I knew him at different phases. Before was an MPP, and before we had received the privilege of governing. He was full of promise, then. Destined for great things. You could see it.
Later, when he became the Minister of Justice, and I was on the executive of Ontario’s bar association, it changed. I felt he had become a bit of a bullshitter, around that time. A bit too glib, maybe. I felt like he was hiding something.
And then, after everything that happened that Summer, I only knew him from a distance. Like all political people, I have a built-in compass for danger avoidance. Michael Bryant had become dangerous, so I did what all political people do: I avoided him.
Two things. One, his willingness to tell the whole story, as he knows it, takes more guts than are possessed by 99 per cent of the people you will ever know. It takes a lot of courage to put your name to all of that. I hope to do that, too, one day. There’s a story I want to tell.
Two, my sister-in-law, who (along with my little brother) I desperately want to return to Ontario because I miss them very much, worked for Michael Bryant. Like everyone else who worked for him, she remains fiercely loyal to, and protective of, her former boss. Even after everything that happened. In politics, I can assure you that means a lot.
Anyway. On the beach in Maine, reading. This story is worth a read. I like that she spoke to that young man’s father, to give him a voice, too. Like how she wrote it.
Last night, Michael sent me a note, right out of the blue. It was a funny note. I said we should have a showy lunch somewhere, as authors. He thought that was a good idea.
Closing thought, before I get the kids fed.
Life is unimaginable pain, for many people. Michael Bryant’s life seemed like that, but I hope it’s better, now.
God bless him, and God bless Darcy Sheppard, too.