Yearly Archives: 2017

2017 September

Facing death and seeing the heroic nature of life

2017-09-29T11:19:10+00:00 September 23rd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

I don’t believe in war. In name and in family heritage, I’m Mennonite. In spirit, I’m pacifist. But children, it seems to me, should have a working knowledge of war. Because in war there’s not only darkness and fear, there’s light and courage. There’s humanity. There’s humility.

2017 September

End of summer, back to school, time for JFKs

2017-09-04T22:28:06+00:00 September 2nd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

So, my children, like children everywhere, are about to return to school. This brings some uncertainties. It’s my children’s first-ever September back-to-school in Canada. More so, I’ll need to work at having more JFKs again. Before I explain what a JFK is, let me say that in

2017 August

Don’t tell the kids, but we bought a new house

2017-08-30T15:51:53+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |16 Comments

So, the children’s mother and I bought a house. “Let’s not tell the children,” she said. “Okay,” I replied. So we didn’t. Now before I share why, let me say that we all have a relationship with our houses, and in my family I’m the one with a sort of longsuffering in this union. This is the story.

2017 July

There’s bound to be some blood along the way

2017-07-24T23:03:41+00:00 July 24th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

Today we’re going to talk about the boy. Child #2. My son. You may have a boy also. And if he hasn’t yet put his head inside the open mouth of an alligator, then, well, congratulations. My boy announced recently that he’s going to jump from a plane.

2017 June

Wherever we are, we all need grace in our lives

2017-07-24T23:05:32+00:00 June 30th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

I’m a white Canadian. But I easily imagine myself as a dark Arabian. A Muslim. There, on the streets with a kufiya on my head. Or there, I’m a Muslim woman with a beautiful, but hidden, face, walking along the beach. I’m just telling you. I mean, what if I was born in, say, Yemen.

2017 June

For Gloria, the fatherless girl we left behind

2017-07-24T21:55:24+00:00 June 17th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

She's the Ugandan girl who we left behind in a part of the world where, this weekend, there is no Father's Day. And even if there was, this girl, our friend, has no father to honour on it. So while it's only suitable that so many fathers and children be given one day a year to consider how ...

2017 June

Many Ontario doctors caught in euthanasia dilemma

2017-09-29T11:21:44+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

He’s a friend. A doctor. His name is Stuart. I stood at the front door of his home, my son beside me. Stuart is the keeper of the children’s bicycles while we’re abroad. We swung by to make arrangements to get them. That’s all it was, an ordinary May evening. But the world was somehow different. Its axis had shifted. At least for Stuart. He’d just returned from Queen’s Park, he informed me, with other doctors lobbying for a

2017 May

Saving mothers, one modest step at a time

2017-07-24T22:00:36+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

In sub-Saharan Africa they call childbirth “war.” If you’re a woman about to deliver a child in that part of the world, this is your fate. Imagine it. You’re young. (Younger than most Canadians can imagine.) You're poor. You're alone.