Re­mem­ber­ing Ed Smith

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Editorial -

I would like to join with New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans ev­ery­where in wish­ing Ed Smith ‘Bon Voy­age!’ as he goes on to the next phase of his life.

I hardly knew Ed, al­though our paths did cross when we were both teach­ing on Fogo Is­land, he with the In­te­grated Board in Joe Batt’s Arm, and I in Tilt­ing with the RC Board. NTA meet­ings were where we met, but we never be­came more than ‘union com­rades.’

I got to know Ed much bet­ter through his news­pa­per col­umn, and then in his books.

He never gave the slight­est hint of self-pity, or of re­sent­ment, as he de­scribed his ac­ci­dent and the re­sult­ing quadriple­gia. What­ever de­pres­sion he ex­pe­ri­enced, he would not share it un­til he had found a way to make it en­ter­tain­ing. “The Ashes of my Dreams” (2002) is worth read­ing just to see how much a per­son can suf­fer with­out los­ing faith, and with­out let­ting the sense of hu­mour fade away.

I doubt that many of us could ac­quit our­selves quite as well as Ed did. I know I couldn’t.

I have never ceased to marvel at the strength of char­ac­ter and the sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion Ed showed us, as he sol­diered on, writ­ing and en­joy­ing the lit­tle ab­sur­di­ties of hu­man life.

I don’t doubt for a mo­ment that his fam­ily and his at­tach­ment to the Church helped him dur­ing his hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and his phys­i­cal in­ca­pac­ity, but it is also a last­ing trib­ute to the man him­self — he just wasn’t the kind to sur­ren­der.

Af­ter all, he was a New­found­lan­der (which is more than I’ll ever be, de­spite liv­ing two-thirds of my life here), and that surely gave him the kind of stub­born will to sur­vive that has kept this is­land afloat for so long.

I’ll miss Ed; all of us will. But as a fel­low Ed, and a fel­low Chris­tian (dis­count­ing de­nom­i­na­tions), I’m ex­pect­ing to deepen our mu­tual ac­quain­tance ‘here­after.’

I hope Flanker, or some­body else, will make sure that the rest of Ed’s lit­er­ary out­put is made avail­able to the read­ing pub­lic. Ed de­serves that, and so do we.

Ed Healy Marys­town

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.