Here’s to Jack


The coffee is good this morning.

I didn’t sleep half the night again, thanks to the itchy, gyrating puglet who needed to go out at 2 a.m. I felt really stupid standing out there in my pajamas watching the drinkers make their way home, but a full pug bladder is something to be respected.

Busy day today. A full house cleaning is in order, as we’re expecting a crowd today to celebrate my friend Jennette’s 62nd birthday. Jennette deserves an old-fashioned feting; she’s had a terrible year. A year ago this week, she was spending her birthday holding vigil for her husband, Roger, who was in a coma at the Ottawa Hospital. Both of us were sure he wouldn’t make it, but he proved us wrong. Roger stared down death and came back to life, somehow, some way, so he will be at our house today, still very sick with diabetes and chronic pain. But it’s a true miracle that he walks among us.

In between making batches of appetizers and cleaning floors, I’ll take time this afternoon to watch the funeral of Jack Layton. A lot of people have been crabbing about how over-the-top the coverage has been. They’ve even coined the catchphrase “mourning sickness” to describe the phenomenon of grown ups wailing on the street for someone they never knew.

I’m all for it. The more melodramatic, the better.

The CN Tower all lit up orange? Cool.

That must have made Rob Ford soil his undies.

People are entitled to their grief. They need and deserve to wallow in it — especially all the socialists who Jack delivered to the promised land, like a modern-day Moses complete with his own wise words written on House of Commons stationery instead of stone tablets.

I can’t help but admire the guy. He was true to his school, right to the end.

He probably should have thought through that whole Broadbent Institute groaner, though. He should just have asked people to donate to cancer instead of an institute that hasn’t even been set-up yet. Apparently, $130,000 was donated and much of it will be given back.

Oops, sorry, our bad.

But that will be an issue for another day. Today, it’s Jack’s day. A day to remember somebody who gave a shit.

It’s a good opportunity for the rest of us to ask ourselves: what have we done to make the world better?

So here’s to Jack.

A man who left the world a little better, a man who brought color to the House of Commons.

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