Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Robert Weaver Remembered

Robert Weaver nourished and championed many outstanding Canadian writers through his work with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He also published anthologies and was responsible for the creation of the CBC literary awards. Because of Robert Weaver, the CBC was the first venue for the work of many fine Canadian writers back when the CBC believed that presenting the best work of Canadian writers would be appreciated by listeners throughout Canada. It was.

Thank you Mr. Weaver. May you romp in the Elysian fields forever.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Weather: External and Internal

We were only supposed to get a little snow today, but Mother Nature was not listening to the weather forecast on our local CTV channel. Instead, she decided to send a January-like amount of the white stuff and blow it in every direction.

The weather suits my mood as I feel like I'm being blown about too. My Toronto visit was exhausting and most likely I'll have to pay a return visit to my sick friend very soon since I am his only close friend and he has no immediate family. When I was working, I met quite a few reclusive seniors who had little or no contact with their families and I was able empathize with them and still be professional. It's much harder when the reclusive older person is someone I know very well. He is confused and frail now and may never be able to return to his home. Of course, he is only one of many older people who are in the same dreadful predicament. His situation reminds me to be grateful for having a loving family and cherished friends, and I am.

Speaking of cherished friends, my friend Lori Hahnel has had more success. One of her short stories, Leading Men (published in Prairie Fire) has been nominated for the Journey Prize, and another of her stories has been accepted by Room of One's Own. Said story was rejected many many times before ROM chose to accept it. Lori is on a streak, and long may it continue.

Now, if I could stop thinking about my sick friend, maybe I could rewrite something.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ten Degrees of Separation - One Thousand International Units of Frustration

Over the last few days, I've had the distinct impression that I am either a non-person, or a person who may commit a crime at any moment. I'm pretty sure I'm a person and I haven't committed any crimes, or at least none that I can recall. But at first people were distinctly unhelpful.

It all started when I became concerned because I couldn't contact a dear old friend. I tried and tried, since we had agreed I would visit him last Wednesday, but I couldn't get an answer. So, I went to Toronto and discovered that he had fallen and had been taken to hospital. I visited him there. I know that am his one and only contact and that he had given my name to his doctor and others (including the CCAC), I tried to get information on his status. I pestered the nurses and the hospital social worker for his unit. No one would tell me anything. Privacy laws protected him and that's fine, but I knew my name was down on the list somewhere, only no one would bother to look. I was in Toronto for two days and then had to return home and try connecting with the people in charge via long distance calls. Yes, now I am ranting, sorry about that.

After a lot of calls to Toronto, including several to the CCAC whose whole computer system was down for hours, I was finally able to confirm that I was listed as the 'consent' person. That allowed me to pry a little information from the nurse responsible for my friend's care. She tells me he is making some progress toward recovery and he wants to know where his shoes are. I can't help with that, and no one seems to know where his personal things have gone.

I guess more long distance calls will be in my future, and I know I'll be making sure my daughter is still aware of where to find my Will and my Power of Attorney. My friend has not made a Will or chosen a substitute decision maker and should he not recover his wits, there will be a huge mess. So, if anyone reading this has postponed making a Will, or enabling someone to act for you, should you not be able to make decisions, then - DO IT NOW