friend Lisa Brandt at Saturday’s event. We shared dinner later and she has written her blog today about us.
Thank you to New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley for the wonderful interviews through Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge. I will bring you pictures as the week goes on when my editor (er, Rob) has a moment more to breathe. But today was a race against the clock and if I look tired today on BT or tomorrow – Tuesday – on CTV Your Morning (to air late in the 7 am hour) or at 8:30-ish on CP24 or just after 9:00 am on Global Morning, I hope you’ll forgive me.
I’ve more visits to make (live) tomorrow and I’ll fill you in later. There will be plenty of time to sleep next week – right? See you today on BT (or vice versa) and tonight in Oakville!