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Posts from the ‘Family’ Category

Christmas traditions can be a double-edged sword

My earliest Christmas memory dates from when I was five, or perhaps six. I had graduated from the upstairs room I shared with my three sisters, downstairs to a daybed in the small den. So when I awoke to the dim light of a Vancouver dawn, I was alone. Read more


A really terrifying story, and I’m not talking about Ottawa

Two gripping news stories reached me via Facebook yesterday. Both involved violent, shocking deaths. And I had a personal, family connection to each one.

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Not the men they might have been

Just before Tarek Lubani and John Greyson returned to Canada from their 50 days of captivity in Egypt last October, the coverage of the incident reached a sensational peak in the Toronto media. Ezra Levant of the Toronto Sun red-baited the two Canadians as they lay captive in Cairo, calling them left-wing attention seekers, professional agitators – that is, blaming them for their own predicament. In the Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente went a step further, outing Greyson as a gay activist in her column.

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My French holiday top 10 list

I just returned from a four-week vacation in southern France. I know, I know – poor me, having to switch from cheap-as-dirt baguettes, pastries and wine (plus clear blue skies, dry air, and a 20 degree ocean), to falling leaves, near freezing nights, 7 pm darkness and public adoration of … the pumpkin? … in one short weekend. Oh well. Read more

There was a girl

THERE WAS a girl. Twenty-four years old. By all accounts, a luminous human being from the very beginning – the sort of girl whose sparks of brilliance and warmth of personality ignited everyone she met.

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When fathers come out of the closet

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER recently won an Oscar for his nuanced portrayal of Hal, an elderly gay father, in the movie Beginners. Hal’s son Oliver spends most of the film coming to grips with his dad’s late-age emergence from the closet after his mother’s death, including its reverberations on his own romantic life.

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We lost Sarah

WE LOST SARAH last Sunday. It was crushing. At one point, there were 13 of us in the Hamilton ICU waiting room, visiting Sarah briefly in pairs as she struggled for her life. We could stretch past the monitors, ventilator and over the IV lines to whisper in her ear, hold her hand, tell her we loved her – but nothing we could do, nor the best efforts of the doctors and nursing staff, could halt the downward spiral that began sometime after her first operation on Friday morning. By Sunday afternoon, she was gone.

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