Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Voting day

Albertans of all shapes and sizes lined up at their local school, rec centre or church to cast their ballot for who they think should be representing them for the next 4 years. It is always an exciting time for me... taking part in the democratic process, and I found myself skipping gleefully to the poles with the herds yesterday.

It so happens that yesterday was an historic election for Calgary with a virtually unknown climbing to the top of the polls to steal the coveted Mayor position from an experienced front runner. This election was a different one from the get go, with over 14 people vying for the spot of Mayor, it was a race from the beginning. Then, a news anchor quits her job to join the race for Mayor... suddenly there is more press on this race and the front runner, the experienced Alderman, has some serious competition. Not only is this news anchor very popular, they also happen to be a "she" and that seems to make the run for Mayor more about "is Calgary ready for a lady Mayor". In the end, a business professor came from behind to nab the job with a whopping 39% of the vote! The theory behind why this virtual nobody has become "his worship elect" overnight? He appealed to the masses... he reached out to the use by means of social media... he tweeted and had a facebook page, he went technical and in the end that resulted in him becoming viral. This seems to be the trend, just look at what Obama did.

The youth of today want politicians to sell themselves, to promise that they will be heard and that their opinion does matter. This isn't really new though, I mean remember when J.F.K was elected? (well, I don't I was too young, but I've read about it). He got the youth vote because he was young and inspiring and charismatic. That is what the youth want in any generation really... to feel that they matter. Our new Mayor elect has done this, he has inspired the youth to step to the polls and make a change. Now, all we have to do is wait for the change to happen. The misconception of most voters is about to occur... when our Mayor elect becomes His Worship, they will want to see ACTION... what they will end up seeing is the waiting game. Making change happen as a politician isn't as easy as they say it is when at the forums before the election, making change happen is about learning to play the game, learning how to deal with the bureaucracy and learning to make the right choices at the right time. Instead of action for the first little while, we will see our new Mayor learning... and that's ok... we will be patient, we will watch on baited breath, we will see change... eventually.

Congrats go out to all the elected members of the AUMA - go out and make the difference that you promised the people who elected you. Do your best, be honest and don't back down from a challenge - if you follow that advice, you should be fine! :o)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye is never easy, whether it is when you are leaving home for the first time, leaving new found friends in a foreign land, or leaving for a new adventure not knowing when you will see the other party again. Nothing, no amount of goodbyes that I have endured in my life could prepare me for the goodbye I have to say and witness tomorrow. Saying goodbye to a friend is hard, but saying goodbye forever is so difficult and witnessing that from a son to a father is impossible.

Robinson James "Jimmy" Orr was Derek's dad for 37.5 years. He passed away on the 28th of September after a month long struggle with pneumonia. We were lucky enough to be able to visit him for 10 days just before he passed away, and those memories will be treasured forever.

Jimmy was a kind, strong, witty, very intelligent, passionate man who raised my husband into who he now is. My husband is a strong, witty, very intelligent, passionate and kind man as well, and I was able to witness where he got these attributes from. I was able to see where Derek got some of his quirks and sayings, facial expressions and passion for learning, history and travel. He learnt a lot from his father, not only in what was passed down from him but also in what he observed.

We posted a notice on a website of pensioners where Jimmy used to work and we were flooded with kind words, warm thoughts and memories that brought smiles to our faces. He was known as a professional, kind man who went out of his way to help those in need. He was also known for his whit and his way with the ladies - he was very suave and gallant; a true gentleman. Throughout the people that knew him once he retired, they knew him as the gentleman and kind hearted man but they also knew him as a poet. He wrote some lovely poetry, some he gave to me, and I will treasure it and it will always bring a smile on my face.

Some people grace your lives for such a small amount of time but leave a giant impact. I did not know Jimmy for long, but will forever be grateful for his contribution to my life... his son, my husband. Without him, Derek would not be who his is and my life would not be nearly as wonderful.

So, tomorrow, with a saddened heart and I am sure tear filled eyes, we will say goodbye forever to Jimmy. I will thank him with my whole heart tomorrow for what he has given me, and I will feel happy that I have gotten to know him even just a little bit - enough to see the kindness and humour that was within him.