Thursday, November 2, 2017

All Soul's Day

So far so good.  Day two and I am still editing my novel and blogging.

Before I share a small excerpt from chapter two of my novel, which is about All Soul's Day I have to tell you about a delightful moment in Grade Seven this morning.

One of the students is a boy from Korea.  He came up to me this morning before class and asked me if I knew the song 'Moon River'.

Well of course I did!  I remember the Andy Williams show and his rendition of the song, and I told him so.

"I can play it on the ukelele,"  he announced.

"Really?" I asked, "Do you have your ukelele here?"

Well, he did and at recess time he was at my desk, music book and ukelele in hand.

I figured he would strum the chords, but no, he picked out the melody and I began singing along.

It was so lovely.

Then he turned to another page and started to play a lullaby.

I recognized it as 'Edelweiss' from The Sound of Music and so I sang along to that and told him it came from the movie.

"Oh," he says, "I have another song I can play from The Sound of Music," and he turns the page and starts playing Doe a Deer a female deer.... so of course I sang along.

That's it.  Five minutes of pure delight with a ukelele, a student and a teacher.

He smiled broadly as he left my desk, and headed out for recess.

That moment has made me feel good all day. 

Thirteen year olds - they can surprise you!

and now for the excerpt in an entirely different mood:


That is such a stupid euphemism for death.  It reminded her of that line of Lady Bracknell’s from The Importance of Being Earnest. 

 ‘To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.’

She still could hear the high-pitched, proper English accented voice of a grade eight student uttering that line in a school play a few years before.  It was hilarious at the time, especially when one knew the reticence of the student playing that part.

But she hadn’t ‘lost’ her parents.  She hadn’t been careless.  One had been taken by cancer, the other through illness.  She hadn’t ‘lost’ her aunt.  Alzheimer’s had stolen her away.  Her actual death was merely a date on the calendar.  She had been ‘lost’ for some time. 

People are not going to ‘lose’ her, because perhaps they never really 'had’ her to begin with. 


  1. Glad to hear you had such a lovely day with a student. I heard it said can not sing a sad song with a ukelele.

  2. Love the ukelele in young hands and your singing to his plunking. My only critique regarding the "lost" euphemism and how it can add unneeded responsibility to a tough reality is, aren't cancer and illness the same thing?

    1. Yes, I changed that in the final draft. Thanks for catching it.

  3. That's a beautiful interlude with your student. That warms my heart.


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