NDP). Through sheer magnetism mixed with stubborn determination and a platform of family-friendly ideas, he became opposition leader to the Conservative Party after the last Canadian federal election in May, 2011. This was a huge milestone for the NDP.
Sadly, upon winning the prize, Jack (known as a man of the people) fell victim to a common disease touching many families, including my own. He died from cancer in August … an illness he battled earlier and seemed to conquer.
Due to a hip injury, Jack had a cane at his side. During the campaign, he swung it in the air much the way fictional Penelope waves her little umbrella. In fact, CBC television commentator, Rex Murphy, noted Jack waved the cane like a magic wand, moving his Party forward toward its goals.
The puzzle of Jack's untimely death at age 61 at the height of his career leaves me searching for an explanation beyond understanding. For Jack this was the best and worst of times. He left a legacy of concepts that became more palatable under his spell. Since it is unlikely another NDP leader could have gained such success at this time in Canadian politics, his passing was perhaps miraculously delayed until the opposition status was achieved.
When spotting this Jack-'o'-lantern bloom in my garden recently, I was reminded of Layton because of the shared name (Jack) and because orange is the NDP color. The plant travels under the surface to spread beneath the earth. Even in death, Jack's ideals could take deeper root and his aura of optimism light the way like a lantern for the representatives of his Party who are currently searching for another charismatic leader to carry the torch.
This post showcases the letter "L" in Layton, lantern, light and leader. Visit ABC Wednesday to see how others showcase letters from A to Z.
Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms