Erin's Journals

Monday, April 27, 2020

Just a thought… Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. [Seneca]

Okay – so it’s Monday. I know this for a fact because I have a noon appointment outside the house (first outing that didn’t involve a poo bag in well over a month) and it’s garbage day! This is how we measure our weeks now. The things that used to get in the way are now the only things on the horizon. At least, from here, for now.

Well, what were you doing last night? I’m going to be honest with you: I was almost reluctant to tune in for the #StrongerTogether broadcast/fundraiser for Foodbanks Canada. After all, we’d seen two such shows (one in BC, one in the US) on back-to-back nights, and then last Friday’s beautiful Nova Scotia Strong presentation. I felt a little emotionally exhausted from it all.

But, boy, am I glad I watched! From Sarah McLachlan to Alessia Cara, Pascal Siakam to Tessa Virtue, Mike Myers to Eugene & Dan Levy, the worlds of sports, TV/movies and music came together from coast to coast to coast to bring Canadians, not only some excellent entertainment, but a continuing message to stay home, stay safe.

Of course, the underlying theme of the entire one hour, 34 minute show (made long, I have to believe, by Drake’s last-minute addition – even after the PM’s “lean on each other” tie-in to the terrific finale) was a salute to those who are out every day doing their jobs so that we can stay sheltered and hopefully keep up our end of the deal.

Here’s where you can donate if, like us, you tried to text or log in last night and found the system couldn’t complete the transaction. How wonderful that it was so overloaded with Canadians’ generosity. If you gave up, please try again. Here’s the link.

Foodbanks’ needs will never go away and they’re necessary now more than ever. Remember that they can make a dollar go at least three times as far as each of us can. And thank you. Rob and I will be trying again today, too.

As always, it was wonderful to see our friend Rick Mercer at the top and tail of the show. But it was Jann Arden’s “Sleepless” that made me emotional. Memories of times with her, including her morning performance as we watched a ship on the horizon passing our winners’ resort in Jamaica in 2003. The sincerity and beauty with which she sang then as she did last night.

Just a feeling of joy and comfort, bringing me back to the theme of Saturday’s journal about the power of music. Oh, and speaking of weekend posts….

Thank you to each and every person who commented on FB yesterday about the social-distancing family bubble conundrum I wrote about in the journal. Most people have the same concerns about choice A or B that I did. Thankfully, for a lot of us, it hasn’t come to this.

But, oh, what I wouldn’t do to spend some real time with Colin and his sweet baby sister and parents! Just to cuddle and kiss and do the things we miss. Yesterday, Colin told us that when we come, we’ll watch Toy Story (definitely not called Toy Story 1, he reminds us). This is one of our favourite family traditions already. Thank you, Pixar.

Here at home, we’re wobbling on when to treat ourselves to the just-released second season of Ricky Gervais’ incredible – but far too short – Netflix offering After Life, wherein his character, Tony, has lost his wife of 25 years and decides to be as big a jerk as he can before he takes his own life.

It’s touching, funny, dirty and profane, and – like Ricky himself – definitely not for everyone. But we found ourselves in his character. The one who gradually comes to the realization, thanks to an older widow (played by the marvelous Penelope Wilton from Downton Abbey) with whom he spends time while they visit their respective spouses’ graves, that happiness is a gift.

It’s one that we are obliged to try to share with others to make their lives a little better. And that message is one that Rob and I have taken to heart for the past nearly five years. Every day we find ways to try to reclaim joy and to keep going, just as Tony’s wife encourages him to do through videos she shot without her husband’s knowledge while in the hospital, knowing she was not going to survive.

It’s that urging to go onward for those who remain; that question we often return to that I mention in the book: “Mom, what did you do with your life after I left?” that makes us work to find an answer that makes her proud and helps us find that happiness in every day.

Thanks for being here with me and I wish you a gentle, healthy Monday. Do something that makes you happy. Make your angels proud, too.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, April 27, 2020