Last time I heard his voice, we were saying goodbye. “You are my hero,” I said. “HERO? What did I ever do,” he laughed.
“What didn’t you do?” I asked. I meant it. Beyond living life to the fullest, he always did everything he could for me – most of all, insisting that I never fail to believe in myself and my capacity to succeed as a writer, even if the struggle would be a long and impoverished one.
“Zo… this is so boring,” he said. I laughed. Even at the end, he was funny.
But it was true – being unable to get on stage, read the news or even watch films was excrutiating. Mental inactivity was intolerable. He was ready to go.
But my grandfather Don had had a good run. And what I admired the most was how passionately interested he was in absolutely everything the world had to offer. One of the truest polymaths I’ve ever met.
This week, I heard his voice again when I discovered that the CBC has an archive of his radio show Morningside online – featuring episodes mostly from 1982, the year of my birth, which is pretty cool. It’s not every day you well up with tears in the office when once again you hear the most comforting voice you’ve ever known.
Here’s a gem, him interviewing bananas children’s author Robert Munsch, who was one of my favourites as a kid (I think most Canadians would agree with me on that one).
Beautiful. These will keep me in memories – and with gratitude in my heart for having been so lucky to have known him – for a while. Thank you CBC, not bad.