Saturday, February 27, 2010

mothers and daughters

This week, there has been a lot of press concerning the human drama Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette is living. Her mother had just arrived in town over the weekend to watch her daughter compete and died suddenly just days before Joannie was to take to the ice. With the support of her team and coaches Joannie chose to compete and skated to a bronze medal. But the announcers and colour commentators do not know when to stop. On and on and on about how brave this young woman is. We could all see what a struggle it was for her. The country held it's breath on Tuesday night as she skated the short program. Poised and graceful, she had a great performance and broke down as soon as it was over. Thursday night she returned to the ice and skated a near perfect long program and won a bronze medal. She was more composed and rejoiced in her accomplishment - watched by her Dad. She's become an inspiration to a generation of young figure skaters and she should. This is what heroines are made of.

And as hard as her coaches and team must have worked to shelter her during the competition, Joannie's toughest days are ahead and my heart goes out to her. So young, at 24, to lose your mother. I was 27 when I lost my mother and we had known for a while that my mother would eventually lose her battle with cancer. I had known from the day my father told me that my mum's cancer had spread to her bones, that the disease would kill her. I had a chance to get used to the idea (as far as you can get used to such an idea) and to say good-bye. So I don't know how it is to lose your mother suddenly. But I do know what it is like to dial the familiar number and to be reminded of your loss when your father answers the phone. Or to visit your parent's house again and have her not be there. And over the years, the moments in your life when you so wish you could just pick up the phone and hear that voice and feel that love one more time. So to Joannie Rochette, congratulations on your bronze medal - you did your country proud. And I hope all the love and support you felt this week from the crowds and your team mates will help you through the days that are to come. Bonne chance!

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