The Thing About My Family

I’m spending today moving at light speed, getting ready, together with the rest of my family to host an "unemployment party" for my Mum tomorrow.
(We have been summarily banned from calling it a "retirement party", which makes total sense if you know her.)

Among my tasks for tomorrow is to write a speech about her, and I just want to say publicly that I frankly cannot believe that I have been blessed with the incredible good fortune of the difficulty of it.  My problem is not that I can’t think of what to say, it’s that I can’t think of what NOT to say. She’s amazing. 

You know what else is amazing? Our family.   See this picture?

It’s my sister Erin, my daughters Amanda and Megan and our dearest friend Ken.  They are (drumroll please) your "Team Knit"(they all know how to knit, the whole lot of them)  for this year’s Friends for Life Bike Rally.  Ken and Megan have done it before (and you’ve all really generously supported them) and this year, our family’s dedication to the People With AIDS Foundation is doubled. 

On the 24th of July (when sadly, I’ll be doing that little Sock Summit thing. I’ll have no excuse next summer) these four people that I love will get on their bikes, and begin a six day epic ride to Montreal from Toronto.  It’s not easy.  Megan and Ken will ride a tandem again, and my sister (who is, as she works the training program, beginning to wonder if she’s a little old for this) and Amanda will ride solo.

As we get ready for the party for my Mum tomorrow, and ponder all that she’s made and done in her life, it occurred to us that this is something that she should be particularly proud of.  That her work ethic, dedication, commitment and miraculous spirit has generated this legacy – daughters, grand-daughters and friends who all care deeply about the fairness and kindness of the world around them. I promise that it was her who taught it to them – and if there is any goodness in me, that’s where it comes from too.

We’ll be passing the hat tomorrow for our riders, in honour of my mum, who really wouldn’t want any other present as she ends one half century of employment.   If any of you are so moved to pledge to them, the donation pages for our family’s riders are here.


A thousand thanks in advance, and know that we’ll be dancing up a grateful  storm tomorrow night.