Jack Layton, the leader of the opposition party - the NDP - in our country, announced yesterday, that he has to step down for a period of time to fight a new cancer. He has beaten prostate cancer in the last couple of years but now is sick again. This morning, just now, I watched him address the public and make his announcement. He is gaunt, frail and his voice - his usual booming confident and cheerful voice is reedy and thin. To those of us who have been so optimistic to have this man and this party take the opposition in the last election, this is devastating news. He says he'll be back in September, when the house resumes sitting and I hope he is right. We need him as our positive junk-yard dog, battling the bland force of mindlessness that is Stephen Harper. It is bad enough that his beige-ness got a majority in the last election but please don't let there be nobody to fight for common decency, social justice and our ailing health-care system!
I'm simply gob-smacked and needed to share this with you, my dear readers.
What makes a hero? To me it isn't the image of a brawny fellow on a horse leading the charge - it is now a thin, tired and sick man who still implores us to be the party of optimism, hope and love.