Just a thought… I’m fortunate that I’m employed. And if you’re in show business, of course, every night you go to bed and go ‘oh my god, tomorrow I’ll never, ever work again.’ [Rick Mercer]
Today I salute a man who has traveled to every remote corner of this expansive, impressive land of ours, as he gets set to wave good-bye, at least for now. Although, for Rob and me, our travels have brought us this week back to beautiful Ontario – relentless winter and all – these past few days spent on highways and back roads, I’ve been thinking more about the province of Saskatchewan than I think I ever have. And my heart, like those of so many millions of Canadians, is broken for the friends, family and fans of the Humboldt Broncos, who suffered such an incredible disaster last Friday.
Imagine the pain of the family who learned that their son, previously believed to have survived, had died, the cautious elation of the family who learned their precious son had not perished, and the deep devastation of such grievous injuries that the confusion was even possible to begin with.
There will never be words – as there never are – that can sum up the magnitude of the loss of promise that Friday night’s horrors stole from us all, but especially from those who knew and loved the accident’s victims best.
Our hearts are with theirs and I am reminded by one of our journal’s visitors (and a bereaved mom who’s contributing to my book) of the acronym HOPE: Hold On, Pain Ends. It does, at least, for a time. It never truly disappears, but there are moments when life feels normal again, however briefly. You’ll find yourself smiling when you remember that dear person who has left far, far too soon. And we are so sorry.
One more note of gratitude before I sign off for today and it is to a man I’m fortunate to be able to call, if not a friend exactly, a very friendly acquaintance. Tonight CBC television will air a special hour-long Rick Mercer Report, including his final rant. He guesses some 40+ kilometres have been racked up walking that alleyway as he shared what was on his mind and in his heart over all of these years. As Rick moves on after a fantastic 15-season run on the CBC, I can’t help but thank him for being a voice of Canadians for all of those years.
He made us laugh, he made us think, and some of us he made downright angry. But always, he came from a place of passion and deep love for this country. I wish I could have said this to him in person: the mornings he came into our CHFI studios were among the favourites of my entire career. We sparked off each other (or I’d like to think we did) and I loved the exchange of laughter and ideas that always took place when Rick sat down across from us. Plus, I was just a little star struck every time he came in. A sharp mind and a big heart are what I look for – whether in a friend or an idol.
Thank you, Rick, and whatever you decide to do, we’ll be there with you and we wish you every success. In life, in love and most of all, in Canada. Thank you for sharing so much of this wonderful country with us all. May you be happy.
By the way, next Tuesday, since you’ll be without a new Rick Mercer Report on CBC, I’ll share with you a favourite from the Erin & Mike files with Mr. Mercer himself. A “best-of” if ever there was one! Take care.