Written on the Body, #49: March 5, 2022: Good news, bad news. Last blog?

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written, but a lot has happened.

The first good news is that the evening I sent the last blog, my son Joe appeared at my door for a surprise visit! It was definitely a surprise — and so good to see him. We had a great 10 days together; he stayed with an old friend in Waterdown (that was planned!), enjoying each other’s company. He was also a good help around the house and in doing some needed planning.

Good news number 2: while he was here, The Ontario Poetry Society announced they are creating an award in my honour: the Ellen Sue Jaffe Humanitarian Poetry Award. This is a great honour and combines my two deep values in life. Thank you, Bunny Iskov and Elana Woolf, for arranging this. The award will be every other year, beginning with the deadline on March 15, 2023 (my birthday), with one winner and 5 runners-up. There will be a cash prize and a certificate, and my son Joe and I were able to drive to Willowdale to thank Bunny in person and give her some of my signed books to add to the prize.

Good news 3: Diane Ray of Voices Israel journal has arranged for a reading in my honour on Sunday, March 13, with several poets reading my work. Let me know if you want more details.

And 4, Joe is coming again on Monday, Roger’s daughter Terri on Wednesday, and his son Simon next Sunday. (of course, these are all our children!)

But we are sliding into the bad news. Since Joe’s first visit (he left on Feb. 21) my health has deteriorated rapidly, to the point where I am very weak. There is a referral in to the in-patient palliative care unit at Bridgepoint Hospital, 5 minutes from our home, so Roger can visit easily, and the care is excellent. We hope this happens soon (sad as moving there is). Meanwhile, we are coping at home; Roger is amazing despite his arthritis which makes it hard to walk stairs, and we have shopping and other help from loving friends, and from some PSW workers.

I an in bed most of the time, and very tired and weak. No pain, which is a blessing. Eating soft foods — I am still hungry. Discovered citron-blueberry sorbet, very refreshing. We have a tv in the bedroom (a recent addition) which is helpful. I didn’t expect this to happen so soon, and am sad to leave this world. I may not write this blog again — so thank you for all your love, your thoughts and prayers and support. I love you all. Be well,


About Ellen

I am a member of The Writers Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, and CANSCAIP. I have received grants from the Ontario Arts Council for both writing and teaching. I currently work with Learning Through the Arts and Living through the Arts, programmes run by the Royal Conservatory of Music that enable artists to work in schools and community organizations. I have also taught in many other school and community programs, and have been a judge for various writing contests for both young people and adults.
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