Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Lindsay hears it long before we do. She comes running out of the back office in full defensive mode, the hair standing up on the back of her neck, and rushes to the front window.

Linda and I exchange "what's got into the dog?" glances. And then I hear it too.

A very deep and distant "thup, thup" sound approaching rapidly from the East. Suddenly there is a vibration in the house and everything that's loose seems to be rattling.

Lindsay starts to bark ferociously.

And a large military helicopter sweeps quickly by over head destined for the distant towers of the downtown core where the G20 Summat preparations are in full swing. Defending the leaders of the world's most powerful nations on their two day visit to Toronto will cost tax payers over a Billion Dollars. More, even, than the recent Olympics held in Vancouver.

"Who's here?" asks Linda, noticing a car pulled into our driveway.

I've spent the last few days in a state of exhaustion punctuated by the return of a rattling cough that disturbs my sleep and irritates my days. The relief I'd been experiencing from the medications prescribed by the psychosocial oncologist, only mildly moderating the experience now exacerbated by the side effects of chemo.

My chair is closest to the window. "Looks like Wally and Ruth," I tell her.

Wally climbs out of the car and watches the massive helicopter receding into the distance. Wally and Ruth are my daughter Kathy's in-laws.

Linda goes to the door to greet them and I can hear laughter in the distance. The two women are talking and I can clearly hear Linda saying, "Oh now look, you have me in tears!"

I become concerned.

But there is more talk and more laughter before their car pulls back out of the driveway and Linda returns carrying a small blue box. Her eyes are wet with tears and happiness.

"They brought us muffins," Linda tells me. "Ruth was thinking about us and baked us some muffins."

And I marvel at this woman beside me who has been holding back the very Forces of the Universe to care for me, profoundly moved by a simple act of thoughtful kindness.

Wally and Ruth, two more good people in my debt.