Sunday, June 22, 2008

So Long Moxie George

“The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.”

When my Jedi called me last week with rumours that the Honourable George Smithermen was being shuffled, I shuddered. I love George Smitherman! He’s a “whirlwind get it done type of guy”. By Friday it was a done deal.

Serving 5 years, he was the longest-serving Ontario Minister of Health in the last quarter century. As a health care professional in this province I can tell you that George was the most productive and determined Minister of Health I have witnessed.

George came in furiously with a transformation agenda. To name a few, he fearlessly abolished District Health Councils; ushered in 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), introduced hospital accountability agreements, and downsized 43 Community Care Access Centers (CCACs) to 14. He was passionate about patients, reducing wait times and enhancing access to nurses and doctors. He had a vision and I bought into it hook, line and sinker. His transformation is far from over; he left too early. His mandate unrealized.

George Smitherman is the new Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. David Caplan is replacing him as Minister of Health. I will reserve judgement on that call. David has big shoes to fill. And I don’t mean his mother Elinor’s black patent pumps.

Good Luck Caplan; Good Night Smithermen and thanks for the ride.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some Bonds Last Forever

This blog will never be able to give my dad the justice that he is so deserving of. He was and is greatness. My dad is the person that I admired the most, loved the most and my forever best friend.

My father never wanted the grass to grow under his feet. He was life and everything therein.

He had a cardiac history from the age of 43; MI, CABG and the like. On that fateful day my mom called 911, by the time my dad reached the hospital unconscious, he was intubated, on triple inotropes and externally paced. He arrested 4 more times before my brothers arrived to bid farewell. He experienced all the things he made me promise would never happen to him. I’m sorry dad.

I can tell you the exact moment of his last breath on November 14, 1992. He finally declared himself at 0151 hrs. Since that moment my life has experienced a sense of vacuity. I have never been or will ever be the same again without him.

I can tell you outright what he taught me:
· Love
· Truth
· Integrity
· Tolerance
· Acceptance
· Patience
· Kindness
· Justice
· Positive Attitude
· Humour

Many “Father’s Day’s” have passed since his left and frankly I resent people who still have their fathers and don’t stop to appreciate and love them.

I can’t hear his voice, his laugh or see his smile or frown anymore. Worse than that the memory of those are waning and that scares the HELL out of me. I can’t remember the details of his “Falling Rock” story and that was my favourite car trip story. The story was all about him and me.

I celebrate my dad today, every gift and all the love he ever gave me. I wish I could have just one more day with him so I could feel the brush of his lips on my forehead and recount the details of “Falling Rock and Golden Eagle”.

Happy Father’s Day Golden Eagle!

Love always and forever,
Falling Rock