This song reminds me of a pretty special time in my life.
I was in Grade 11 and preparing for my final year of high school. I had applied for, and had been accepted into, the business program at the Terry Fox Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.
Now…for those unaware of who Terry Fox is or what this centre is all about, Fox was a runner who had lost a leg to cancer. In spite of the amputation, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research in 1980. Unfortunately, cancer over-took him and he ended the run after 143 days and 5,373km (3,339mi). He is considered a genuine Canadian hero and there is an annual Terry Fox Run that is held that has become Canada’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.
What is now called “Encounters with Canada”, the program in Ottawa at the Terry Fox Centre runs every week of the school year, where 120 teenagers from across Canada come to Ottawa to learn about each other, about Canadian institutions, explore career options, and develop civic leadership skills.
So anyway, I was fortunate enough to have been chosen to go on this trip at the end of my Grade 11 year. I took the train from Amherst, Nova Scotia to Montreal, Quebec…and then from Montreal to Ottawa. This was the first time I had gone on a trip of his nature by myself and also my first time on a train. I really loved the experience.
Once in our nation’s capital, I met a number of great people and did some really interesting things. I went to the parliament building and got to get my picture taken with an actual Academy Award (don’t ask me what it was for, though), I saw some spectacular historical artifacts at a local museum, I took part in some really interesting “start a business from the ground up” sessions with other students from across the country, and I even got a photo taken with our prime minister at the time, Brian Mulrooney.
The biggest thing, though, was that I met my first love, J. She was from Saskatchewan and was an incredible girl to talk to. For whatever reason, we clicked immediately and ended up spending the entire week together. Heck…we even bought matching t-shirts and spandex shorts (ugh…don’t ask…it was the 80’s).
Departing at the end of that week was difficult. I was a guy who was the brunt of a lot of jokes back home because I was kind of a nerd, but in the week I was here I quickly became well-known and well-liked. Heck…I had a hot girlfriend who thought I was awesome after only seven days! Leaving was tough…but reality stood in the way.
We stayed in touch for a very long time after that. This song became our “anthem” as it always reminded us of each other. It’s weird…the lyrics aren’t exactly tailor-made for our situation, but I guess we were young and the chorus was the only thing that mattered.
But I will wait for you
I will be waiting
But I will wait for you
Will you wait for me?
As the years went by, we drifted apart. Thankfully, we found each other on Facebook a few years ago and have remained friends ever since.
Do YOU have a song that reminds you of your first love?