Magazine article Anglican Journal

Choosing Life

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Choosing Life

Article excerpt

I was only half awake as I settled into the back of the cab, but there was no mistaking the cigarette smoke. Fair enough, I thought to myself. I kept you waiting.

It was my weekly taxi ride to the VIA Rail station, to catch the train from Belleville to Toronto. The driver had the radio tuned to the local station, CJBQ. I remembered that my father had always called it CJB-Queer, long before I knew that "queer" had other connotations. All I knew was those hurtin' tunes drove me bananas, too.

The 6 a.m. newscast jolted me out of my reverie. Some poor soul had jumped off the bridge into the Bay of Quince. That must have been a drop of at least 150 feet, I thought to myself. The newsreader continued: Whether or not this individual survived is not known at this time.

I immediately thought of Sarah.

For four years, Sarah had the office next to mine at the publishing company where we both worked. We were both moms of young children and each of us was editing a national magazine.

I often found a note on my desk whenever the latest issue of my magazine arrived from the printer. There was only one person who ever gave me that kind of feedback: in writing--in calligraphy no less--on classic stationery, thick and off-white. Knowing Sarah, the jet-black script had probably flowed from a Mont Blanc.

I read your spring Issue front cover to cover last night, her note read. It was wonderful. The article on travelling with small children will make such a difference to our family vacation this summer. Thank you so much, Kristin!

Mercifully, the culture at work was child-friendly and on occasion, when a pediatrician's appointment was part of the day's to-do list, Sarah or I would bring a child into the office. One day, to lend Sarah a hand while she met with visitors, I held her eight-month-old son on my lap as I proofread. I remember the smell of his sweet little head as it bobbed back and forth between roe and the pages laid out on my desk. Knowing how Sarah doted on her children, I felt flattered to be entrusted with his care, however briefly.

We both moved on to other jobs and as these things often go, contact between us became sporadic. …

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