It seems that I’m having another busy week. Last week was the two weddings and activities with the
in-out-laws, and this week has been a surprise visit by my brother.
My brother came into town late Tuesday night. He lives in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. Whenever he comes into Toronto it always seems to be a last minute thing and he rarely lets us know even a day ahead of time. We just get a call “I’m in town for some meetings (or a conference), wanna get together for dinner?”.
He’s a geologist who happens to be the president of a mining company based in British Columbia. He’s here this week trying to get some businesses to invest in the old mine that his company is re-opening.
I didn’t know he was in town until late Wednesday afternoon when he called. Naturally I wanted to get together with him. I rarely see him and he’s such a great guy. He came over to our house and we went to the Danforth for Greek food. Terry, my brother, was having trouble deciding what to eat because everything on the menu looked so good to him, so we ended up ordering several appetizers. Saganaki (Greek goat cheese – flamed), Dolmades (rice and meat rolled in grape leaves), Spinach Dip, and Kalamari. We had a very nice Merot from Chile to accompany our meal. All the food and drink were great. Our neighbor is a waiter at the restaurant and he ended up serving us. We happened to still be at the restaurant when our neighbors shift ended so we drove him home and he invited us in for some Ozo.
I haven’t been feeling very well this week at all. I think last weeks four days of wedding preparation, weddings and then family outings were too much for me. I spent Sunday feeling terrible and trying to recover. By Wednesday when we went out with my brother I was feeling somewhat better. But I woke up feeling absolutely terrible on Thursday morning and didn’t get much better over the course of the day.
Even though I wasn’t feeling well I wasn’t going to miss and opportunity to see my brother again on Thursday evening. You see, not only do I not see him very often, I also happen to be very lucky just to have him around. Back in 1992 he had non-hodgkins lymphoma. It was discovered only because he started to feel like he suddenly had a chest infection or pneumonia so he went to the hospital for an xray and they discovered a huge tumor in his chest. Shortly after they biopsied the tumor they found that a number of other smaller tumors had started up in his abdomen and spine. He was started immediately on one of the heaviest doses of chemo that can be given. We are all very happy that the treatment worked so well for him. He’s been cancer free since 1993. Unfortunately when you have a cancer that is that bad, and a treatment that is so heavy, there is a higher chance of it coming back or another cancer developing. So every visit, every moment I can spend with him has been a gift and I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to see him no matter how bad I’m feeling.
So on Thursday evening we went out with my brother to an Italian restaurant downtown. My other brother that lives just outside of Toronto joined us, and so did my sister who happens to live downtown. That’s another nice thing about Terry’s visits, it gives us all an opportunity to get together. I used to work with my sister when we were both in the Jewellery trade, and in fact lived with her for my first two years in Toronto, but these days we don’t see each other very often. It’s the same thing with my brother who lives just outside of town. (and I worked with him too when I first came to Toronto) We all just have busy lives and it’s hard to connect. Well my life isn’t so busy these days with my being home sick, but their lives are busy, and when I do get back to work again my shifts make it difficult too. So Terry’s visits are a great opportunity for all of us to catch up, because we all make time to see Vancouver brother.
My poor brother. He was supposed to have a vacation with his wife next week. They rented a house boat and they were going to tour around part of British Columbia in it. However, he’s is still in Toronto. He’s going home for the weekend but then he’s coming back on Monday for some more meetings and then he’s going to the United States – to five cities- for more meetings. He hopes to get back home to Vancouver some time late Tuesday. Maybe he’ll be able to salvage part of his holiday.