I've had the honour and privilege of treating Mr. Downie over the past few months, and working with his health-care team during this summer's tour. When the band stepped on stage in Victoria, B.C. for the tour's first stop, like many others in the audience, I cried. I've been asked a lot this summer if I'm a Hip fan, and I am. I treat 250 new patients year, and I'm a fan of all of them -- for the strength they show and for the determination they have to make the cancer journey better for those who face it after them.
The whole country came together. Not since Terry Fox have we seen such a strong example of how a Canadian could summon so much national camaraderie among the people.... All we had to do was sing along to songs we knew by heart, allow ourselves to feel the moment, let our tears express how we felt, let our fellow Canadians know we were all in this together, and then, as a nation, say goodbye to Gord Downie. The best part is we will never really say goodbye to The Tragically Hip. As long as we have kids, camping trips, road trips, backyard barbecues, headphones and private moments, we will never have to say goodbye.
I woke up Sunday morning in the South of France to the sound of The Hip coming from the living room. As I rolled out of bed, rubbing my eyes, I found my husband with coffee in hand, accompanied by two pink princesses in superhero capes, catching up on what all of Canada was engrossed in while we were asleep.