The train to Mariposa

Posted By: John Moore · 1/14/2014 10:42:00 AM

My mother was a remarkable woman and none of her great qualities died with her on Monday. Thank you for allowing me to share some of her with you this morning and thank you for all the tweets, texts and e-mails expressing your sympathies. Mom appeared on the show from time to time and certainly featured regularly as I passed on stories of my parents back in Montreal.  And mom will live on because she instilled in me a love of language and a relentless curiosity about people that is such a part of what I bring to the show. 

We had a great Christmas together as a family but we were steeling ourselves against a difficult year. Mom was fighting cancer -something she wouldn't let me share with you- and doctors had told they were out of options. ON Sunday December 29th she and dad went to church, had lunch with friends, enjoyed their afternoon and ate dinner together. She went to bed and suffered a stroke and never really woke up again. We spent two weeks in the hospital, the last in the palliative care unit of St. Mary's where they showed such tenderness and kindness that words fail. 

Mom loved language and literature. She was a teacher in Toronto, on the Prairies and in Montreal. She raised three happy kids and enjoyed great friendships with fascinating people. She loved good conversation and she delighted in the success of her kids and grandkids. 

I resolved years ago to enjoy a strong adult relationship with my parents. I went home frequently to spend time with them. We spoke on the phone constantly. We left nothing unsaid. So as much grief as I feel today, the only regret I have is that we did not have even more time together. 

During mom's time in the hospital we read to her from Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. The last story in the book is about a train that leaves the city every day at five for Mariposa by the lake. It's a train big city life makes you forget about but it leaves every day nonetheless. On Monday mom caught that train and went home. 

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  1. Sindy Jones posted on 01/14/2014 11:51 AM
    Sounds like a life well lived.
  2. Conrad Menezes posted on 01/14/2014 12:40 PM
    Dear John,
    My heart felt condolences on your mum's passing. I will say a prayer in her honor. Like you, I too am a son and father but my relationship with my mum sadly is very strained, I have made and willing to make amends to recapture the mother-son relationship but with every passing day it gets harder but i will keep trying.

    John, you do not know how many hearts you have touched with the love you share with your parents, especially your mum. I thank you for being you and for sharing your knowledge and experiences everyday with us, your listeners.

  3. Maria Teoli, Montreal (listener with CJAD Andrew Carter and John Moore every morning from Toronto. posted on 01/14/2014 01:38 PM
    So sad to hear of the passing of your mom. Lived it myself a few years ago. It is like a part of you has gone but not forgotten.

    My deepest sympathies to you Mr. Moore and Family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

    Maria Teoli
    Loyal listener from CJAD Montreal
  4. Louela posted on 01/14/2014 01:42 PM
    I listened to you this morning like I always do. You brought tears to my eyes as you dedicated the show to your mom. I felt your love for her and that was very comforting.
    I think about my own family and my relationship with my son and it reminded me about the profound gift that this experience has given me
    Like you, I have a warm feeling that when he grows up, he will come visit me and take me to the theatre just as you have done for your mom.

    Your stories fuel my spirit. Thank you for sharing and God Bless your family. I am sure your mom is looking down on you and saying I am proud of John.

    Take care

  5. Mary Clarke posted on 01/14/2014 03:40 PM
    Hi John,

    My condolences on the passing of you Mom. I have listened to you for many years and have heard you speak of your parents many times (and your Grandmother).

    I lost my Mom fourteen years ago on Jan. 11 and you never forget when you receive the call. I think of her everyday and the hardest part is that Dad is on his own.

    You were able to be with your Mom at the end and I am sure you, your family and Father find comfort in knowing she is in peace and not in pain.

    I enjoy your sense of humour in the morning and it amazes me how upbeat and cheerful you are so early in the morning! I am a morning person too and some people are not so cheerful in the morning.

    Take care and may memories and photographs comfort you.

    Mary Clarke
    Marmora, ON
  6. Irene Ryan posted on 01/14/2014 04:27 PM
    Hi John,
    You are the host who made me return to listening to CFRB. When you talked about your Mom and Dad, I was truly hookrd. We came to know them a bit through you, and there is a sense of sadness that we have lost a wonderful woman, too.
    You have had many " firsts" in your life, and hopefully many more. Two of the hardest will be your first visit home, and the first holiday without her. I have no doubt that she will be there beside you with her love and pride to see you through.
    Take care of yourself. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Sincerely, Irene Ryan.
  7. mary mcnab posted on 01/14/2014 06:06 PM
    Dear Mr Moore, Like you I loved and cherished my dear Mom, when she died one of my son,s her youngest grandchild posted for all the world to see that his best friend had died. I was miffed at the time because I had not called our relative,s yet, but looking back it was a tribute to her having a grandchild loving and being able to connect with her in that way. I,m sure that your family feels that way about their Mom/Grandma, and that is a wonderful way to leave this earth.
    My sincere condolences to you all.
    I listen to you as often as I can, you are a great way to wake up to! Mary McNab
  8. Ben in Oakvilel posted on 01/14/2014 08:25 PM
    My condolences John. Is there a sweet serendipity? Am I correct in thinking your mum's passing occurred on your dad's b-day? I seem to remember you mentioning it once & I especially remember it because it is also my mum's b-day who is 82..83 as of yesterday. One of many things I wish for my mum is that she too makes her departure in her sleep.
    Love listening to you John. My only regret is I'm not always up early a.m. but I do manage to set my iPhone to 1010 on those mornings when I happen to turn over at around 5:30, place it on my ear & try to get as much of you as I can before I doze off again as I feel better informed & more educated every time I do catch you. I thank your mum and I thank you.
    My Very Best
  9. Ismat posted on 01/14/2014 10:01 PM
    Hello John,
    My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. It was so good to hear your stories of your mum and dad. I always relay some of your stories to my friends. I heard your story about how what you have become is one of the greatest gift to the parents as they feel "I made that". Which is so true. Thank you for sharing your mum and dad stories. I have been listening to you since you were on the afternoon show and continue to listen to your morning show. You are a remarkable gentleman. I admire your relationship with your parents and your mum has left physically on that train but I am sure she will always be around in your and many of your listener's heart.
    Take care hugs
  10. Monica posted on 01/14/2014 11:57 PM
    My condolences John. Your mom was a remarkable person - mother, spouse, teacher, friends I have enjoyed your stories and memories of her over the years. Your easy and loving relationship with your parents was obvious as well as your respect and love for them. Thank you for sharing them with us. Wishing you peace. I'm sure the train to Mariposa is richer with the spirit, and warmth of your Mom. Stephen Leacock is buried in the most wonderful graveyard that looks over Lake Simcoe. I've always thought of that as Mariposa. It is a wonderful resting spot - peaceful and restful. A final joureny for a life well lived.
    A regular listener
  11. JENNIFER MORRISON posted on 01/15/2014 07:47 AM
    My condolences John - my parents are now 80 , mom is in a home in Belleville. It is so terribly hard. God bless your Mum.
  12. Denise posted on 01/15/2014 08:45 AM
    Over the years I have listened to your "Montreal" stories (as an ex-Montreal, loved to hear them) and was always touched by the love and respect you showed towards your parents. I send to you and your family my most sincere condolences and know that you have been blessed with wonderful, loving memories that will live on. in this way, you mom lives on.
  13. Edna Johnston-Earl posted on 01/15/2014 09:04 AM
    My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time.
    I heard you say this morning that someone texed that it had been 10 years since they lost their parent and they still cry when they think of them. I can relate to that as I feel the same way when I think of my late mother in-law who passed in 2006. With a great love comes a great loss. I feel blessed to have had that great love.
    Take care.
  14. Susan Olijnyk posted on 01/15/2014 09:25 AM
    Dear John, have listened to you for years and your love for your mum and family always shone through when you spoke of them. Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss and hoping that fond memories will carry you through. Thinking of you at this difficult time as I lost my mum on December 17th past, also in Montreal. A Toronto ex-pat Montrealer, Susan.
  15. Scott posted on 01/15/2014 12:02 PM
    Thanks for sharing John. My dear mother passed Feb 2012 and though the pain remains on occasions like her birthday and Christmas, the wonderful memories are constant.
  16. Roslyn posted on 01/15/2014 12:11 PM
    Just wanted to say thank you John for sharing your story about your mom with us.
    She would be proud.

  17. Ken--Mississauga posted on 01/15/2014 12:16 PM
    I have recently retired and haven't been listening to the radio in the morning on the way to work. I was called back to the office today to help out...and heard your mother had you said...I feel like I know you as a friend....having listened to you for years in the morning. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
  18. Terhas posted on 01/15/2014 01:42 PM
    Dear John, I divide my 5:30 to 9:00 a.m between listening to you and taking care of my three teenage girls (they know you and love you too). My mornings are not the same if I don't listen to you. When I heard the news about your mom's passing away I felt like a close family died, my heart was broken. We are all one family, we are all together with you. It will get better with time.

    Always do the great job you do, like mom taught you, we love it, and we will keep her memory alive by listening to you. Keep the great job and never change.

    Stay strong and lots of love from my family.
  19. Joanne posted on 01/15/2014 09:47 PM
    Hi John,
    My sympathies to you regarding the loss of your mom. I lost my mom to cancer last year and my life will never be the same. One thing I have had trouble wrapping my head aroun: most would agree that there is nothing more important to a mother than her children. I knew that I was very important and adored by my mom. So, if my mother is gone, am I still important? It's tough to accept that I won't be able to call her again to discuss the trials and tribulations of life - both large and small that she validated - in essence, all that was important to me, was important to her... However on the positive side, since her passing, I have a greater appreciation for life and all the things that she found joy in every day. I also deeply value all that she instilled in me so that I can not only survive, but thrive in my life. I have also learned from her passing that there can often be a conspiracy of silence when it comes to death and that people can be fearful of facing the topic. I vow to have the courage to reach out to others and acknowledge their loss because that is part of acknowledging that precious life - such as your mom's - that was well lived. That she did make an impact and it is recognized even by those who didn't meet her. Did you know that the British Council, which oversees the education of the english language, did a study of the "Most Beautiful Words in the English Language"? 40,000 people participated in the study. Do you know what came out number 1? You guessed it - the word "mother." So cheers to mothers, both yours and mine. Thanks for speaking about your mom, and thanks for reading this - therapy for both of us I suppose...
    Joanne C. Toronto
  20. Kumar posted on 01/16/2014 08:25 AM
    Hi John,
    I found out this morning, during your interview with Humble and Fred, that your Mom had passed. Please accept my sincerest sympathies. I listen to you often and know how close you were to her. Let the good memories you shared with her be your strength.
  21. Ron Collins posted on 01/16/2014 10:11 AM
    A great lady. A quality family.
  22. Marc posted on 01/16/2014 10:29 AM
    Hi John,

    My condolences to you and your family on your mum's passing. We heard it from Terry on CHOM on Tuesday.

    Wishing you and family warm thoughts.

    Sincerely, Marc
  23. Selim posted on 01/16/2014 04:18 PM
    My condolences John.
  24. Tara posted on 01/16/2014 04:51 PM
    John, my sincerest condolences to you and to your family on the passing of your mom. I listen regularly to you in the mornings, and have been a fan of yours since the time you were providing the one-minute entertainment report on 1010!
    Your mutually happy, loving relationship you had with your mom is inspirational.
    All the best to you.
  25. LauraB_0090 posted on 01/16/2014 04:53 PM
    John. My heart aches for you. Almost all of what was written in your blog, too, could have been said by me when my mother passed from Cancer in June of 2011. She was my very best friend and wasn't until I became a parent myself, that I truly realized her hard work, dedication, and unbelievable strength. We too left nothing unsaid, but still every day I wish I could speak to, and share with her. She so loved my stories. All I can offer at this time, is that it does get easier to cope as time passes. Continue to share stories and remember your Mom. That is the best way to honour her. Thank-you for sharing. Laura
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