I grew up in Toronto. The east end - The Beaches. NDP country for most of my growing up years. This will mean nothing to many of you who have never been to Toronto, except to say in those years it was like living in a small village, within a growing city. The sense that every one knew everyone. That parents could let the children play at the playground, 1/2 a block away, until the street lights came on, because every kid knew they had fives minutes to be home. Where no one worried about bad people, simply because the world was safer then.
Having an quiet artistic disposition, long before I could even articulate it, I wasn't very big on politics, news of the day or world events. Yet yesterday, the news of Jack Layton's death brought tears to my eyes. Despite never having met him, he was our small corner of now a vast mega city's, football hero. A sweet man, which you usually do not or dare not say about a man in public service. His life was dedicated to good works. And even in his passing he was a gentleman to the end writing a beautiful letter of love and hope. I can only hope that when it is my turn that I can be equally gracious and caring. When Jack became the official leader of the opposition it was a stellar moment - the winning touchdown in the big league. That it has ended so soon, is truly sad.
So if you find yourself oddly melancholy or buoyant today, you have likely stepped into the collective unconsciousness of those of us who knew Jack Layton - still grieving or held in his wonderful memories. It is a good thing to be touched by those things that we cannot fully understand. So take a moment and reflect on your good works, hug some one you love and don't take their being there for granted. Jack believed that we have the capacity to change the world with love, hope and optimism. What a great message to share!