The mother-child bond can be pretty powerful, and when something threatens to get between it, those bonds tend to get even stronger.
For Dallas Waldie of Waterford neither distance nor time zones nor success in a far-off land could stop him from dropping what he was doing and travelling home to Norfolk County after learning his mother had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
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Victoria Waldie got the news in December. For her son – a rap star in Taiwan who also goes by the name of Dallas Waldo – that success will have to wait till at least the fall as he, his father Michael, and two brothers rally around Victoria.
“She’s been doing much better lately,” Waldie said. “When I got back she was doing chemotherapy and it’s as tough as you hear about. But now that’s over she has perked up.
“She has only a limited time, but it is definitely a blessing to be back here with her.”
Waldie, 32, took an interest in languages while a student at Simcoe Composite School. While studying international business at Carleton University in Ottawa, Waldie had to choose between taking Spanish or Mandarin Chinese as one of his courses. His selection of the latter proved fateful, giving rise as it did to a scholarship in China where he continued to hone his skills.
His fluency in Mandarin eventually took him to Taiwan. Rap music was growing in popularity in Asia at the time but was not as well evolved as it was in North America. Noticeable by its absence, Waldie said, were rap-battle events where aspiring rappers face-off in front of a live audience in an attempt to out-rhyme and out-syncopate each other.
Waldie took charge and, before long, rap battles were proliferating across Taiwan and into mainland China.
Waldie is not only a participant and organizer. He also runs a production company that films events and posts them to enthusiastic audiences on the internet. Waldie has been working full-time in this area for the past five years.
“It stunned Taiwan and mainland China,” he said. “Rap leagues have popped up all over.”
Victoria Waldie is proud of her son’s success. She’s also glad he chose to come home to be with her at this challenging time.
“It meant a lot to my husband and I that he came home,” she said. “He’s been a great help and support. It’s so nice to spend time with him again.”
Dallas says the family is keeping it simple, especially at this time of COVID-19. His mother is immuno-compromised due to the chemotherapy so all precautions are taken to keep pathogens out of the house.
“We’ve been very careful, as a family, where we go,” he said. “We pretty much have to stay at home all the time.”
Dallas Waldie added he’s appreciating the slower pace of life. Asia is densely-populated and densely-urbanized. Life there, he said, can seem, at times, non-stop. There’s a different rhythm, he added, in Norfolk County.
“I like going for a walk here and seeing the same scenery for 20 minutes at a time,” he said. “It’s all about finding a balance.”
Waldie recently put together a heart-warming 10-minute video tribute to his mother that has been well-received on YouTube. It can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4GvmP4frD4 .