(Editor’s note: on May 7, 2019 five-term MP Mark Warawa of Langley-Aldergrove, B.C. gave his farewell address to the House of Commons. It was his 69th birthday. Mr. Warawa was dying of cancer and passed six weeks later. This is what he said)
The doctors found I had a pancreatic tumour. They then found I had colon cancer, and that the pancreatic cancer had spread to my lungs. The prognosis from the doctors is not great. However, I have a strong faith in God; and the God who created me can heal me.
I want to share a little about my life. Throughout my life there have been some wonderful little God moments, nuggets and interventions of guidance. People ask me why I became involved with politics in the first place, and it started with a dream back in 1990. I had a dream that there was an upcoming municipal election and that I was elected. This was out of the blue; I had no interest in it.
Later that day somebody came up to me and said that they had a dream about me. “Oh, really?” I asked. “What did you dream?” The person dreamed that I ran in the election and was elected. When those little nuggets happen, one has to listen. So often we get busy and do not. I put my name on the ballot, and surprise, I was elected. That was in 1990…
When I announced that I was not going to be running again, I felt that God was creating a new chapter of my life. I was preparing to be a chaplain giving pastoral care to seniors. I was doing this studying and reading and lo and behold, I got sick. I was reading all these case studies about whether to operate or whether to give palliative care and I was honoured by our leader to be given the responsibility for palliative care. Then I found myself in the hospital, a surprise, and experiencing what it is like to face end of life. With all that reading and preparation, maybe it was not for me to administer to others but to prepare myself for this trial. I want to thank everyone so much…
It has been such an incredible honour to work in this House. I was first elected federally in 2004, and fifteen years went by just like that. It has been such an honour. None of us are here by accident. I believe that strongly. I have a strong faith in God. If we are not here by accident, then what is the responsibility for each of us that goes along with that? To whomsoever much has been given, from him much will be required.
Therefore, we have a responsibility to do what is right, to be truthful, to be people of integrity in making Canada better and working with one another when it is appropriate to do so.
I have not always done things right. I have a very mischievous nature, as chairs of different committees can attest, so I would like to apologize for some of the problems I created.
Death does come to each of us, and to some very early. We just said goodbye to a very dear friend. He had an aneurysm and he was gone. God has given me some time. I may be around for a long time or I may be around for a short time. We do not know.
This is the most important part: It is that I want to encourage each of you to love one another, to encourage each other, because God loves us. Pray for another. Pray about what is really important. Help one another. Seek God’s will for you each day. Do what is right. Be honest.
We read in Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
It is all legal. It is all good.
Life is precious. Life is sacred. I have been reminded very freshly of how valuable and precious life is, from beginning to end.
God bless you. I love you all. I will look forward to being able to serve. Until October, it will likely be out of my constituency office, but to God be the glory.