I don’t care what colours your preferred political party are—Jack Layton was a great Canadian leader. He was, and continues to be, an inspirational force. Canadian pride is limitless. It forms lumps in even the most temperate of Canadian throats. Jack Layton knew this. He felt this.
In the days before his death, he penned a letter to his beloved compatriots, showing his grit for life and his passion for his country.
For those of us that live in the shadow of cancer daily, every death from a cancer recurrence is a direct attack against our own survival odds. Jack’s humble and selfless personalization and reflection to this fear in his letter moved me to tears. He has known my fear.
“Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue. To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.”
In his closing, Jack shared a truth. A truth that underlines the basis of his personal victories—and can no longer be considered political agenda hoopla.
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. All my very best, Jack Layton”
Good night smilin’ Jack. Sweet dreams.