Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Spirit

Ok, I admit it. My cynical heart is totally warmed by the Olympic spirit.

In fact, I'm a little drunk with it. But more on that later.

Tomorrow, the Olympic cauldron will be lit. No one knows who will light the cauldron. It is apparently the best kept secret in Canada. Which in and of itself is pretty cool.

My thought is this: Wayne Gretzky will run the flame into BC Place, and together, with Betty Fox, they will light the torch.

I am extremely attached to the idea of Betty Fox lighting that cauldron.


You see, I was named after my grandmother. Originally, I was supposed to be named after Tanya Tucker, but three weeks before I was born, my grandmother, Iris Ann Suares, died. So, rather than just Tanya got Iris Tanya Ann.

Go ahead, you can't not say it with a southern accent.

I never knew my grandmother, but she has had such an impact on me. A lot of it has to do with the name, but I think much of it has to do with the unknown. I was the only one of my cousins that never knew her and the all spoke so highly of her. When I was young, the name felt like a burden, but I'm also convinced, the name won me a special place in my grandfather's heart.

She was also, despite the technical difficulties, the best grandmother I had.

I also didn't know Terry Fox. In fact, up until a few years ago, I had very little emotional attachment to Terry Fox.

That changed when my ma told me about how, after my grandmother lost her legs, my mom took her down to see Terry Fox run through Toronto. Apparently, it was something my grandmother felt very strongly about and was very adamant about doing.

To hear my mom tell this story, to paint this picture and to hear about how my favorite blanket, that I still use, was the same blanket used to cover my grandmother's legs so she wasn't embarrassed for being an amputee, and was there with her just weeks before she died, well that puts Terry Fox very close to my heart.

I mean, my blanket, the only tangible piece piece of this lady I never knew, was with her when she saw him. I think that is pretty special.

So I really hope it is Betty Fox. Like a lot.

For any people outside of the Great White North that may not know who Terry Fox is, Big Daddy posted a great video the other day: