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

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.

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 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 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.