Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri


Have you ever experienced a moment of pure joy?  A sudden explosion that comes from the center of your being and vanish as fast as it came?  It is not happiness, elation, or a joyous occasion; it is different, and often difficult to validate.  It is also rare.

If you’re an adult, and it happened at least once in your life, surely you must remember it, for it’s an unforgettable feeling; as well, you may have decided that it is personal and didn’t share it with anybody else; if so, it’s a mistake; joy should be celebrated, and the way to do that is to share these very special moments with each other.

And here I have to plead guilty; I had such an experience and kept it to myself – until now.

Before I get into my story, I should caution you:  Do not expect anything remarkable, it simply follow the criteria outlined above.

It was the summer of 1972, the first day of my annual vacation.  My wife, Norma, and I had decided, not to go anywhere; instead we would spend our time enjoying the many things Montreal (the city where we lived at the time) had to offer.

Some background information:  The summer of 1972 was very special; after 6 long years, I had completed the studies that earned me an accounting degree.  There would be no more studying and holding a full-time job.  From now on, I could come home, play with my children, read my newspaper, watch television, simply do what I wanted with my free time.

Norma and I were still young; passionately in love; and healthy; we were at the peak of our lives. Dark clouds would in time hover over our head; but on that day, the sun was the guest of a perfectly blue sky.

I left the best for last; my two children were still very young:  Rita was 4 and Michael was 3.  We were still perfect beings for them; and they loved us as only children can love.  And their love was returned many times over.

Our building had an outdoor pool; and that is where our vacation began.  I started by teaching the little ones the rudiments of swimming; I then went on to swim on my own.  Finally, I stood in the middle of the pool simply enjoying the coolness of the water and the warmth of the sun.

And then it happened.  I burst out of the water, and wanted to shout my joy to the whole world.  I was free, and that moment of pure magic belonged to no one else but me.  And as fast as it happened it was gone.  But the glow stayed with me for the rest of my life!

My wife and children didn’t notice my special moment, and that is how I wanted it.

While there were many contributing factors, they do not explain the special radiance I felt at that moment.  The spark that went through me and was just as quickly gone is a mystery; and therein lies its enchantment.


*  *  *

Joy can be remembered for a lifetime without being as special as what I have described above.  It could be a special occasion, such as your wedding.  However, what I have in mind is a combination of simple circumstances that made a period of your life very special.  Here again, an aura of mystery surrounds the events in question, and leaves an intriguing question which will remain unanswered  for a lifetime.

In 1975, the long years of studying paid off.  I secured a government job in Ottawa.  I was engaged by the “Office of the Auditor General for Canada,”  and was to start in May.  The government offers many benefits, and this started even before I began working for them!  My move from Montreal to Ottawa was all paid off by my future employer; as well, they paid for a “house-hunting” trip to Ottawa so that Norma and I could look for proper accommodations.

We put the weekend we had at our disposal to good use; we looked at many apartments, and finally rented a three-bedrooms, two-bathrooms flat.  This high-rise was in Parkwood Hills on Meadowlands Drive; one of its attraction was that there was a pool in the building (and faithfully, I went almost every night to swim for 25 years!)

Nothing is ideal in life; there was a small issue; this apartment would be available only on June 1. No matter.  We looked for temporary accommodations, and found a nice furnished apartment at the McKellar Apartments Complex.  It was situated on Carling avenue near the Carlingwood Shopping Center.

We never planned on that; but the month spent at the McKellar was close to perfect. Norma and I agree to this day that this period of our life was unique; never again were we able to duplicate the happiness we felt back then.  You cannot plan perfect happiness, it just happens.

The temporary apartment we had rented had nothing remarkable.  We had two bedrooms, a small living room, and a very large kitchen.  Not much could be said about the furniture except that it was adequate.

When I came home from work, Norma received me with a big smile and a warm hug.  Both of us during that period were in a remarkably good mood; we felt ready to take on the world.  In our hearts and minds we were sure that nothing from this point on could go wrong.

The children (Michael 6; Rita 7) were remarkably docile. Fights were infrequent; considering their age, and the fact that they never got along well, this was quite amazing.  When I would come home from work, I would often find them sitting at the kitchen table with their coloring books and their crayons strewn all over the table; they were hard at work producing their “works of art.”

Sometimes Norma would sit in the front yard while the children played in the grass.  When they would see me coming, at the end of the workday, they would interrupt their games and joyously run to me to be hugged and kissed.

After supper, we would explore the neighborhood, or go to the Carlingwood Shopping Center and treat ourselves to coffee and pastries and ice cream for the children.

Over the years, Norma and I had tried to figure out what made this period of our life so perfect. Was it the fact that for a brief period of time we did not have the responsibility of looking after our own home, a vacation of sorts where we felt free to do what we wanted, when we wanted?  Or possibly because the month of May ’75 was one of the warmest and nicest Mays that we could remember? Or perhaps because I finally had a decent and well-paying job? We simply could never be sure.

All too soon the month of May came to an end and we moved into our beautiful apartment.  For most of June we had to work hard to uncrate our possessions and turn our apartment into a home.

It is best that we cannot gaze into the future; dark days were in store for us.  Had we known about that, it would have marred that beautiful summer of ’75.

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