June 25, 2001
Great night’s sleep. Woke at 6:00 am. Breakfast. Said “goodbye” to M. and R. and thanked them for a really great time. Went out on the main highway and almost got hit by another car. They honked at me which I accepted because I didn’t see them because I wasn’t looking. Note to self- BE CAREFUL. PAY ATTENTION!!!!!
Headed north of Ottawa to The Gatineau Region, the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains, to visit another Canadian friend, M.H.
After I became divorced I threw myself into life. That whole thing about getting back on the horse and keeping busy, the American cure for everything. I joined a local Toastmasters’ club which was an organization that had nothing to do with toasting but with public speaking in general. Because our local chapter was so close to the border, we were part of the larger Toastmasters’ regional organization in Canada. As a result, I went to competitions in Cornwall, Ontario; St. Hyacinthe, Quebec; and Montreal. The big convention was in Ottawa. There were informative workshops all day, and then the banquet and dancing. It’s where I learned the chicken dance. Canadians, especially Quebecers, know how to party.
I met M.H. who a regional director when she asked me to sign a petition to protect the wolves in Canada. Since I am an outdoors person, we struck up a conversation about common interests. She told me she had once worked in communications for Lester Pearson who was prime minister of Canada from 1963 -1968. I saw her from time to time at TM events and at our local chapter. She invited me to visit her.
I found her blue house among the trees. I brought in my stuff and then we went to Wakefield where Lester Pearson was buried. I sensed she had been very fond of him. M.H. explained that in their youth, Lester Pearson and his two friends, made a pact to be buried next to each other. There they were, three graves, the prime minister, Hume Wrongs, Canadian Ambassador to The US, and Norman Robertson, Under Secretary of State for External Affairs. A fitting tribute to a lifelong friendship.
We went back to M.H.’s house for dinner on her porch. We talked about getting older and the problems that go along with it, loneliness and the inability to handle daily mundane tasks. M.H. is very involved, intelligent, and vital. She is running for her life like I do. But old age is frightening. I will deal with it when it comes. Not today.