I learned a new word when I read this book = Caremongering. To know what it means, you must go to its source = Scaremongering.
the spreading of frightening or ominous reports or rumors.“claims of scaremongering about the fate of jobs”
spreading frightening or ominous reports or rumors.“scaremongering tactics designed to frighten voters”
Then, you must turn that word on its head.
Caremongering is the spreading of hope, light, and (obviously) care.
Not Cancelled: Canadian Caremongering in the Face of Covid-19 by Heather Down and Catherine Kenwell was given to me to read by Heather Down. In fact, she asked me to read it before it was published, and if I felt moved, to include a short quote for the back of the book. How could I refuse?
I loved everything about the book… from the first page to the last. My quote, as shown here, is exactly how I felt – and feel:
Yes, we know my last name needs an ‘e’ instead of an ‘o’ and will be corrected in subsequent editions but still, it’s kind of a feather in my cap, yes?
Also, I will be including my own chapter in their second book on the subject, so look for that in the Fall- not that I’d let you forget.
Let me tell you that I loved the stories, the illustrations, the words to songs like, “We Are the World,” and photographs. Everything about this book gave me ‘the feels’.
It’s not that the stories were out of this world. In fact, they were all incredibly human.
Also, a word about the book being Canadian…
As an American who has lived in Canada for the last 20 years, I never felt less than fully welcomed with open arms. Even with my weird California accent, unsweetened tea, and tennis shoes, not to be confused with runners. <<< That’s the Canadian way to say it and also if you’re planning to wear your runners to the grocery store – don’t – because they’re for, you know, running.
I love Canada. And yes, the entire country does feel… well, yeah, nicer. There, I said it.
That said, these stories may be centered in Canada – from shore to shore, actually – but they are universal. From the Tooth Fairy to Faith to Baking and Travelling… all of these stories and so much more are highlighted in NOT CANCELLED.
Today, the story Peace is Not Cancelled by Michelle Sertage jumps out at me. It is about the waning days of her father’s life and the peace and warmth that surrounded them. There is an author’s note at the end, telling us that her dad has passed on peacefully in the early days of the pandemic… which meant no funeral, no visitation, no family and friends to surround them. Next to death itself, I would think that the isolation of the whole thing would be horrible. Sertage doesn’t surprise me when she speaks of a greater teaching that will surface after the suffering. I sure hope she’s right!
I’m sure the reason that Sertage’s story reached out to me today is that my aunt is dying. I last saw her at my grandmother’s funeral fifteen years ago. It hardly seems possible that it’s been so long. But there it is.
She looked just like my dad – almost identical – but female. Same kind, laughing eyes. She was funny and dear… and took care of her disabled husband until he died, decades after the accident that put him in a wheelchair. She was a beautiful soul, inside and out. I will miss her not breathing on the same planet as me.
As of this writing, she is hanging on… perhaps waiting for something we do not understand. Or, perhaps just clinging to life because that’s what we do until we can do no other thing… and finally let go.
No, dying is not canceled. So, we’d better get to living the best we can!
Other Resources about the Canadian Caremongering Movement: