Courage; and Grace, Too

Canada is in shock.

Gord Downie, lead singer and songwriter of legendary Canadian band The Tragically Hip, has been diagnosed with a glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour that is incurable.

Gord Downie has terminal cancer.

Canada is heartbroken. 

The Tragically Hip is from Kingston, Ontario, about twenty minutes from where I grew up. This band has been a fact of my life since 1987. They've been the background music of my life since I was twelve years old.

There are so many memories of their music during my school years that it's difficult to choose one from during that time. The memory I want to talk about actually is almost exactly twenty years old - May of 1996.

I was in Ottawa with my husband for the annual tulip festival. We were waiting in line at a BeaverTails stand, staffed by 8-or-so university-age students. The radio was playing (loudly) in the stand. And this song came on:

And the crowd. Went. Wild.

By the crowd, I mean the crowd of students in the BeaverTails stand, who lost their damn minds. I was a little too "mature" to mirror their reaction, but in my head I was singing and dancing along with them.

That's my favourite Hip memory.


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