We’re in the van on a long drive and we’re talking about being loved and just what on earth this means.
Liz is only 11, but she’s there, she can talk about it and engage and we get on the topic of Mom, who we both love and who is also, if you didn’t know, very smart.
It comes up especially because of The Ungame. “If you could describe your Mom in three words” – this was The Ungame question of the moment for Liz – “what would you say?”
“Kind. Loving. Smart,” Liz says.
“And Dad in three words?”
“Fun, funny, and sssss…”
I thought Liz would say smart for me too. “Supportive,” is what she finally came out with.
I looked over to her. “Ah, like a good pair of underwear!” I said.
Shortly later, on the road again, now in The Question Book, a sort of cousin to The Ungame, a similar question came. It was, “Would you like your spouse to be both smarter and more attractive than you?”
Before My Bride and I met, I had, in fact, prayed for a future wife who would be a sort of “GOALIE” for me – an acronym for a little something in my mind, a woman who was … “Godly, Outgoing, Attractive, a Lover of Life, Intelligent, and Equally attracted to me as I was to her.”
I share it with Liz. Yes, at the right time and by divine grace, I got my GOALIE. And when it happened, I could barely believe my good fortune. It was like a remarkable dream that just went on night and day after night.
Even so, My Bride is much smarter and better looking than I will ever be. She is many other things also. I know that you know this, because I have written about such here (and here and here and here and here and here and here also.)
And this is why I am now writing again because My Bride has just – today – been named a recipient of Canada’s highest public honour, the Order of Canada.
This, for her steadfast and worthy work to found and direct the charity, Save the Mothers, an organization we hope long outlives us both.
This is one of those life achievements that I, quite honestly, don’t know how to introduce. Others will do a far better job. It’s a dizzying award that shows that My Children’s Mother is recognized – loved, if you will, – widely across Canada.
But she is also loved deeply. And this is where Liz and I settled into our recent conversation during an extended Father-Daughter time.
We live in a time when people want so much and so desperately to be loved widely. Yes, little boy, little girl, what do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be known. I want to be famous. I want to be remembered. For some, even infamous might suffice.
But then we do grow up. And we find being loved a mile wide and an inch deep isn’t all we thought. And we want, a little late sometimes, something different, something more, something real and more lasting and meaningful.
This – do ask her to make sure – is what I believe My Bride has found.
She’s not just loved, or at least known, by many people. She’s loved by a few people – her two daughters, her son, her husband – for other reasons, for different reasons, for simply being Bride and Mother, for being herself.
There will much more news about this Order. It’s very fine news, among the finest that will ever come to our family. Yes, I suppose that My Bride has received enough orders from me over the years, it’s only fitting to receive one from the Governor General’s Office now.
(I suspected this was the case when the GG office phoned the house to ask me for My Bride’s whereabouts a few weeks ago. When I later asked her about it, Jean gave a typical unassuming response, something like, “Oh, yes, that.”
Which is all to say, that we could not be prouder of Mom for this remarkable honour, and we, in this family, also take the opportunity to express that other, that something else, that is our deep love for her.
If you want to wish Jean your own congratulatory note, please do so here.
If you want to watch an excellent brief video on Jean’s work, along with our family, watch here.