By Charles Lewis
Many of you know I have been doing speeches against euthanasia since retiring from the National Post in January 2014. Most also know that I have a very painful spinal issue that limits my activities.
So it was with some trepidation that I agreed, many months ago, to speak at a dinner in Cambridge Ontario. I figured by the time it rolled around I would be feeling much better.
I was so wrong.
But a promise is a promise so on a recent Thursday I headed out to Cambridge west down the dreaded 401. What should have taken 70 minutes with no traffic or two hours with some traffic turned into three-and-a-half hours of misery. Then to add to the fun I got lost. Urbanites like myself do not do well with regional roads.
In the directions I was given I was told turn left at the bottom of a hill at a Canadian Tire gas bar. Guess what? There are a many Canadian Tire gas bars and many hills. So at some point, in pain and with a throbbing headache from said pain, I ended up in Guelph. I don't own a cell phone but I figured I'd be able to use a phone at a gas station or find a pay phone. Guess what? No one likes to let you use his or her phones for fear you'll call your Oma in Berlin or you favourite Aunt in Hong Kong. And, as I discovered, there are no pay phones.
Finally some good soul took pity on me and lent me his cell phone. The connection was so bad that I couldn't hear what was being said so I finally broke down babbling and yelling that I would never make it. It wasn't one of my proudest moments but every once in a while I cut myself a break.
Someone standing by where I was yelling heard me mention the conference centre. He gave me simple directions and miracle of miracle I did find the right Canadian Tire at the bottom of the right hill.
By the time I arrived at the conference centre I was in massive pain and sweating. As I got out of the car, hobbled, I thought that there was no way I can pull this off. Though I did.