This past weekend has been busy with getting together with old friends, polishing the balls - more of that later - and trying to get the Christmas tree up. Why is it even with the tree being pre-lit it still takes 3 days????
Anyway on Friday morning Laurent reminded me just after I got out of bed of what a big day it was. And after rubbing the sleep from my eyes and seeing to a few more pressing ablutions I realized that indeed it was a big day. December 9th, 2011 Stephen Harper became the 9th longest holder of the position of Prime Minister of Canada. He had been in office now for 5 year 306 days which is 4 days longer than that other great Conservative leader John (Dief the Chief) Diefenbaker. And to think I've lived under both of them.
On the December 8th, 1946 my father announced that he would not be into work because his wife was having a baby the next day. Not the sort of announcement that was greeted with credence in those far off days. Its a long, boring story - or at least was at all those family gatherings - but apparently it was then or never so on December 9th as the snow blew up a treat on Grenville Street in Toronto, Dr Marion Hilliard delivered my poor mother of a pre-mature, mewling tiny creature that was whisked away immediately to an incubator for a few weeks.
Well thanks to pioneers in women's health like Dr Hilliard and her colleagues at Women's College Hospital I'm here today - still mewling, not much more mature than I was in those days, not so tiny and with almost as little hair. I joke but Dr Hilliard and her ilk were remarkable women in an era when issues of women's health were given little attention and thanks to their work great advances were made.
So here I am here 65 years muttering at those 64 year old whippersnappers to get the hell up and give me the seat at the front of the bus. And now comes the discounts at the drugstore, the Ontario Drug Plan for Seniors, movie discounts and every other cut I can get for making it to 65! But I will not go for the early bird special at the local diner - no one, not even a Senior Citizen eats at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Or at least not this Senior Citizen.
I can hear at least one person I know reading this shaking his head and saying "silly man"; all silliness aside I want to thank all my dear and wonderful friends and family for the wishes, the e-mails, the cards, the notes on Facebook. And to my father-in-law Denis and brother-in-law Stephan and other members of the Leprechaun Chorale - thanks for the singing telegram but don't give up the day job.
One of the great joys of the past 65 years has been the friends that I have made who have given me reason to rejoice in and gave so much meaning to my life. 1000 grazie e baci a tutti!
(Begun on December 9th and finally finished on December 11th.)
09 decembre/December - Juan Diego, nato Cuauhtlatoatzin