Happy Birthday Dear Canada

I know I’ve been M.I.A. I hope you remembered J. and I were taking a brief vacation, and did not think I had been infirm. The trip arrived just in time for me to walk off the babka that had somehow settled on my hips. (How the heck can fat stick to a moving object? Beats me.) J. and I had a lovely weekend away, relishing our air-conditioned suite, while our friends suffered through a terrible heat wave. We returned yesterday safe and sound. Since we’ve returned, J. is obsessed with buying an air conditioner.

I am pleased to report that anything that could have gone wrong on our brief foray didn’t. I was the picture of health. No bruising, no gout, not even any fevers. Five wonderfully unremarkable days. And this morning I started my new chemotherapy. I can’t tell you if it’s doing anything yet, although someone did ask me today. I feel just fine and I hope to stay that way, if not to start to feel better. I’ll get initial feedback from the doctor in two weeks or so.

More importantly, Happy Birthday Canada! Boy do I feel lucky to live here, the home of gun control and gay marriage. (Great news south of the border, by the way. I wonder if Ernie and Bert will finally tie the knot.) We are lucky to live with more safety and security than so many others in the world. And I am ever grateful for my access to food and clean water and a roof over my head.

Then there’s our public health care system. I was watching a show the other night (no, not another one on death) that highlighted the much higher cost of medications in the U.S. as compared to Canada. The show mentioned a similar chemotherapy to the one I receive for free from the Cancer Centre pharmacy. Yes, having cancer and not being able to work has caused us some financial strain, but not nearly the hardship it would if we lived without medical benefits south of the border.

Consider this: Last Friday, my young nephew- and niece-in-law had a beautiful baby boy. An ultrasound had revealed this tyke would be born with a teeny tiny hole in his heart. A few days later, the baby endured a 5-hour operation to close that hole. So far so good. We hope he will be discharged from hospital soon so he can go home and live happily ever after with his loving family. But I wonder, what if this young couple had to pay for the cost of a neonatal intensive care stay and medical intervention for the baby? People are bankrupted by such situations in the U.S.

So happy birthday Canada, and happy birth day little boy, and happy gay weddings to all you American Ernies and Berts who have fought for equal rights for so long. There is so much to celebrate these days.

Bert carrying Ernie, both in suits, having just got married



2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Dear Canada

  1. Well said Annie. I am very proud to be a Canadian and we live in a great country. We must never take this for granted.


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