Though we were all given time, nobody was ready. I don't think we ever would be.
Pulling in the driveway today, Fiddler's Green came on and then the tears came.
I think the tears came for everyone today.
Not because a musician died - but because Gord Downie resonated with so many of us, made memories with so many of us, and even in death made his demise and the attention not about him but about the wrongs in Canada and telling us all we have a part to play in fixing them.
Even death was not about Gord; it was about social justice. Gord was an activist through music, life and death.
Everyone is telling their Hip stories today. I never saw the Hip live. Every time they came to town I was either away or could not afford to go. I did see Gord at Folk Fest a few years ago and am forever glad I did.
Today, however, I cried. Heavily.
Ugly crying and once the tears started they wouldn't stop. I know so many can relate.
I cried for how Blow at High Dough was the soundtrack to some of the happiest times I can remember, driving to and from Terra Nova and Pitt's Pond in Ritchie Vivian's truck.
I cried for the singalongs to Boots or Hearts around the table at Steve's cabin in Pope's Harbour in the winter, nothing else around but a pack of cards, a bottle of rum and the Up to Here cassette in the radio.
I cried for sitting around with friends watching Tarzan Dan's Hit List on YTV when Bobcaygeon was new and so was our impending adulthood that would drive us all in different directions but we would always have Bobcaygeon to remind us of those days.
I cried because of all of those nights sitting around with friends and a guitar singing Hip songs was a good night. Every one.
And I know Gord Downie wrote the soundtrack to many happy parts of all of our lives, some sad ones too.
I watched the last Hip concert huddled around my laptop in an airport in Montreal last summer. As the show went on other people from all over started to come join my coworker and I.
It was the perfect example of what Gord Downie did - a dozen people from all over the world, waiting to go to a dozen different destinations, all singing along under our breath to the songs that undoubtedly shaped all kinds of different moments in all of our lives.
Today the poet left but the soundtrack continues.
Hip songs will continue to be sung in trucks on the way to camping grounds, sung around the table as friendships are forged and played in moments where friendships will start to fade and people go their separate ways. Hip songs will continue to bring people together.
And we all have a part to play in carrying on not only the music but acting on what Gord asked for - social justice, reconciliation, and loving one another.
Rest in power, Gord.