This email includes a story about home.
PLUS you can book tickets to my new show: The Year of The Suddenly in May.
I heard a story that has stuck with me. Last week, in Guanajuato Mexico 7 of us went out for a meal – 5 countries were represented at the table. ( Canada, U.S A, Chile, Mexico, Peru. )
What a great conversation. A prof, a lawyer, a minister, a world class musician, a philanthropic woman, plus Rosemarie a Physician’s Assistant- born in Chile .
The physician’s assistant was called Rosemarie and she told me about how in the 80’s she was in university. She was at the top of her class and won awards nationally for her high grades. So talented she was, she had been accepted to med school. Feeling pressured to perform and so anxious to not fail, her Mom suggested they go to Portland Oregon for a family vacation. But while there President Pinochet closed the borders to Chile and she and her family could not return home again for years to come. Just like that her life changed on a dime. She said she raged at life and her Mom.
It was a grief that took her years to reconcile.
Eventually she accepted her fate.
She says told me: ” I am far more humble, now. I was very arrogant in my 20’s. I thought I knew all there was to learn about life. But when life changes on a dime like that you start to understand at a fundamental level that there is a lot you can’t control. The only thing you can control is how you let the uncontrollable define you. I wouldn’t have said it then, but that change, was what shaped me. Gave me more compassion for others who have uncontrollable things happen to them.”
How often I have flippantly spoken platitudes about God closing doors; but for many, doors are slammed shut never to be opened again.
This happens to people around the world every day.
They have to start again. Not just a new job, but a new country and a new language and a new culture.
Rosemarie eventually became a physician’s assistant. She had her children who are grown now, and then met her current husband from Peru. Alfredo is a beautiful man and world class flamenco guitarist. ( Alfredo Muro) He had left Peru, voluntarily and was drawn to Portland Oregon. They met in the 90’s and eventually decided they needed more Spanish culture to feel like home. That is why they settled in Mexico.
Often it is easy to dismiss people in our communities because they behave differently than we think they should. We may think they should learn the language, adopt our ways and on top of that be grateful. But to have your home taken away from you is not just huge, its a basic human tenet.
But on the plane back to Toronto, I pondered how I would act if suddenly I could not go back to Canada.
Yes I would adapt. But first I would rage, then I would grieve.
And I would hope I would be met with the love and compassion Rosemarie was met with.
“It was hard but there were beautiful neighbours we had in our community that helped us adapt. Honoured our pain and included us at their dinner table.”
What kind of neighbour will we be?
Something to ponder, don’t you think?
Yes, life is full of Suddenlies: We can be in place one minute and then in the blink of an eye life changes!
That is why my show is called The Year of The Suddenly.
Its a 75 minute show about how a suddenly happens and life changes underneath our feet.
Its being described by critics, ” as laugh out loud funny, brave and raw.”
This premiere of this show opens May 27-28th in Toronto at the John Candy Theatre. Its a “about healing with your siblings and how to never wear a hairnet” Please book early as its a small venue! (BUY HERE)