Really, I was having such a nice weekend with friends. Why did yesterday have to be filled with so much death and destruction?
And one death is the focus of this post. I found out that early yesterday morning, Jack Layton, the federal NDP leader, lost his battle with cancer. He was 61.
He has been such a fighter. Through a broken hip, one battle with cancer, and other things which I’m sure I’ve forgotten, he just kept going. Through it all, he managed to lead his party to a pretty amazing place for them, official opposition status. This for a party who got snickered at not too long ago.
Then, after the election, he made an announcement saying he had to step aside and focus on fighting cancer. I remember listening to his speech and thinking he did not sound like himself at all. I hoped he would make it, but a small part of me was afraid it was all over, even though that’s not what I wanted to think. And goddamn it, that small part of me was proven right.
Even though we have lost him, we can hope that his party will remember his spirit and it will inspire them to keep up the momentum. Hopefully this letter he wrote a couple of days before his death might help. I can’t imagine writing something like that. But he did.
I remember when I met him with a few friends in a random restaurant years ago. Although it was just a conversation about whether or not we had a good meal, and I was reduced to sounding like Porky Pig when he introduced himself, I do think that it was pretty cool that the leader of a party would walk up to a bunch of folks and just start talking to them. I know they do that when campaigning, but this was just some random night at a random restaurant.
If anyone in Guelph wants to send condolences to Jack Layton’s family, Our MP, Frank Valeriote, has a book of condolences at his office located at 40 Cork Street East that you can sign.
Rest in peace, Jack. What a shame that cancer had to go and do what it does best, bring lives to an end way too soon.