It's not every day that someone can write their own obituary, but I am able. Other than the usual statistics, I've been blessed with a varied, wonderful life and family. I have friends from around the world and experiences that a second generation immigrant could have only in Canada. Through the effort and sacrifice of my parents, I was able to go to university, after which I joined the foreign service, and traveled the world. We planned on retirement on the west coast, hiking and sailing and fixing up the house -- never having planned on this turn of events. No one ever plans for everything, and while this has been a shock (to say the least) it has in many ways been a blessing.

At the beginning, I thought it would be a long period of dying, but instead found that it was a time to live. During this difficult illness, I have re-established long lost friendships and have been able to use this time to be with my family, and even joke. I want to thank all of you for being part of that. It's been a joy to hear from people I haven't heard from in years, though I felt that they are still a part of me. It was always my fault that we never kept in touch, but I can honestly say that I always held all of you close to me and just assumed that no communication made no difference in the fact that we still connected.

I want to make sure to thank everyone at Cambridge, not just for all the food and goodies and notes, but for making me feel like I was still part of the team. You'll never know how cherished and appreciated I felt through this time. It may have been only a bowl of soup to you, but it meant that I was really seen as a colleague and that was more important to me than anything else. To everyone in Buffalo, hoist a few at Harry's for me, or have a hot hamburger at Chilli's, but please celebrate and remember in a way that is meaningful and special to you.

I am forever grateful for everyone's kind thoughts. I cherished each letter and email that I received. I would like all of you to find a day to go out and celebrate life. I would love for everyone to send in to David some special memories. Please let them be funny and honest. No paeans that I wouldn't recognize as me.

I also want to thank all the nurses and doctors at the Elisabeth-Bruyere palliative care center. You made my stay with you as pleasant as possible.

To everyone, remember that life is to celebrate. It's your choice. That's my last bit of advice.

Ever the teacher,


the rules