Wednesday, 5 December 2007

An ode to Michael - who loves both wisely and well

light snow, sun trying to get through, high minus 4

Finally home. To Michael. Though I have to say I'm not sure he missed me quite as much as he should. Will have to remind him how adorable I am. But, I do know he had a great time with Puni and Tutu and their children. He sounded absolutely buoyant! But now I'm home and the party's over. Ha.

I read his blogs, dear man, and was astonished by how lovely they were, but also by how humble he is. He really is an amazing man. Former head of Hematology at the Montreal Children's, he spent a lifetime trying to help children with cancer, both at their bedside and in his lab. He's one of the world's leading scientists in the field of childhood leukemia, so much so he was awarded Canada's first named chair in Pediatric Hematology. He just finished co-authoring a chapter for a medical text and last year wrote a definitive work for the British Journal of Hematology - by invitation. He also plays the piano beautifully - with great gusto and joy - paints and has had his works accepted in juried show - and acts as an example to anyone who knows him that kindness and caring trump cynicism. He saw and experienced terrible things in his life, and is the happiest, most joyous man I know. What a great privilege it is to be married to a man I not only love, but respect and admire.

As many of you know, Michael is the inspiration for Gamache - who knows that evil exists. Has witnessed and experienced cruelty - but has the courage to choose kindness. So many people who might know better mistake kindness for weakness. But, as Auden wrote of Yeats - `Mad Ireland hurt him into poetry.` My theory is we often have to be hurt into compassion and kindness. I know I did - and I know Michael did too. He could have gone into bitterness - turned on others, become judgemental and petty. We`ve all known those people. But instead he became hugely compassionate.

It`s hard to have a bad day around Michael - though I do sometimes try and succeed. But it never lasts long.

Now we`re off to Cowansville and breakfast at the Station restaurant. Yum. Then picking up construction supplies for Gary, who seems to have moved right in. Is there really such a thing as a bull nose, or is he setting us up again. Can`t you see the scene now at the construction supply place.

`Excuse me, Monsieur, but do you have a bull nose`.

Then it`s off to the medical clinic in Knowlton.

Speak to you all tomorrow - and I hope you`re well!

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