As of 10am this morning, polls were open for the Municipal Elections in the beautiful city I currently call home: Toronto, Ontario. After 8pm this evening, Toronto will have a new Mayor, and bid adieu to David Miller, who has helped govern Toronto (in what I feel has been a positive manner) for two terms.
I feel that everyone 18+ should exercise their right to vote, and put their support behind a campaign that really means something to them - I don’t regularly disclose my political stance, because while I love a good debate, I hate the fights that political discussions usually result in…
I won’t tell you who to vote for, I just implore that you DO NOT vote for Rob Ford. Throughout the Mayoral Race, Ford has made racist and homophobic remarks, has failed to provide support for Torontonians through a well thought-out fiscal plan (which includes a MAJOR funding gap for a much-needed revised transportation plan), and continues to show no signs of discretion (or sobriety?) throughout his public behaviour while campaigning.
The outcome of this vote will play a major role in how our city continues to develop over the coming years - I’m voting for someone that has demonstrated fiscal responsibility, an understanding for the city services we need, supports a more effective transportation plan, and has positive ideals for a greener Toronto. If you believe in the standards of a strong community, than employ your right and responsibility of being a Torontonian and vote! Vote for someone who has a constructive, encouraging vision of the steps we have to take over the next few years to make Toronto a better place!
Without trying to sound too morbid, I’ve had a lot of time to think about death, as of late, and it’s making me feel both claustrophobic, and lost in the endless expanse of space. Please bear with me as I confusedly go through the motions of the concept of life and death, and try to make sense of it for myself…
If you knew you were going to live to be 99, how would you spend your time? Would you go through your days with ease, and patience, waiting to experience things as they come to you, knowing that you’d have hundreds more days ahead of you? Would you dive into everything with a reckless abandon, knowing that you have a number of years left, and trying to fill your time with as many experiences as possible? What have you done of significance to date, and what do you still want to do?
Grandma Rose, who is actually my Great-Grandma, celebrated her 99th birthday this year – a feat I doubt many of us will ever come close to. She has spunk and gumption, and she’s not afraid to get a little bossy. Her confident attitude is something all of the women in my family seem to possess (I must emphasise the word attitude), and when it comes down to it, she’s “The Queen Mum” in our eyes. To everyone, she’s “Grandma Rose” – to her kids, her grandkids, her great grandkids - and we’re all in awe of the sparkle in this woman’s cheeky blue eyes.
Late last week, her doctors and caregivers were speculating that she had a week to live.
How do you measure the significance of a week, after having over 5,000 weeks in your lifetime?
While everyone acts out their days as normally as possible, we’re all bracing ourselves in different ways; We’re all putting on happy faces and continuing in our daily routines. Dad goes to work, Mum cooks up a storm, I Skype with friends from home, and we all act like everything is normal, until everyone comes together as a family and we start talking about the foreseeable future. As easy as it is to say you’re prepared for the inevitable after being warned for upcoming disaster, how can you truly ready yourself against such a substantial emotional blow?
This is the point where everything in my mind seems to contradict each other – I want to celebrate the life of an amazing woman, who has 99 years of memories, stories, relationships, hardships, and experiences to take with her as she moves on. 99 years is something to celebrate and honour, but in selfishness, I’m emotionally moved to sadness. I hate that my family is losing someone so precious, I hate that this is the third death the Longo Family has to contend with in the past month, and I’m frustrated that there is nothing I can do to stop the pain of loss in my loved ones’ hearts.
Now, thoughts become confining and confused and lost – what can I do as a person to make life better? What have I done that is notable, or made a difference in anyone else’s life? I act out my days as a drone, falling into the same repetitive patterns and routines… the concept of time is lost on me, because I have no idea how much of it I’ll actually be blessed with.
At what point have we stopped viewing life as a blessing, and started treating the idea of waking up each morning as a dreaded chore or responsibility?
99 years is a long time.
99 years is 1,188 months or 5,148 weeks or 36,135 days.
I did nothing remarkable today. Did you?
If you knew you were going to live to be 99, what would you do to make each day count?
I want to make tomorrow different; I want to make tomorrow count.
And I’m crazy, but you like it (loca, loca, loca)
You like that it ain’t easy (loca, loca, loca)