Sunday, November 12, 2017

Why it matters

A young girl sat in a hospital emergency room, she was going to be admitted to the psychiatric ward. Drug user, pale skin, very frail, had been living on the streets. Where was her family? No idea. While waiting to be signed in by the lead doctor and social worker she was to be monitored. A security guard was asked to watch over. For her protection, her safety, or the hospitals?
“I know my life is a wreck.” She quietly spoke to the guard.
“Maybe,” was his response; “maybe not. But regardless, you have the resiliency and strength to unwreck it, at any time, yourself. You have that power. No one can or has the right to take that away from you.”
Maybe it wasn’t his place to say, but he did.
The short talk between the two ended with a smile.

Why do this? Why take the time and bother? Because it matters. 

Because it makes a difference;

Because it put a smile on the face and in the heart;

Because it allows someone to stand up; it allows us to recognize strength over weakness.

When I was younger, and vulnerable, and trapped by a deadly virus, my mother stood up for me. Another student in school held my hand to guide me through my unease. A teacher slowed down to include me. When I got a little older a friend put trust in me. A manager gave me the accommodation I asked for with little thought. A colleague gave me the courage to lead.
Many have helped make me feel comfortable, shown me respect, complimented my accomplishments and have dried my tears when needed.


Because it mattered.

Sometimes we lose; sometimes we fall. Failure happens. We take two steps forward and then get hit with something that knocks us back five. We get up, and start again. Help is there, take it. There is nothing wrong with getting help. There is nothing wrong with giving help.
Be encouraging; be inspirational; show some kindness and empathy.
Give others a voice; listen to that voice; act on that voice.

Because it matters.

I am a Mentor to others yet I also sit in an office and speak with a Social Worker. I volunteer once in a while but I also need a helping hand every so often. I donate but sometimes require support.

Because I matter.

Because you matter.

The boy next door; the girl on the street; the men, women and children in crisis. The sick; the elderly; the poor; the rich. Any race, sex or disability. All of the differences and all of the similarities.
Let’s talk, let’s dialogue, let’s have a good sit down timeless conversation. Let’s remember and acknowledge that we are one, yet billions.

Because it matters.


Because it makes a difference. Sometimes, always, never; do we need to measure? It makes a difference somewhere to someone; because that girl is worth it, the sick and the homeless, they are worth it. Our community is worth it. Our humanity is worth it.

If my lived experiences, (challenging as some things may have been) if it has taught me one thing, is that it is not that hard. A smile, a hug, a word of kindness; it is not hard. Make time. To show support one does not have to move mountains. You do not need to be a saviour on a white horse.
Though you might be the saviour in someone else’s eyes. I know I have seen my share.
But do something to help, to encourage, to support. Even if only tiny steps are taken.

Laugh with someone.

Cry with someone.

Listen to someone.


Because it matters.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mindful Sunset

So I am lucky enough to have a house with lakefront property, and I very much enjoy the times I can sit out on my front patio with my mom and dog and look out over the rippling water to witness some beautiful sunsets. 
Even if I am indoors watching through the window; even if it is not summer, but during those long, frigid, winter months. Although the snowy cold season can cloud cover the sun, I have caught an occasional magnificent setting over the ice of the lake.

Over the years, from lived experiences of challenging barriers and talking with others, I have gained a slightly different perspective on things. I learn and grow all the time. And I have come to appreciate another type of sunset, an inner dwelling one, what I call ‘the mindful sunset’.

“Close your eyes and breath,” I tell myself. “Recall the beauty and laughter, know that you are not alone and that it doesn’t have to be THAT terribly hard… at least not in this moment. Allow the fog to clear and the sunset to begin.”

I have a disability that follows me wherever I go, and some days are harder than others. The struggle can be overbearing at times. My feelings can become overwhelming. I’ve gotten pretty good at the disguise, not letting people see in. I vent through my writing, (shared or not) and to my social worker. At times I just stare and let the darkness in and then….


The hurt only goes as far as my mind allows it. My disability only affects my life as much as my mind allows it. I am not handcuffed to that darkness… though I often forget.

The mindful sunset helps bring me peace… even if it is only momentary it is welcomed. Because I know that I can find it again. 

The struggles and challenges are like waves; they will come, but they will also go. And beyond them, will always be a calming and beautiful sunset.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Oh Canada

Oh Canada, My Canada

It is where I was born; where I live. I am proud and would choose no other place to call home.

Life for me has presented challenges and I often found, and still find, solace within the lyrics and beats provided by the likes of Bryan Adams, Tom Cochrane, Sass Jordon, Sarah McLachlan, Honeymoon Suite, The Tragically Hip. The list is fairly extensive.
The laughter given by Michael J Fox or Jim Carry.
The talent of the CBC line-ups.
Sara Stanley in Road to Avonlea along with Anne of green gables.
The drama given to us by Keifer in a range of twenty-four hours.
Travelling where no man has gone before with William Shatner.

The weird and interesting David Cronenberg to Margaret Atwood… with a passion for writing, I’ll follow their lead with stories like ‘Chronicles of a Girl’ and ‘The Soul Bound Series’…#GirlPower
Having worked backstage at Canada’s oldest professional summer theatre, The Red Barn; an experience I’ll never forget.

 Oh Canada, my Canada.

From the 'Sleeping Giant' in Thunder Bay Ontario to 'The Chief' near Whistler Vancouver ; the rolling hills, flat plans, clear lakes, and frigid winds in Winterpeg… it is a breath of nature at its best. Niagara Falls and four seasons in a year that can drive us nuts, keep us on our toes, and bring us together.
Iceberg sightseeing to the rocky terrains of valleys and shorelines in Newfoundland and Labrador.

My dream of renting an RV with family and friends and going coast to coast and exploring the in-betweens.

Oh Canada, my Canada.

My last outing with my dad before he passed away, an occasion spent doing the wave and watching our Toronto Blue Jays at Exhibition Stadium.
Hockey night in Canada shared with my Opa, hooting and hollering at the Toronto Maple Leafs while we watched the television set and he kept score on a side of the nearest Kleenex box before cancer interfered with this ritual.
Alexander, Molson and Moosehead, the times we share and have shared toasting to friends in a basement garage, by a campfire, on a patio, and always near a grill.

Oh Canada, my Canada. 

The true North, strong and free.
“Strong and free.” Not just about physical prowess or location, but a frame of mind. Overcoming barriers and being a Survivor! My personal life anthem from Avril Lavigne in ‘Take me Away.’
Tears; Laughter; Pride. Respect and kindness.
Inclusion of people, culture, heritage and diversity.
Freedom to choose and be yourself.
The Canadian “honking” goose to the flat tailed beaver to the giant Moose; multiple winter toques to various summer sandals; lounging on a Muskoka chair to ice-fishing Lake Simcoe.
The Olympic gold medals I’ve cheered on, though more winter than summer.
Listening to the radio while cruising the highway,
from Toronto’s Q-107 to Calgary’s soft rock 97.7.
The Raptors.
The Blue Bombers, Argos and Roughriders.
Viola Desmond and Terry Fox.

The historical and defining Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge.
The advanced and supersonic Avro Arrow… a model of this I proudly keep.
Harvey’s Angus burger and Swiss Chalet dipping sauce.
Double doubles at Tim’s... though I do prefer tea with two sugars and a milk.
Crystal clears lakes, giant endless fields of trees, and good old fashioned genuine Canadian Maple Syrup.


Being Canadian and living in this beautiful country… priceless... eh!!