Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kelly-Anne and Mickey

I thought about this picture today...Kelly-Anne at Disneyworld on New Year's Eve in the late 1990's. She was there for a waterpolo tournament and the team celebrated the New Year with Mickey and friends. I am so glad she had that special New Year's eve.

Happy New Year to one and all.....health, happiness, love, peace & friendships.....that is all we really need.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It just wouldn't be Christmas without traditions

From today's Gazette. This story touched my heart and I would like to share it with you.


By Marian Scott, The Gazette

December 24, 2008


Every December, Heather Summerhayes Cariou gets out her dog-eared cookie recipe, puts on some Yuletide music and bakes golden shortbread stars.
The holiday ritual brings back happy memories of making Christmas treats with her younger sister, Pam, who died 28 years ago of cystic fibrosis at age 26.
“I put her picture on the counter when I’m baking,” said Cariou, author of Sixtyfive Roses, A Sister’s Memoir.
“I didn’t see any reason for the ritual to end (when she died).”
Whether it’s leaving out milk and cookies for Santa or preparing a treasured family recipe, traditions provide comfort and continuity in a changing world, said Donald Taylor, a professor of social psychology at McGill University.
“What Christmas traditions do is serve as symbolic anchors, whether it’s special cookies or going skating on Christmas day,” Taylor said.
“Whatever it is, these traditions are hugely important.”
The joy of Christmas can seem like a sick parody when you’re trudging wearily through the mall as yet another canned rendition of Little Drummer Boy blares, or doing hand-to-hand combat at the tree lot. “There is the huge pressure of running around and shopping,” lamented Taylor.
Yet, come Dec. 24, the time-honoured customs are dusted off once more: the special dishes only used at Christmas, the treetop angel your son made in Grade 3, the sausage stuffing without which Christmas dinner just wouldn’t taste right.
“We may not even know it, but when we arrive at them, these are the things that settle us,” said Taylor.
Once again, Dad will drive the kids crazy by taking forever to eat his pancakes on Christmas morning, since opening presents only starts after breakfast. Once more, the same familiar faces gather around the table and everyone pronounces this year’s tree the best ever.
“The more the world is fast-paced, the more these traditions become anchors of predictability for us,” said Taylor.
Rituals provide reassurance when global financial troubles loom and the newly elected government teeters on the brink of defeat.
They persist even when economic uncertainty takes a toll on holiday shopping. Analysts predict this year will go down as the worst Christmas in years for retailers because of the global downturn. In fact, when consumerism declines, the essence of the holiday shines through.
“My family lived through wars and displacement, but the breaking of bread was always there,” said Addie Ciebien, a Gazette reader who shares her Polish traditions in the accompanying article (see above)
And that saying about how Christmas is only for little kids? Taylor doesn’t buy it.
“The 19-year-old is rough and tough and anti-authority, but you’ve still got to put out the milk and cookies for Santa,” he said. “He hopes Mom and Dad will do it, so he doesn’t have to ask.”
For writer Cariou, whose sister’s death still seems like yesterday, Christmas routines provide solace.
“The holidays can be difficult,” she said.
“If you can develop a joyful ritual, it’s comforting.”
So deck the halls and roast the chestnuts.
Whip up the hard sauce and stuff the stockings.
Whether your holiday includes sweet potato pie studded with mini-marshmallows or making angels in the snow, honour those traditions. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
mascot@thegazette.canwest.com
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Shortbread Cookies


This morning I continued one of my Christmas traditions which is making shortbread cookies....the really thing. For years I tried to master the art of shortbread but failed. One day a dear neighbour who passed on shortly before Kelly-Anne decided that she would teach me, Kelly-Anne and Kim how to make shortbread. In other words she would divulge her secret recipe for the perfect cookie.


I can remember that Saturday morning many years ago as if it were today. We three sat in her kitchen with ingredients at hand and had the privilege to learn from the finest baker around.

We learnt that day the trick is in the kneading.... I won't tell you anymore than that !!


Today I remember Joyce, her humor, her love of life, her baking....oh those rum balls so many of the neighbours would remember. We could get tipsy just from eating them!


Christmases past with traditions that continue on. I hope that you will share your traditions with others that mean alot to you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Road Trip

Early December I traveled to Ontario with the White Tigers to speak to teenagers across the province about abusive relationships. In Kelly-Anne words , she would of declared this voyage as a "road trip". I can tell you that we sure did see alot of highways especially in the dark!

I was able to tell my story and that of Kelly-Anne's to close to 2,000 teenage girls and women. Each time I spoke, the reaction in each city was the same, not a sound was heard in the conference rooms. All eyes were fixated on me and as I looked at the girls...some cried silently. The silence told me that my audience was absorbing my story and that they were feeling my pain. The questions afterwards were incredible...some I really had to think about my answers.

Questions like do I believe in capital punishment. What would I say to parents who are having a difficult time with their daughters who are in abusive relationships. What am I going to do in insure that Kelly-Anne's murderer stays in prison forever.

The week was emotional. I met great police officers and wonderful young people who came up to me to talk and tell me about themselves. I love speaking out and feel that I am planting seeds with theses young women. I hope that they never forget me, Kelly-Anne or our story and that they will make the right decisions if ever faced with an abusive partner that they will get our of the relationship without any fear of repercussion.

Next conferences USA: April 2009
Canada east coast: May 2009

I`m just going to do it....nothing can stop me from spreading the word!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Ring

Here's a story which I would like to share with you. Shortly after Kelly-Anne was murdered, we started to go through her belongings. As you are aware Kelly-Anne had just come back from Italy. One day we were going through her makeup bag and found this particular ring. It was just a plan sliver band with a tiny zircon stone in the centre. The ring looks very old and I am sure there that there is alot of history behind it. I tried it on and to my surprise it fitted me perfectly.

Kelly-Anne was the type of person that would carry the oddest of things in her makeup bag. She was a very sentimental person and little trinkets like matches that her father and I had ordered for our wedding in 1977 were in this bag. There were countless elastics for her hair too.
Embedded below everything was this ring. Did Kell find it in the sand on the beach in Viareggo? Did someone give it to her? These are questions which I most probably will never have the answers for. So many unanswered questions. I never got the chance to sit face to face with Kell after her trip to really talk about her adventure.

I pray that one day I will be able to retrace her trip to Italy. I believe I need to make that step in order to continue my healing. I feel that there are some answers for me in Italy. It's not just about this ring........it's what she saw, her experience, I need to feel it.

A Mother's Endless Love

Today, I gathered with many others to say goodbye to Ray. She is the mother of my dear friend Gloria. Gloria is one of these friends that is always there...through thick or thin...her son Richard was a good friend of Kelly-Anne and is it because of them that Gloria and I became friends.

I sat at Paperman's and was so touched how Gloria's sister, brother and niece paid tribute to this incredible women. She was the epitome of motherhood. We were told that sometimes she would cook a different meal for each of her four children along with her husband 's meal on the same day as she wanted to be sure that her children would be happy and have what they liked the best. Her son talked of his mother's love for cooking and the home. Ray cared about everyone and was so proud of her grandchildren and their accomplishments. As I listened to the testimonies, I couldn't help think of my own mother Alyce. She too loved and cared for her family and loved to cook. Ray and Alyce should of been friends.
" Motherhood is priced
Of God, at price no man dare
To lessen or misunderstand"
- Helen Hunt Jackson
Rest in peace Ray. Your worked has been valiantly completed on earth. Now it is your time to rest in God's house.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas

In twelve days it will be Christmas Day. Today Jules, Kim and I went early morning Christmas shopping. We headed out early thinking that we could beat the crowds...well everybody else on the West Island seemed to have the same idea. Most of the shopping had already been done...it's not like we have alot of people to buy for.

For the last four years, I have had the tendancy to go into a store in December and try not to notice the Christmas fanfare...the decorations etc. I try to block it out of my brain...if that makes any sense. I just go through the motions, ignoring the music from the PA system and the Santa sitting in the middle of the mall waiting for the young ones to appear. I remember walking into HomeSense last Christmas and breaking down into tears at the display of beautiful Christmas table ware, thinking how Kelly-Anne would love to see all this and partake of the holiday season activities.

Life is so unfair. The Christmas tree will go up tomorrow. More tears will be shed as Kelly-Anne's Christmas balls will adorn the tree. It 's those Christmas memories of Christmas past that will bring a smile to my face. Remembering Kelly-Anne and her last minute touches to her gifts, as she would sit in the back seat of the car on the way to a cousin's house for a Christmas party working on her balls and wrapping them. It's like is was just yesterday.

Her last gift to Jules and I was a pass card for the museum in Montreal. The theme was the 60's and she thought that we would enjoy an outing. Her gifts were always different and well thought out.

Today , on the first of the twelve days before Christmas, my wish to all of you is to have peace in yours hearts. To those that walk in my shoes, my wish for you is that you keep the fond memories of your loved ones who have gone before you because of murder alive this hoilday season.

Remembering :

Theresa A. Sharron P. Julie B. Aidan L.Tanya B. Tammy S. Valerie A. Suzanne F. Tina P. Brigitte S. Matthew K. Julie S. Isabelle B. Debbie K. Melanie M. Ana Maria S. Jeremy B. Paul S. Kostas P. Raymond E.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dance Like No One's Watching

Here's a little message which I would like to share with you. Many of you may of already read this, but I believe we have to sometimes remind ourselves of this........

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that we are frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?

Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D'Souza. He said " For a long time it had seemed to be that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness.

Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have, and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time...and remember time waits for no one....

So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds,until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids,until your kids leave the house, until you start work,until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home,until you are off welfare, until your car of home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall,until winter until you bare off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you've had a drink, until you sobered up, until you've decided that there is no better time than right now to be happy...Happiness is a journey, not a destination!!

Thought for the day:
Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's watching.

Kelly-Anne's Birthday Party


November 28th brought about many mixed emotions. It would have been Kelly-Anne's 29th birthday. Over 80 people gathered to remember Kelly-Anne at the Dollard des Ormeaux Aquatic Centre. We snacked on great hor oeuvres from Le Tambour passed around by inspiring young lifeguards. Awards were given to the lifeguards who were involved in competitions throughout the year. Over $ 6, 500.00 was raised. This money will go towards training, equipment and travel for the athletics.


Kelly-Anne was remembered by a beautiful video and a slide show created by her friends Caroline and Martin.I can see that Kelly-Anne's spirit continues to inspire many of her friends.


I am sure that Kelly-Anne thinks that it is " interesting" ( she loved that word) to know that she still even in her death continues have birthday parties.


My dear cousin Barbara goes out of her way to collect gift donations for the occasion while Kim and I sold many of our Christmas Balls.


The ambiance, wine and company left me with a warm heart. Many thanks to Martin, Antoine D and Antoine O for being the kind spirited young men who worked earnestly together to make the evening special.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Husband






My husband Jules celebrates his birthday this weekend. Alot is to be said about his sweet , kind individual. He is a homebody, loves his computer games, loves to clean the house and for that I have to say does an incredible job. He's not the type of husband that needs to be followed around to check to see if any spots have been missed. People ask me if I could loan him out...I always answer flatly ...no! Jules loves babies and cats and even the neighbour's dog Indy. Each morning before we leave for work , I find Jules sitting in the living room having quiet time with Sylvester. Syl will be sitting on the arm of the chair and Jules will be softly patting him. It's like Sylvester is trying to tell Jules to stay home and hang with him. As we leave out the door Sylvester sadly looks. I find it funny and strange how our three rug rats hover over Jules and but won't give me the time of day!! I think it's his soft demure character that tells the cats that he is not a threat to them. Me however, I have nag at them to behave.
Jules also loves his stepdaughter Kim, but at times he forgets that she is a 28 year old adult. Jules also loved Kelly-Anne. She would bring him gifts on his birthday, especially chocolate peppermint patties. I remember one birthday, Kel walked into the apartment where we were living and said " Here are peppermint patties for a French pepper." Needless to say the pepper got his patties ! Jules was born in Noranda, lived in Montreal and in Ontario and that is why he is fully bilingual.
Jules works physically for a living and does an honest day's work. He's no slacker. The proof of the matter is after work when he has returned home he showers and then flakes out in his favorite chair from exhaustion. He keeps on telling me he is not young anymore..eh right !
Happy Birthday Honey!
xxxxx

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kelly-Anne Drummond cocktail fundraiser

Nov. 28th is just around the corner. It will be a bittersweet day filled with emotions. Kelly-Anne would have been 29 years old on that day.....I wonder what she would have become and what she would have accomplished in the past four years had she still been with us. I know for sure that she would have gone to Germany this past July to complete again in the world lifesaving championship. Being amongst the best in the world is quite a challenge and to have the opportunity to compete against the best is for many an athletic''s dream come true. I truly believe that one needs to compete outside of their our environment to really see how good they really are. And that is exactly why la Fondation Kelly-Anne Drummond exists.

This past July two of her close lifesaving friends did compete in Germany. They will say a few words at the fundraiser next week in Kelly-Anne's honor. The fundraiser will include an award ceremony to honor those lifeguards to have taken their sport to a higher level. Wine and beer will be served along with a great nibbles from Le Tambour caterers. Marc Lalonde, news editor from The Chronicle West Island is the Honorary President for this event. Christmas Balls will be available for sale that evening along with beautiful items which will be part of a silent auction. Some of the items include a beautiful painted portrait of Kelly-Anne by a West Island artist, Fruit & Passion gift baskets, gifts certificates etc.

Tickets are still available by calling the Lifesaving society at 514-252-3100. Donation $50.00 A tax receipt will be issued for a portion of the donation.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Job Losses

This week at work was out of the ordinary typical Health & Safety scope. For 53 employees , it was a stream of sudden emotions stemming from the announcement of a soon to be closure of a department in my building. I asked my boss if he would of preferred to have called in a professional trauma specialist...he said no, he wanted me to deal with the employees and their emotions as I had the experience.

Job losses ...how can we draw the analogy to death.....one thing in common there is a mourning period. I looked at this week's announcement as someone being told that they have cancer...you know.... the commercial on TV where the doctor tells the patient that she has cancer and she falls backwards. The employees were told that their job would end in a couple of months. It's really the same...one learns of their disease as the other learns of an eventual job loss....the cancer patient has a choice...face it and deal with trying to be cured or dealing of the reality of dying from it...the employees also have choices.....prepare to move forward to seach for another job or give up.

On the brighter side of the picture...loosing a job is like a door closing and another one opening. For me, it would mean an opportunity to move forward, meet new people, learn something new, but for most it is the fear of the unknown, the fear of survival, the fear of not being able to feed their families.

I was encouraged this week as I heard the new President elect of the United States speak. President Obama understands and knows what poverty and adversity is all about. When I look at his life and see where he has come from and where he is now, I believe that anything is possible. I hope his words this week, not only encouraged those in my work place to move forward, but the many people across the globe who are unemployed, ill, or face adversity. We have to believe in ourselves that we all can overcome.

My thoughts and prayers are with my colleagues who are now faced with choices and decisions which are ahead of them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Christmas Balls-The Tradition continues on !







Here are a few pictures of the Christmas Balls which I create. Kelly-Anne loved decorating balls and assured that her family and friends always received one for a Christmas gift. She was so crafty!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trains down Memory Lane

This morning I ventured downtown on the commuter train. It has been years since I rode the train to the city. Yesterday, my hubby took my hand across the street to the train station...yes we see and here the trains from our front door. He showed me how to purchase a ticket and where to get on...Jules is so full of detail. He says that I am not good with machines and he is right.

I arrived 10 minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive and purchased my ticket. I stood on the platform and there I had a flash of the past. As I saw in the distance the headlights of the train approaching, I remembered when Kelly-Anne was in film class at Concordia. She did a documentary on the trains of Montreal. It was a one man show and a very good piece. I remember she filming the commuter train at Montreal West station. I don't know what became of that film...oh how I would love to have a copy of it.


I boarded the train and of course there wasn't a seat to be had. I held my ticket in my hand assuming that a porter would come by and take it from me...at least that is what I remember from way back when... a gentleman in a black suit and tie with a cap on his head who politely would ask for your ticket. To my surprise, there wasn't an employee to be had on the train. Later in the day coming home from the city, there were "want to be police" manning the trains. The employees looked like cops dressed in bullet proof vests, a waist band full of gadgets and in big bold letters written on the back of their jackets INSPECTEUR. Oh boy, have things changed or have I been living in a bubble all these years. Our society has evolved to the point where such a thing as gentlemen employees have now turn into bossy thugs. It has come to this point now on public transportation that the commuters have to be protected and controlled. I haven't heard of any crimes on these trains...but then again, things do slip through the cracks unheard of.

My goal today was to help out my dear friend at her church Christmas Sale. Remember those Christmas Balls ? Well, they sold out in no time flat. I even have orders to fill. A special friend came by and made a purchase and at the same time took the above picture of me. She says I'm photogenic....I say I don't think so...oh,, how I have aged in the past four years.

The day at the sale also brought back memories of the olden days, where people had time to knit, to sew and to get involved in church activities. Organizing a bazaar is a big undertaking. Only committed people can pull it off. Today I saw that at the church. People working together with one common goal.

Despite the changes of the life of the commuter train, I guess I have to evolve and go with the flow. The train is great and I hope to have this experience again. It was so nice not to have to have driven in traffic, looked for parking and to have to run out every couple of hours to put coins in a meter.

A suburbanite I will always be!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No Greater Bond

Today, I went to the same funeral salon where Kelly-Anne had been laid out. A distant relative had passed on. I walked into the chapel and their laid the deceased in the same spot where Kelly-Anne had laid. I thought to myself , I must get through this without falling apart. I went to Kelly-Anne's grave prior to entering the salon. I asked her to give me strength and of course she did.

As I stood giving my condolences to the decease's daughter, I remarked to her that there is no greater bond than a mother and a daughter and her relationship with her mother was a true example of that. She looked at me and said that she had never though of it that way....but later as I pondered on my own words, I realize that there is so much truth to those words. Mothers are the ones that carry and nurse the babies. Daughters try to imitate their mothers...I remember dress up days when the girls were little, I remember the girls wanting to try makeup for the first time and of course their first childhood loves.

The grieving daughter best friend was her mother. All she has left are the fond memories and the reminder of the love and friendship which they shared. That bond forever stays even in death...I know, I still feel my bond with Kelly-Anne. She is forever present.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Christmas Sale at St. George's Place du Canada


Here is an invitation to come by the annual Christmas Sale at St. George's Anglican Church. I have been invited to spend the day with my very good friend Anne. I will be donating Christmas Balls...remember I spoke about them a couple of months ago. I have created some nice pieces which I will be selling in Kelly-Anne's memory. All proceeds from the sale of the balls will be donated to the church project of helping the homeless. It would be great if you can attend the sale. There will also be lots of other interesting items for Christmas giving available.


IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN!

Time for the Guild of St. George’s Annual Christmas Sale.

Mark Thursday, October 30th on your calendar.

Time: 11 am. until 2 pm.
Place: St George’s church hall.
Address: Stanley and Lagauchetiere streets, opposite Windsor Station.

There is something for everyone, so come and do your Christmas shopping. We have a wonderful selection of preserves, baked and frozen goods, not to mention our famous Christmas puddings. There are tables loaded with gifts, jewellery, books, handicrafts, paintings and photographs, treasures and a fashion boutique. The downstairs Boutique St. George will also be open during the sale. A delicious lunch will be available for the modest price of $7.

Proceeds of this sale go towards supporting the ministry at St George’s as well as several Montreal missions to the homeless and disadvantaged.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thanksgiving

Prior to 2004, the month of October was always a festive time of the year. I looked forward to it even more than Christmas. Even though my Dad had passed away in 1992 on Thanksgiving weekend, our family made it a point to continue our tradition of family, turkey, pumpkin pie and togetherness. Dad enjoyed Thanksgiving as equally well as Kelly-Anne did. They both enjoyed the aroma of the turkey roasting in the oven and the tradition of all the family sitting at the table together to enjoy the feast. We looked forward to the celebration of birthdays, mine and Kim also in October. I loved taking walks and crunching leaves under my feet as we breathed the fresh autumn air. The girls looked forward to Halloween....decorating the house, trick or treating and overdosing on candy.

Ironically, Kelly-Anne was buried on Thanksgiving Monday. October no longer has the same meaning. It's different. Nothing is the same. The leaves symbolize the changing of the seasons...that winter is around the corner. My birthday doesn't mean much more now than another year older. Preparing Thanksgiving turkey is another chore which this year I choose not to partake in.

Jules and I will head up to Morrisburg , Ontario tomorrow and have turkey dinner at Upper Canada Village. Right now I need to escape my world and go back to a time where life was basic and people were happy and not so demanding of themselves or others.

As for what I am thankful for this weekend , well that really is important to me. I am thankful to have a precious daughter Kim, a wonderful and loving husband Jules, a home over my head, my health and capability to earn a living, true blue friends, my dear four -footed friends and mostly thankful that God gave me a precious Kelly-Anne for 24 years.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Laugh and Love

I have been pondering the last few days as to how I would pay tribute to Kelly-Anne on the 4th anniversary of her death. I don't have to tell you that I am still in pain, still cry, still suffer from post trauma, still miss her, still am so angry at her killer. Some may say to get over it, you need to let Kelly- Anne rest in peace or you will feel better if you forgive him....ya right.

Today as we remember Kelly-Anne I want to bring to light someone who have been there for Kelly-Anne even in her death. Rachel has been a faithful friend who has not forgotten Kell....... Even in her death, Rachel has managed on her own to keep Kelly-Anne's memory alive. Knowing Rachel as I do, I knew this morning she would of prepared something special on her blog. Please take a moment to look at look. My morning started in a bath a tears.
http://www.kadrummond.blogspot.com/

As for myself, I will face the day with grace. We will go to the cemetery and lay flowers. The energy that my daughter still gives me today is so strong. The words said to me four years ago outside of Kelly-Anne 's hospital room by her doctor " Your life will forever change" still ring in my ears. I continue to forge forward on my journey to fight violence, help families, convince the governments to change laws and to be a messenger to the youth.

As your thoughts are with Kelly-Anne and her family today, remember to live each day to the fullest, laugh and love as Kelly-Anne did in her short but full life.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sweet Family Memories

Today, Jules, Kim and I spent a lovely afternoon at a cousin's home. I met second cousins who I had not seen since I was a very young child. We looked at family pictures and reminisced about our childhoods. One thing that we all seemed to have in common was the sweet memories of our grandmothers in their kitchens cooking up a Lebanese storm.

That being said, we were reminded how our grandmothers were the hub of the family. Aunts, Uncles and cousins would gather at our Sito's homes for the holidays and the meal would be fit for a king and the time spent together all so special. We agreed that those days are gone, our lives have all taken different dimensions. Working, raising children and the demands to get ahead all seems to take priority.

I feel that the time with family is so important and that we don't always make the effort to rekindle those relationships. Sure, the food won't as perfect as what we had as children, but the friendships of the cousins is what really is important. As my cousin mentioned today, we no longer have our parents and grandparents, all we have is each other. We are now the older generation and we have to stick together. I agree entirely and said to her that we need to all live peacefully and enjoy the moment together...no criticizing, no arguing, accept each other as we are and be happy.

Life is just too short.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup

Again this year, Concordia University will host the women's rugby exhibition game on Sunday, September 7th 2008 at 1:00 p.m. Concordia and McGill will play for the Kelly-Anne cup. For the past three years McGill has been winning the cup...let's see what happens this Sunday.

We will be collecting money, clothing and non-perishable food for Chez Doris, a women's shelter in Montreal. Upon entry with your donations, you are invited to enjoy a BBQ lunch.

The field is on the Loyola campus on the south side on Sherbrooke st. west in N.D.G.

Let's hope the good weather stays with us.
See you there!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Adventuring

This morning I sit here with Maya next to me as we listen to Peter Cetera bellowing his hits. Jules and I really like his music. When we travel to Vermont, we usually take the CD along. The sun is shining and I can relax as I am back on vacation for a few days.

This afternoon I await the visit of Kelly-Anne and Kim' s first cousin Karly from Edmonton. It has been many years since I last saw her. I am anxious to see her. I am anxious to see how she has developed into a young women...what are her goals and aspirations, I wonder.

One thought comes to mind this morning about Kelly-Anne and her way of living which for me is an example of how we should all look at life. She loved to go "adventuring". Her idea of adventuring would be a spur of the moment thing where she would take a decision just to do something either with her sister, or with friends or even with myself. For her it was always about a little bit of clean fun. There was always a tale to tell at the end of the day which would usually make us bend over in laughter. When I think back about the road signs ending up at home , or her car trips through parks and mud slides....well, we should all be so carefree and happy.

You can also call it the following:
1. don't sweat the small stuff.
2. live each day to the fullest.
3. surround yourself with positive energy
4. rid yourself of the negative

Let's all try and kick back and laugh at our selves. Kelly-Anne today inspires me to just be me , so I will continue to listen to my music this morning, dance with the cats and be happy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pérsérverence, Performance, Esprit Sportif

These three words clearly describe the type of athletic that Kelly-Anne was. These three words are inscribed on the trophy which was presented today to four athletics who show the example of these words.

The Quebec Lifesaving Society hosted at Parc Jean Drapeau a three day National competition. Today I went to the competition and spoke to the athletics and their parents. My goal was to tell them a little about Kelly-Anne since there are now 95% of the younger athletics who never knew Kelly-Anne. I wanted them to know about Kelly-Anne and what she accomplished as a competitive lifeguard and that the foundation which we put in place when Kelly-Anne died is for them.

I promised myself that I would not cry today, but of course that wasn't the case. Kelly-Anne's dear friends make it easy for me to get emotional as there they are so beautiful, so happy and so alive. I love her friends which she made from this sport. It is when they get emotional and the tears start flowing, that it tears me apart. It's days like today that I start asking again "why". Why did this have to happen, why couldn't she of had a nice boyfriend from her lifesaving community friends? Why did she have to die?

Her dear friends from the lifesaving community continue to keep Kelly-Anne's name and spirit alive.

Please join us on Friday, November 28th 2008 ( Kelly-Anne's birthday) as we host the Kelly-Anne Drummond Foundation Cocktail in Dollard des Ormeaux.

The Kelly-Anne Drummond Trophy











Thursday, July 24, 2008

Judgement day for the Pedophile

Today's sentencing of the Belgium pedophile who flew to Montreal to be with a 13 year old child took me really by surprise. He received a sentence in provincial jail for twenty months. That is all he got for ruining the young girl's life! He has already served one and a half months of time and will probably be out in a few months on good behavior.

The provincial penal system in Quebec does not allow a person charged with a crime to stay more that 2 years plus a day in jail. He, like any other pedophile in the provincial system will not receive treatment for his sickness. Therefore, upon his release (and I hope directly to the airport to take a flight home to his country) nothing will change for him.

I did an interview today with Global on this case. Needless to say the report was just as astounded as I was to hear the decision of the sentencing. A slap on the hand, that's it. I wondering if it had been the child or grandchild of a judge or politician...how would that of changed the sentencing?

This pedophile claimed that they were in love. How a 13 year old views love it not at all how he viewed it. She was promised a life in an Amish community where their relationship would not be judged.

My fears and concerning are the following:

1. Will the young girl get the necessary treatment she needs?
2. Will she not try to find a way to communicate with him while he is in jail?
3. Will he not scheme to get her to leave home upon his release and meet up with her out of the country? We know that many teenagers leave home by choice and are never found.
4. What message are we sending to other men or women who think that they are not pedophiles but really are about the lenient sentencing?
5. How can children and their parents be educated about predators on the Internet?
6. Why must he serve his time in Quebec? I would of much rather of seen him board that plane and serve the time in Belgium. More than likely, the sentencing there would have been more severe. It is our tax dollar that will house him.

How do you feel about the sentencing?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Disappearance - Choice or Criminal

I am often bothered by the many young adults who vanish from their homes without a moment's notice...here today and gone tomorrow. I feel so helpless when I get phone calls from the parents whose young adult child has gone missing....what can I tell them...keep the faith, be courageous during this trying time.

There is this man, a father who I have spoken to a couple of times this week. His daughter is missing. Today I said to him that sometimes a disappearance is by choice, that maybe his daughter decided to make a decision of her own and flee the family home. He understood from where I was coming from....but it really is so sad that he may never see his daughter again and may never know if she is really alive or dead. There is no closure in these types of cases.

Young females can be the prey of men whose motives are very criminal.....the promise of a good life, money, clothes , trips and drugs. Women are being sold on the black market and shipped to countries far away for slavery. Others are sent to cults.

I believe that we need to all be vigilant of our children's whereabouts and who their friends and associates are. And we need to step up to the plate aggressively if necessary no matter what age they are and get involved in any potentially serious situation.

Many of our families at AFPAD wait each day to know if their loved one is alive or if their body will be found. It's the hard dark walls that surround these families...never knowing the truth.

I would like all of you reading this blog to take a moment and reflect about those families who try each day to get out of bed and go on with their lives. At the same time, hug your loved one and be thankful that I am not writing about you and your family.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sylvester

Our dear boy Sylvester spent the night in the hospital. The vet looked at me and said "Il vont pas bien" ( He is not doing well) I looked at her and asked "Is he going to die?" She couldn't give me a yes or no answer. I panicked....I can't relive loosing someone I love again....I know, I know...he's a cat....but still, he is part of the family and treated like one of the kids. Syl looked so sad, so helpless. He was dehydrated and very lifeless. The hospital ran many tests, gave him an IV drip and antibiotics. We are so venerable when these situations arise. We all want the best care for our pets and it all comes with a price tag. Unfortunately, medicare doesn't cover the costs.

Sylvester is different than most cats. He is part Siamese and is very afraid of the world around him. We knew that he was very sick as the doctor at the hospital said that they put him down next to a huge dog and he didn't even bat an eye. The care and attention which he received was excellent...yes we paid the price too !

He is now on the road to recovery. We did our share of praying this week. I wonder sometimes if Jules and I are really over the top when it comes to the cats. We went out today and bought Sylvester new toys. He really loves those little mouses with long tails.We also bought shampoo and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Syl has bad teeth and gingivitis. He will visit the dentist next month. Ok , Ok ....you've heard enough. I am just grateful for the love and attention which he and his sisters give us. When the chips are down and the tears are flowing, I can always count on the cats to be a listening ear.......no judgement and always unconditional love.......more than what some humans give to each other.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lazy days of summer

The past two weeks I have been on holidays. During this time I have been relaxed, carefree and enjoying the moment. During this time off I have been thinking alot of the summers gone by of my childhood...remember when summer seemed to last forever. Those lazy days of sunshine and swimming. Not much has changed except that the days and weeks move faster and the weather can be tempermental.

I can remember Kelly-Anne and Kim's summers as little girls. They would get on their bicycles with their bags packed with towels, sunscreen and a lunch and off to the pool they would go for swimming lessons and fun. When I arrive at the pool for adult swim I sit and watch the children finishing up their lessons and wonder how many of these children will take swimming to a higher level. How many will become lifeguards? Who will consider competitive life guarding? I see the moms talking together about their children and their summer activities. Memories, memories.

I have also thought alot about my eventual retirement. Will summers be like this when I retire? If it is the case, I can't wait. Flip flops, suntans and aquafit....summer just can't be better.

Oh, and I learnt how to knit at the pool. I have made a few dishcloths...love those things. Today I played scrabble. Those lazy days of summer!

Have a safe and happy summer!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 1st

I don't think that there is anyone who looked forward to Canada Day as much as Kelly-Anne did. I can remember her many trips up to Parliament Hill in Ottawa where she and friends would enjoy themselves to the music and activities of the day.

Kell loved her "Canada" jewellery...necklaces, face paint, flags or whatever resembled Canada.

Let's all do what Kell would do today...wave that flag proudly and be thankful for our freedom.

Happy Canada Day!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Anne of Green Gables

As you all may or may not know Kelly-Anne loved Anne of Green Gables. Ironically, her email included this quote:
" Isn't it nice to know that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet!"
As I mentioned in my prior story, Mom passed away 15 years ago today. Kelly-Anne was invited to go to Prince Edward Island at the same time that Mom died with her dear friend and neighbour. We decided to let her go on the trip as Mom did love P.E.I. and it would be meaningful for Kell to be at the beach remembering her grandmother.

Today, a dear friend from work stopped in at my office. She had been stricken with cancer and thankfully is now cancer -free. She has always been a wonderful source of support to me during the past 4 years and truly believes in angels and that Kelly-Anne is an angel looking over us.
Without her knowing anything about today being my Mom's anniversary of her passing or of Kelly-Anne going to P.E.I. to see Anne of Green Gables, she gave me a gift of Canada Post stamps with Anne of Green Gables on them! I couldn't believe it. Well, we chalked it up to Kelly-Anne and her powers. I asked Kelly-Anne to watch over my friend as she had her cancer operation. My friend tells me that she sensed Kell was nearby.
Thanks Kell !

Love Mom & Sophie
xxxx

My Mom

Today I remember my Mom Alyce. She passed away 15 years ago today. Mom had Alzheimer's. I really don't know what is worst- Cancer or Alzheimer's. I was thinking today of what was really special about my mom and what do I have in common with her. Here's my list:
1. Mom loved to cook and have the family gathered around her table. So do I.
2. Mom loved to decorate her Christmas trees...yes two of them. One was white , the other was green. I love decorating my one white tree.
3. Mom would play on the floor with Kelly-Anne and Kim when they were young children. I always enjoyed doing that too.
4. Mom loved her children so very much. She worried about us and would stay up late if we were out with friends. So am I this way. I even still call Kim on her cell late at night if she is out. She thinks I am crazy as I only say "I just want to hear your voice."
5. Mom was a news junkie. So am I.
6. Mom always had an idea on how to enterprise herself. So do I.
7. Mom loved to do crochet, knit and draw. Unfortunately I thought I never inherited any of that from her...but those Christmas balls have now changed my opinion of myself. Thanks Mom !
8. Mom believed in eating lots of salads and vegetables. So do I.
9. Mom believed that we should never go outside barefoot as we could get arthritis. I wish I believed you then Mom.
Mom always insisted that we wear a hat and scarf.....thanks mom, I really love my scarfs and so did Kelly-Anne and so does Kim.
10. Mom knew how to get the best out of a dollar. So do I.

I have no doubt that Mom has been an angel looking over us. I am sure that she cried too when Kelly-Anne was taken from us. I know that they are together taking care of each other now.
Thanks Mom for the great memories. We miss you.
xxxxx

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Stories from Pacific Beach

Caroline's email today brought back some memories of stories Kelly-Anne told me about while she lived in San Diego. Unfortunately I didn't keep her emails from that time and I regret that now.

Kelly-Anne told me that one day she was surfing on Pacific Beach. While on her board she saw
something in the water near her. At first she thought that it was a shark and proceed to get out of it's way real quickly, but looking at it closer she realized that it was a sea otter.

Another time she was surfing and suddenly there were a family of dolphins swimming along side of her. She said that it was a very humbling experience.

One evening I received a phone call from Kelly-Anne. She told me that she had been on her surf board trying to impress some guys that were surfing nearby and somehow she fell off her board head first into the water. She hit her head on the bottom of the ocean floor as she didn't realize that the water was quite shallow. She said her neck hurt and of course I was worried. She said that there was a doctor in her building and she would go over and see her. Thankfully it was only a sprain. It could of been alot worse.

While Kelly-Anne was in San Diego she got around on a a bicycle that someone had given her. She said that people would look at her as she rode it to work or where ever she was going. The bike was one of those old fashion bikes with the high bars...remember them? She told me that one day she was riding it to a customer's home as she was working in a catering business as a waitress. She would wear her shorts to work and carry her work clothes in a suit bag over her shoulder. One day as she was driving to work, the catering company's truck pulled up beside her and the driver asked her if she wanted a lift to the house. She said yes. The driver opened the back door of the truck and Kelly-Anne hoisted her beloved bike into the truck and climbed in. I remember seeing pictures of her on the bike.

Kelly-Anne was a free spirit in those days. She did what she needed to do and didn't worry
about appearances. I remember very soon after she returned to Montreal she came over to see me and was wearing a pair of shoes which she purchased in San Diego. I mentioned that they looked well worn. She then said that she bought them to wear at her catering job at a second -hand shop as it was all she could afford.

Thinking about all this now, I realized that Kelly-Anne had the right idea about how to lead her life. Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt from all this. An old pair of shoes and an old fashion bike served her needs......how humbling. Would any of us do the same I wonder?

The Pool

Today was the day that my favorite pool opened for the summer months. I donned by suit, cap and goggles and off I went. I told myself that I was going to swim flawless laps, not be afraid and just do it as Kelly-Anne would expect me to. And yes, I did it ! No panic attacks, no swallowing water and no stopping half way and thinking that I was going to drown. I fascinated that I was training for a competition....what competition I don't know...but that thought allowed me to forge forward and swim. The sun was shining, the water was perfect and there wasn't anyone in my lane stressing me out.

It's going to be a great summer. I need to do this and feel good about myself. Post trauma is something I don't wish on anyone. It's all about learning how to live with situations and adapting to change.

Also....the devil is not going to run my life !

Pars la Machine !

Here is an email which I received from a dear friend of Kelly-Anne. Caroline shared this story with me and I am so grateful that she and Kelly-Anne had this time together. This is how I want Kelly-Anne to be remembered by her friends. She would want us to remember how she lived and not just how she died.


Hi Doreen, I hope this email finds you well.I just wanted to share a song with you that reminds me of a very special day I had with Kelly-Anne. It was special just because of its beautiful simplicity. Kelly-Anne and I were in San Diego body surfing at pacific beach and everything was perfect.The weather was ideal, blue sky, amazing waves, not a single soul around us, just her and I laughing like 2 little girls in the ocean. We must have stayed hours there that day and I can still hear Kelly-Anne saying :"Come on : pars la machine!!!" Which was our way of saying, come on, we need more waves, bring it on! I often think at this day as a perfect day, no worries, no work, no responsibilities just 2 friends and the ocean. This song by Avril Lavigne is now often on air and everytime I hear it, it reminds me of that day. I hope you have a minute to download it on youtube. Here are some of the lyrics, hope you like it!

Waking up I see that everything is ok
The first time in my life and now it's so great
Slowing down I look around and I am so amazed
I think about the little things that make life great
I wouldn't change a thing about it
This is the best feeling
[Chorus]This innocence is brilliantI hope that it will stay
This moment is perfect
Please don't go awayI need you now
And I'll hold on to it
Don't you let it pass you byI found a place so safe, not a single tear
The first time in my life and now it's so clear
Feel calm, I belong, I'm so happy here
It's so strong and now I let myself be sincere
I wouldn't change a thing about it
This is the best feeling
It's a state of bliss, you think you're dreaming
It's the happiness inside that you're feeling
It's so beautiful it makes you wanna cry(Avril Lavigne: Innocence)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Krispy Kreme Donuts

I just saw a little article today about the best donut shops around and I had a flashback about something Kelly-Anne said and did back in 2003. It was the year that Krispy Kreme opened a shop at Marché Central. It was all the rage and people were lining up for donuts. Kelly-Anne had mentioned Krispy Kreme to me prior to that as she tasted them while living in San Diego in 2002.

One day Kell and I were window shopping at Fairview Pointe Claire. Kell turned to me and said , "So Mom, do you thing I look like I lost any weight this week?" I looked at her and remarked casually that she looked the same as usual. Then, she proceeded to tell me of her Krispy Kreme adventure with one of her good friends. She tells me that a few days prior to our shopping day, she and her friend went to line up at Krispy Kreme. Kelly-Anne told me that she purchased two dozen donuts and managed to eat 22 of them.

And you are asking me if you look like you lost any weight this week ? Oh that Kell, she always found a way to make me laugh....imagine 22 donuts!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Tradition Continues On........

Kelly-Anne had a real knack when it came to making crafts. Her family and friends are very fortunate to have decorations in our homes and in particular on our Christmas trees which Kelly-Anne created. I know it is a little early to be talking about Christmas, but since I have been home recovering from my operation, I have done alot of thinking of what projects and activities lie ahead for this year.

Two years ago Kim decided that she would be continuing Kell's tradition of Christmas Ball decorations. I was amazed of the talent that she too demonstrated...her creativity, style, colors ....really awesome. Last year Kim thought that we should make Christmas Balls to donate to Kelly-Anne's Annual fundraiser for Lifesaving Society. We headed up to Ottawa to Michael's and practically bought out the store. We returned home and started our project. Wow, firstly it was a great stress reliever to be sitting at the table and working with the mind and hands to create these ornaments. I can remember in the still of the night sitting with a cup of tea, Maya nearby and working on the ornaments. I did not realize that I too would allow my creativity to work in such an interesting and refreshing way.

Now I plan to seek out the plain glass balls earlier this year. I will be extending the sales of these balls to the community at large...with a portion of the sales going to The Kelly-Anne Drummond Foundation. Just to give you a little insight of the foundation...it was created the day Kelly-Anne died. Because of her love for competitive life guarding, we decide that having a foundation would allow other young Quebec athletes to achieve their goals a little easier. I remember how hard it was in 2004 prior to Kelly-Anne's death to raise money and prepare for her trip to the World Championships in Italy. Now, with assistance of the fund, other athletics will be able to train, travel to competitions and have the necessary equipment to train with.

We will be selling the Christmas Balls again this year at the fundraiser in Dollard des Ormeaux on November 28th 2008. The proceeds of the sales at the event will be at 100% to the foundation.

If anyone would like to purchase the balls during the year, I will take orders. As soon as I have some made, I will post pictures so you will have an idea of how they look. A portion of the sales will go to Kelly-Anne's fund. I know I have been talking about Christmas balls, but they can be made to cater to any event , any theme, any season. They make beautiful gifts and decorations for the home or even a keepsake for a special occasion.....weddings, birthdays.

By creating these balls, I feel that I am continuing Kelly-Anne's tradition and helping her fund all at the same time. Also, it's a therapy that helps to get through the difficult moments and it feels good to know that I am contributing to something Kelly-Anne loved.

You may email me if you would like more information about the balls or would like to make a purchase.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another Good Resource

Here is a link to Shelternet. I have discovered this website which is available in many languages. All women shelters across Canada are listed along with other information. Please pass it on to others who may be in need of this reference.


http://www.shelternet.ca/splashPage.htm

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I awoke this morning to the sunshine beaming into the bedroom windows. The warmth of the sun made me feel that it would be a good day. I can remember my first Mother's Day after Kelly-Anne died. Without going into detail, all I can say that it was horrible.

After breakfast I decided to take a few hours for myself. Jules wanted to do his house cleaning...yes I have a " homme rose". He is wonderful. I went to the cemetery to be closer to Kelly-Anne. There, I cried my eyes out, talked to her and asked her to hold my left hand as I will have my right handed operated on tomorrow. Many cars and people swarmed the cemetery.... families visiting mothers and grandmothers. I wondered how many were visiting their daughters and sons.......it really is so abnormal to be visiting my daughter's graveside. It's not the way life is suppose to be. I thought about all the other mothers who are in my shoes....the loss of their daughters and sons to senseless murders, to illness, accidents and suicides. I feel for each and very one of them. We all live under this black cloud that follows us every where. The only thing we can do is learn how to live with this hidden handicap. I said to Kelly-Anne that I will try and find purple tulips to bring to her. This week I will venture out bandages and all to look for some.

I went to do some shopping...I called today my last day of independence for a while as I will have Jules at my beck and call for a week and a half....he will drive me around, cook and clean.

I met up with Kim in Pointe Claire village. We browsed around in the shops, bought jewellery
and had coffee. I think going shopping has to be the most favorite outing Kim and I enjoy together. We both love fashion, jewellery, shoes and purses. We had supper with Jules...salmon on the BBQ and creme caramel for dessert. Kim gave me some neat gifts...a pair of cool shoes, makeup and a subscription to a magazine, but the best was the card. The inscription says :
" You're the kind of person this world needs more of -
because you live what you believe in, and reach out to make a difference "

The day has now come to an end. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms reading this post. May the memories we have with our children and grandchildren be cherished forever.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Another Resource

Here is a website from Quebec Justice department which has good information concerning domestic abuse, breaking of leases for women who are living in abusive relationships, and for victims of crime. Well worth looking over.


http://www.justice.gouv.qc.ca/english/publications/generale/rec-ress-a.htm#criminal

Monday, April 28, 2008

Violet & Kimmy

Here they are, two peas in a pod. Violet brings alot of smiles and chuckles into Kim's life. Kim talks about Violet to all her friends and she asked to bring her good friend Kristen for Easter dinner as she wanted to meet Violet.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Family Dinners

Today, we celebrate Orthodox Easter. I try to keep some of the traditions from my family and their roots alive. My grandparents on my mother and father 's side both immigrated to Canada from Lebanon at the turn of the century. My grandparents came here as teenagers, poor and created businesses here in Quebec, thus making their contribution to our economy. The only surviving member of my mother's family is her sister Violet who is now 91 years. She spent most of her years in a town outside of Montreal , but now resides here. I made a commitment a few years ago, that as long as she is alive and able, I would always have her for the holidays.

It really is a joy to have her with us. She may not remember all of our names and how we are related to her, but she is lively and full of repetitive conversation. She seems to attract the younger generation. Kelly-Anne adored Violet. I can remember Kelly-Anne's last Christmas. She sat next to Violet on the sofa and just chatted away with her. Kim now goes at times and takes care of Violet at her residence and enjoys every minute of it. There is always a little story to tell after the day is over...little things Violet will do or say that just amazes us about her sense of awareness.

Last Christmas, Maya sat on the floor beside Violet's chair. Violet looked over at Maya, then looked up at us and said "Nice dog you have there." Well, I wonder what Maya thought of that! Of the three felines, Maya seems to be the one who hovers around Violet when she is with us.

The table is set, the food is pretty well prepared. We will enjoy the day, give thanks to the Lord for family and friends gathered, the sunshine and gifts that He has given us. A candle will be lit for Kelly-Anne as she always has a place at our table.

Friday, April 18, 2008

More Resources

One thing which I only found out through my experience of going to court is that in the Palais du Justice here in Montreal and I believe everywhere else in Quebec are computers which are accessible to all who would want to use them. I understand that they have become a very important tool for women who feel the need to inquire about their partners. By keying in a name and date of birth, information regarding any past criminal charges would appear.

Here is the link to all the court houses in Quebec. If you feel the need to use their computers, I would first call to verify that they have them set up.

http://www.justice.gouv.qc.ca/english/joindre/palais/palais-a.htm

For those of you living outside of Quebec, check with your local court house to see if this service is available and if the law in your state or country allows citizens to have access to this type of information.

I only wish I knew this existed while Kelly-Anne was still alive.

Kelly-Anne's Presence

As Jules and I planned our wedding for February 2007, we thought about how we could pay tribute to Kelly-Anne. We wanted her to be remembered and be apart of this occasion. Our theme was Valentine's Day. I had been browsing on EBay and saw this candlestick holder which was originally from an Avon catalogue from 1979. How fitting I thought. Kelly- Anne was born that year and the candlestick holder had hearts all over it. I went ahead for the first time and made a bid. The next day I saw that I had won my bid...it was under $10.00 and I made arrangements to have the candlestick holder sent to me from the United States. The package traveled across the country only to be returned to the west coast by Post Canada saying that our address did not exist. Needless to say, the address on the package was correct and I finally received the candlestick holder. I guess it was meant for our wedding. I wonder if Kelly-Anne had anything to do with that. You can see the candlestick holder in this picture on the table. Kim and I both light the candle during the service as a symbol of light and of Kelly-Anne's presence with us.

Time for Reflection

Here are a couple of quotes which I really like. I usually include them in my presentations to groups. I would like to share them with you. Both are from Eleanor Roosevelt. Take a moment to reflect on these words.


1. " Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission."


2. " One's philosophy is not best expressed in words, it's expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

WomenAware

In continuing with resources for abused women, I would like to share some thoughts on this wonderful organization here in Montreal. For over 13 years Women Aware has been helping women who have been or are in abusive domestic relationships. I had the honor of participating in their 10th year anniversary celebrations. I can tell you that these people involved in this organization are there because they want to be there. They want to make a difference and are dedicated in helping other women. Women Aware even go into the schools to talk to students about abuse.

I was very touched when their director June Mitchell and President Theresa Forester and other members would come to the courthouse to support Kelly-Anne's family during the trial. Each time that I turned around and saw them sitting behind me, I felt love and encouragement from these ladies.

I suggest that you take a few minutes and look over their website. http://www.womenaware.ca/

Please pass this organization on to others who may benefit from their services.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Resources for Abused Women in Canada

Part of the purpose of this blog is to be a resource to other women who are in an abusive relationship or for other individuals who may know of someone who is and would like to try and help them. I will be posting periodically information which I have either researched and thought valuable to share with you or information which I may have obtained through my networking with the many women's organizations which I present to.

Here is a website with all the names and addresses of women's shelters across Canada.

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/violencefamiliale/pdfs/fem-dir-2004Women_f.pdf

Sunday, March 30, 2008

How are we remembering Kelly-Anne?

I was thinking a few days ago about what personal friends , sporting groups, cities, universities and private companies have done in Kelly-Anne's name and thought I would share that with you. By making this list, it would maybe give ideas to others who have lost a cherished one about how they could find a way to celebrate their loved one's life.

The Kelly-Anne Drummond Foundation with the Lifesaving Society is the only one which I requested as I saw the passion that Kelly-Anne had for the sport and felt that it was important that other Quebec competitive lifeguards reach their goals. Each November 28th ( Kelly-Anne's birthday) the Lifesaving Society hosts a cocktail fundraiser.
http://www.sauvetage.qc.ca/contenu-splash.asp?id=100

1. tree planted in Westwood Park by the Montreal Barbarians Rugby Club
2. tree planted at Greendale school, Pierrefonds
3. website: Kelly-Anne Drummond Memorial http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/kellyanne/
4. website : Remembering a Friend
http://www.kadrummond.blogspot.com/
5. Kelly-Anne Drummond Conference Room, Aquatic Centre, Dollard des Ormeaux
6. Kelly-Anne Drummond monument in Grier Park , City of Pierrefonds
7. Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup, Concordia & McGill Rugby teams
8. Kelly-Anne Drummond Trophy, Montreal Barbarian Rugby Team
9. Kelly-Anne Drummond Foundation, Lifesaving Society
http://www.sauvetage.qc.ca/contenu-splash.asp?id=100
10.In Memory of Kelly-Anne Drummond for the West Island Women's Shelter
11. In Memory of Kelly-Anne Drummond on Facebook

Pics at McKibbon's







Keeping Kelly-Anne's name alive !

Yesterday, The Montreal Barbarian Rugby Club and McKibbon's Irish Pub hosted in Kelly-Anne's memory a fundraiser for the West Island Women's Shelter. What a lovely afternoon is was.....music, comedians, warm company, a few nibbles and a drink. Kelly-Anne would of just loved it ! I do know that she is beaming down over her friends and old team mates and saying thanks.... thanks for keeping my name alive and helping others.

Over $2, 500.00 was raised for the shelter. I am hoping that this event will become a yearly one. Many thanks to those who donated gifts, time and talents.

I will post a few pictures.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kelly-Anne

There is so much to write about when when it comes to telling the story of Kelly-Anne's life. I really do not know where to start, so there will be a few, if not many postings about her.

I guess the best thing to do is start right from the beginning of her life.......November 28th 1979. On a cool November day at 12:01 p.m. Kelly-Anne was born into this world....just in time for lunch! They say that babies can't see when they are first born....I think Kelly-Anne could see. She, with her big blue eyes were looking up at me as I cradled her in my arms. She gave me the impression that that she was ready to take on the world ..... and as I watched her grow up, she certainly did just that.

As a toddler, Kelly-Anne always had a smile on her face. She loved her father and I, her grandparents, her baby sister Kim who was born exactly 11months to the day after Kelly-Anne and her stuffed animals ! Kelly-Anne was the type of baby that when she would wake up in the morning, she would sit in her crib and talk to her stuff animals and to the animals on her wall paper and patiently wait for myself or her father to come into the room to get her for breakfast. She would be so happy to see us. I would say to her "Kelly-Anne which one of your babies do you want to have breakfast with you?" She would grab one of them..usually her plush Sylvester and drag him to the kitchen where she would joyfully try to share her pablum with. What a mess!

Kelly-Anne took her first steps at 11months old. My mom and dad kept her at their home while I was in the hospital giving birth to Kim. Pictures were taken by my mom to prove to me that Kelly-Anne would eat vegetable soup. She had taken a picture of Kelly-Anne sitting in her high chair with my father spoon feeding her the soup. She would never eat vegetable soup with me!

Kelly-Anne loved Kimmy so much...she was the big sister always looking out for Kim. If the other kids wanted to bully Kim, Kelly-Anne always stepped in to protect her.

Birthday parties when Kelly-Anne and Kim were little was always a big deal. Some years the parties were at home, other years at McDonalds or at Chi Chi's. We would always have the parties together some where between both of the girls birthdays.

I can remember Kelly-Anne 's first day at school- kindergarten. She wore a beige blouse with a Peter Pan collar, with a blue kilt skirt and navy blue knee socks and navy shoes. Her hair was short and very curly. She carried a school bag with a Scottish terrier on it. I will never forget that day. I was putting her on the school bus for the very first time. I remember pinning a name tag on her with her name and telephone number, just in case she somehow got lost. I remember the lump in my throat, trying to keep back the tears. That day was like her first day of independence, she was on her own. Kelly-Anne was so proud to get on that bus and go off to school.

Kelly-Anne loved school. She was like a sponge, she loved learning new things, always curious and asking questions. Her grade one teacher summed it up at a parent-teacher night. She said that whatever Kelly-Anne touches, she will do well. Her teacher was right...as that is how Kelly-Anne was throughout her life.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Knowing the Danger Signs

Knowing the danger signs
by Patricia Enborg October 10, 2006
When Doreen Haddad-Drummond’s eldest daughter, Kelly-Anne, was murdered October 5, 2004, the Montreal mother was not only devastated – she felt guilty.
She wondered what she could have done to prevent Kelly-Anne, 24, from being killed by her live-in boyfriend.
Kelly-Anne had been a gifted athlete in university, entering lifesaving competitions even after she had graduated. She was working at a daycare centre before she died.
trouble
The family knew him as Marty.
Doreen thought Martin Morin-Cousineau was polite and nice, but he seemed to change jobs frequently.
For Doreen, the first sign of trouble occurred in December of 2002, but she didn’t recognize its significance. Kelly-Anne had asked her mother to call Marty. Doreen was to tell him where to pick Kelly-Anne up. The two would then go to an office party.
Marty became angry that Kelly-Anne didn’t call him directly. The couple fought over the phone. He refused to go to the party. Then later, he showed up.
Kelly-Anne told her mother she blamed herself. She should have been more considerate. Doreen remembers saying, “Well no. I mean he’s got his nerve to even treat you like that.” But Doreen now sees that her daughter was being manipulated.
A year later, Kelly-Anne wanted to watch the Grey Cup football game with friends. Marty didn’t want to join them. According to Doreen, he became very upset, and made threats against her friends. That led to another fight.
Concerned about the threats, Doreen urged her daughter to go to the police and ask if Marty had any past history of violence. Kelly-Anne did so, and was told he had driving citations.
hard lessons
The last time Doreen spoke to Kelly-Anne was the night before her daughter was killed. They discussed Kelly-Anne’s recent trip to Italy – a trip Marty did not want her to take.
Doreen asked how he was. Kelly-Anne said she needed to be more respectful of Marty. Doreen was shocked, “I wanted to say, ‘Like hell you need to be more respectful. You were brought up to know how to respect people and you don’t need to learn that now.’”
The next day, Kelly-Anne was murdered.
Martin Morin-Cousineau stabbed her in the neck with a steak knife. The blow left Kelly-Anne a quadriplegic. She was on life support. The next day, her family made the painful decision to remove her. She died a short time later.
Morin-Cousineau was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
During his trial, he claimed the stabbing was an accident. The jury thought otherwise. Evidence showed he had earlier threatened to kill Kelly-Anne if she went to Italy. According to court documents, the final argument had started as a dispute about rent.
The judge, Claude Champagne, wrote that the circumstances of the crime were extremely violent. The attack came from behind without warning. The judge added Morin-Cousineau had a lot of difficulty in his relationships with women, citing his inability to control his anger toward them.
It turned out that another woman had placed a restraining order against him.
Morin-Cousineau was found guilty and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He’s appealing the verdict.
Doreen and her family were relieved the traumatic court case was over, but she was left with the feeling she should have done more for Kelly-Anne.
“I just wish I knew more. And I guess it’s that part of the guilt that will stay with me for a while, maybe forever, I don’t know. But I feel now, I can take what happened to Kelly-Anne and put it into a purpose, to help somebody else. Maybe other lives can be saved.”
She now gives speeches, telling others what she has learned about violence against women – what signs to look for, how to find help – things she wasn’t able to tell her own daughter.
what women need to know
Here’s what Doreen wants to share with women in potentially dangerous relationships:
Many men will hit once, then apologize, so the woman won’t press charges. But then they hit again, and abuse their partner. They verbally threaten to throw women out on the street when they have no job, no money, no security. These men also want to control women’s lives through isolation from family and friends.
Many women live in silence, hoping their relationship will improve. They see it as a sign of failure if they ask for help … Don’t wait!
Go to a neighbour, to a woman’s shelter, or to the police. There is always a way out. Someone will help.
Get help as soon as possible. He will not change or leave.
If there is money involved, don’t wait to be paid back. Your life is worth more than money.
Early in the relationship, if you suspect he may have a criminal background, visit your local courthouse and ask whether he has a record. Insist they check the database.
Doreen has set up a local chapter of an organization called the Murdered or Missing Persons’ Families’ Association (MMPFA). It’s a non-profit group that works on behalf of families whose loved ones have either been murdered or are missing. It helps them deal with the police and the justice system and offers psychological support.
She is doing what she can so other young women will think of Kelly-Anne and consider leaving a violent and potentially dangerous, relationship. “I hope so because life is beautiful and we can have a wonderful life. I have everything I need ... except I don’t have my daughter.”
This feature was first published on section15.ca's predecessor site CoolWomen.

The Signs

Here are a few signs of what an abusive relationship can be. I speak about this at the conferences which I give. These are the signs which I learnt only after Kelly-Anne was murdered. I am hoping that what I have learnt will help someone else.

Unsettling feeling inside of you
He does not like you not having the same opinion as himself
Your family or friends may not be accepting of your relationship
You feel uncomfortable doing what he wants
You do not feel comfortable with him in the company of others as he is unpredictable
You catch little white lies he tells others, but try to ignore them
You feel that he is constantly manipulating you
He is frequently loosing jobs
He is always asking you for money
He is isolating you from your family and friends
He has a lack of respect for your family and friends
He does not like any of your friends
He picks fights and makes you believe that it is your fault, not his
He does not want to cooperate with you
He makes you feel that it is always your fault if something doesn’t go his way
He call you names
You feel that he is not trustworthy
He tries to intimidate you
He borrows objects and never returns them
He pushes you, shoves you , hits you
He starts to throw and break objects around you
He threatens you.
He makes comments such as:
1.“ You are ugly, nobody else is going to want to go out with you.”
2. “ Don’t push me or I am going to put you on the street and you will have nothing. You need me.”
3.“ I can’t live if you leave me.”
You no longer see your family or friends
You feel that you are not respecting him enough and that it is really your fault
He answers the phone and tells the person at the other end of the line that you are not there when you really are
You are lying for him
You are financing him


If this is you....there is help available. You can get out before it is too late.

A Sweet Story

A couple of weeks ago I was driving to work early in the morning. My usual route is to venture along Highway 13 with the radio on. The 6:00 a.m. news was just finishing and the broadcaster had a story out of Arizona, U.S.A.

It was about an elderly couple living in an "assisted living residence" (what we would call a senior's home). The gentleman in the story was 98 years old and he and his wife were celebrating their 76th year of marriage. The report said that this man was still calling his wife "Princess" after all these years together.

When I heard this story, I thought ,how sweet ... isn't this what we would all hope for in our lives...to be with our soulmate and still be the apple of his eye 76 years later!

Oh, how I wish that Kelly-Anne would have had the opportunity to live out her life this way with someone worthy of her. I wish that for all women who are suffering at the hands of abusive partners. This isn't love.

No women deserves the abuse. They only deserve to be respected and loved.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Retiring......I don't think so

Some people ask me what I will do when I retire....Retire what's that? For me, it means a new career. Freedom 55, yes to choose a new career..... let's see now...work from home, four days a week, be my own boss. Now that sounds like the ideal situation.

Winters in Quebec, just think I would be able to roll over in bed at 5:00 a.m. under the warmth of my comforter on a cold stormy morning and not have to think about getting up and out to be at the office for 7:00 a.m.

It's less than two years away...shall I just fantasize about it or make it my reality....I have a decision to make.

My new career....public speaking......my life path has brought me to this point. I can't hide under my comforter and deny what happened to Kelly-Anne and the many other women who have lived in silence and have suffered the abuse from their partners.

Kelly-Anne would want me to forge forward!

Welcome

The snow still lies on the ground here in Montreal. -10c and not your typical Easter Sunday. I tried to decorate the house with lilac daisies in a glass vase decorated with lilac and green ribbons...trying to be a little like Kelly-Anne with her Martha Stewart "savoir faire". Little ceramic bunnies line the cabinet in the dining room. Easter egg napkins adorn the dining room table. Pictures of Kelly-Anne surround us, reminding us daily of the beautiful life that was lost to a senseless horrific murder in October 2004.

I was told the day Kelly-Anne died that my life would forever change and it has. Life is different, I see the world differently. I don't sweat the small stuff. Nothing worse in my life could ever effect me as loosing Kelly-Anne is the ultimate pain that I would ever suffer.

Almost four years later, I have now moved along a road that I feared for the day we said goodbye to Kelly-Anne. I did not know how my life would go...how was I to live without Kelly-Anne I asked myself.

I found that if I told Kelly-Anne's story of how she lived and how she died, I would be able to build awareness for other young, middled aged or older women about domestic violence. I have learnt so much since Kelly-Anne's death...I learnt about violence against women at a very high price. My mission now is to educate other women.....there are no boundaries....domestic violence touches all women no matter what their education, social or economic, race, color or religion is.

When I am asked to address women or teenagers at conferences, I feel that Kelly-Anne is near me saying.....".thanks Mom, thanks for helping others and being my voice."

I love you Kelly-Anne and miss you everyday.