April 2, 2013

Saw the television movie, Jack, last night. Wow. I was in tears for half the movie. The loss of Jack Layton kept on blurring my eyes with sadness and a serene sense of joy. He gave so much to so many.

His relationship with Olivia Chow, how she so quickly accepted him being divorced and with his two children, how her one condition to getting involved with him was her mother – that she lived with her and would not leave her alone was truly inspirational. How they both faced and triumphed over health problems, or more specifically, breast and prostate cancer, defined a special spirit of hope and determination in action. How Jack learned to speak Cantonese also showed incredible respect for his wife and her family. It was like watching a documentary about modern day Canada.

Jack’s ability to contradict his political opponents’ political perspectives without offending them also came through loud and clear. His wit and humour extended a warm hand to everyone.

His singing and guitar playing lifted me off the couch, but not because he was a great singer, but because of the energy of his talent and optimism being expressed through music. You couldn’t help but feel better or get enthusiastic about the songs.

Jack’s unflinching support for the homeless, AIDS victims, middle and lower income families further established his legacy as a leader that never gave up on democratic principles.

Jack’s tragic ending was portrayed with sensitivity as he remained faithful to his beliefs until the final moment.

I saw Olivia Chow on CBC earlier in the day. She thought the film accurately depicted her and Jack’s life. This provided great comfort that the story really happened the way it was told.

The movie, Jack, made me proud to be a Canadian. Thank you Jack and thank you Canada.

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