Miles to Go Before I Sleep

October 24, 2023

Did you know:

Terry Fox and his courageous Marathon of Hope are memorialised in Canoe Landing Park by an artwork designed by Douglas Coupland. Every year the community hosts a Terry Fox Run around the park to raise money for cancer research.   

Terry ran for 143 days, at about 42 kilometres a day, through the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario.

What is THAT sound? 

Maya wonders as she is woken from her sleep.

It’s still too early in the morning to be doing laundry. There’s no sound of her mother shuffling in the kitchen, setting the coffee to brew as the sun just starts to shine off the building across the way. 

But it’s too late to be the night before — Mum’s nightly load of her work clothes NEVER runs past Maya’s bedtime. The tingling bells of a finished cycle — that last thing she hears before she drifts off to sleep.

Quietly, Maya gets out of bed, so as not to sway the bunk, leaving her older sister snoring softly, unaware.

Down the short hall, past Mum’s room — the door open a crack, blinds drawn, work shirt folded neatly on her laundry chair. Tiptoe through the living room, past her oldest brother — fallen asleep with headphones on, computer in his lap, some film buffering through throttling wifi.

Approaching the front hall — Maya hears it before she sees it. The dryer — door slightly ajar, drum creaking, heat spilling out into the closet.

 A hazy figure in the steam — that rhythmic shuffle, a hop and a thump as he runs in that metal circle, never stopping, only a brief pause to wave at the little girl and her Teddy Bear. Back to kilometres 25, 26, 27.  A  heroic silhouette even six year old Maya recognizes. 

Curled up on the floor, she watches him — passes 34, 35, 36, not too far left to go.

At 40 she drifts off, dreaming of a northern highway far from her place inside the closet — dreaming that they finish that final 42nd kilometre together.