Last month I got to take in a wonderful holiday concert put on by the Yarmouth chorale. I sat and listened to the singing I watching Jill’s foot-tapping and her appreciating the music, as tears silently rolled down my face.

I couldn’t stop thinking that this was something that she would have gotten involved with - had the stroke not happened.

“Stupid eye ducts, you’ve betrayed me again,” I thought to myself as I silently dabbed my eyes, hoping mum wouldn’t notice.

Jill never really loved Christmas, the commercialism of it all, but she did love to sing. Handel’s Messiah is her absolute favourite holiday piece of music. We have seen it performed in many different places, her and I. I think one of the best ones was a Taffel music singalong in Toronto.

I remember that night clearly as this was the night I noticed the Cancer growing on Jill's neck. She was making me supper and all dressed up for the show. She bent her head over the stove and i saw a large lump on the back of her neck. It was about the size of a grape, but hard. I said, “That doesn’t look good” and encouraged her to go to the doctor.

As some of you know, Jill can be stubborn, so it wasn’t until a couple of months later, when more lumps appeared, that she went to the doctor.

Stage 4

But during treatments, Jill’s tenacity served her well. It’s serving her well now too. I just wish with all of my being that it didn’t have to. She’s had enough “life experience”, my only wish for Christmas is for my mum to have her voice back.


I wish.

I pray.