Oliver Turns 17

Oliver turned 17 years old today, an event greeted by all manner of congratulatory messages, both in person and over the wire from Malmö to Montreal.

Oliver’s been sick with a cold for a week so Catherine’s been in immune-compromised bio-seclusion, staying with friends. We temporarily broke her quarantine this morning to have birthday breakfast at Casa Mia; we’re hoping the ill clears soon so she can come home. We miss her.

As we delayed Oliver’s formal birthday party until later in the week (theme: “solstices”), I took him out to the movies (“Home Again”) and for ribs afterwards.

We spent most of our meal trying to remember the name of a film we saw several years ago at The Oxford in Halifax, a film Oliver described as “a risque movie about an old man who lives on a boat who meets an old woman who plays tables games.”

It was only when we got home, and he looked up the review of the film he’d done for Language Arts at school in 2015, that we found its title, “I’ll See You in my Dreams.”

When I look back at photos of Oliver when he was 13, on the cusp of Catherine’s cancer diagnosis and the more fraught phase of our family’s life together, he’s a young teenager; today he’s a young adult.

Oliver’s been through a lot in the intervening years, and yet through it all he remains a funny, creative, caring, thoughtful person, aware of his challenges but not defined by them.

Happy birthday, son. I love you.


Oliver Rukavina's picture
Oliver Rukavina on October 2, 2017 - 08:59 Permalink

If I get better from this lingering sickness.

laurent Beaulieu's picture
laurent Beaulieu on October 2, 2017 - 14:51 Permalink

Best wishes to Oliveron this day! This is what Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in his journal on this day around 1900.
A new morning, And today, once again, a new morning: bright, with close, rounded clouds that frame expanses of the immeasurably deep sky. Agitation in the treetops. In everything else,restfulness. Windfall of apples. The grass invites you to walk out of the house. The dimness inside is alive with lights on antique silver, and their reflections in the looking glass confuse the eye as to what is enclosed within the mirror's frame. There are so many days here, none like any other. And beneath all their differences is this great similarity: the gratitude in which they are received.