Wednesday, August 31, 2011

End of August odds & ends

  • PNDGS/D is late. He/she was due late last week, but still hasn't put in an appearance. Drs will induce, but not until late NEXT week, by which time his/her mom will be two weeks overdue. Can I tell you how very, very nervous this makes me?? Please send all your prayers, positive thoughts, good vibes, etc., for a healthy delivery for both mom & baby.

  • Tash had a post today about dealing with clueless relatives that reminded me of an incident a couple of weeks ago. A few days after Katie's anniversary, we attended a memorial mass for dh's uncle, who passed away last month. On this side of the family, all of dh's cousins (including dh & his brother) have now lost one parent, and after the service, several of us were standing outside, talking about the importance of pre-planning funerals and making your wishes known. Dh said, "Well, we've bought a niche," and one of his cousins said, "Oh, at (cemetery where dh's mother is buried)?" "No," said dh, "(suburban cemetery where Katie's ashes are interred)." The cousin looked completely puzzled -- "why there?" Another cousin -- who is a Facebook "friend" of mine and had seen & commented on the photo I'd posted of Katie's niche at the cemetery on her anniversary -- said gently, "They already have someone there." Another completely blank look. In Italian, the one cousin said to the other, "Their daughter -- the baby!" "OHHHHH...." To her credit, the clueless cousin looked quite embarrassed. I jumped in with a comment that we don't intend to use it for awhile, but we decided that if we wanted to be there, we'd better get a spot, & the conversation went on. Dh & I chuckled, ruefully, about it later.

  • In an unprecedented (and uncharacteristically generous) move by our prime minister, Jack Layton received a state funeral last Saturday in Toronto. The music was fabulous, albeit not your standard funeral fare -- beginning with a saxophone rendition of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic;" Leonard Cohen's "Hallellujah," as sung by Steven Page, ex-Barenaked Ladies; the Parachute Club's anthem "Rise Up," as sung by original member Lorraine Segato; and wrapping up with a church choir singing an old 1960s hippie anthem, "Get Together." ("Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now"... only they changed the lyrics to the more politically correct/gender neutral "smile on each other")(!).

  • Before entering federal politics, Layton was a well known Toronto city councillor and, after his casket lay in state at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, it was brought to City Hall in Toronto. Outside, a makeshift "shrine" sprang up of flowers, photos and cans of orange Crush (orange being the colour of the NDP). And then, someone wrote a message on the pavement, in chalk, and left a bucket of chalk behind. People started writing their own messages. Within hours, the huge expanse of Nathan Phillips Square was covered in chalk tributes. There was a a wicked thunderstorm that washed them all away on Monday night, but by Tuesday morning, they were more. I work not far from City Hall, and while I didn't think I had time to stand in line and pay my respects, I did walk up to the square on my Friday lunchhour to view the chalk tributes (& leave one of my own). It was an extraordinary, moving sight. This Flickr photo by Jackson Chiu gives you an idea of what the scene was like (although there were a lot more people walking around, reading the messages, when I was there).


  1. Sending best thoughts and wishes for PNDGS/D.

    I'm impressed by the way you and your husband handled the clueless cousin, and glad that you had other people around you who weren't clueless.

  2. Overdue babies make me very nervous as well, especially the full two weeks over. Thinking of all concerned, hoping for a good news update soon.

  3. Hey,

    I noticed a comment you left on By the Brooke where you talked about the first year for grieving parents. Could you possibly send that to me? My email is: AT gmail

    If it's not something you can email, or scan and email, or know where I can access it, don't worry about it. :)

    Thanks so much.