If and when

The Walrus - - LETTERS -

I was very much taken by the state­li­ness of Mered­ith White’s mem­oir (“Phi­los­o­phy Les­sons,” March) as she took clear-prosed mea­sure of the drama of liv­ing with an MS di­ag­no­sis. White de­scribes how the ill­ness forced her to re­con­sider her plans in life, trans­form­ing ev­ery cer­tainty, ev­ery when, into an if.

I teach writ­ing at Hum­ber Col­lege in Toronto, and I tell my stu­dents that tiny words make mighty mean­ing. So I was very grat­i­fied to see the wee words when and if bal­ance and un­bal­ance the now to which our cul­ture is al­ways giv­ing lip ser­vice.

Many of us know some­one who has been di­ag­nosed un­ex­pect­edly. White re­minds us that we should be grate­ful for our lit­tle whens as we hon­our the ifs.

Eva Bed­nar

Toronto, ON

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