Friday, December 24, 2010


Christmas is already here. It seems that this past year has sped by so quickly. The gifts are wrapped and under the tree. Tonight we will go to midnight mass and tomorrow will will feast with all the Christmas fare of turkey, meat pies and dessert.

I woke up this morning feeling glum.I was thinking of Kelly-Anne and feeling sad that she is not here with us. Her place setting at the table will have a candle lit and I hope that will give me some peace in knowing that her spirit is with us. I was also feeling sad for others unknown to me who have so little or have suffered hardships that we may never understand. The people in Haiti, our soldiers and the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and those in our very own cities who do not have homes or any money to feed and cloth their children. We have so much of everything. The abundance of food is never ending. Jules and I went out to breakfast this morning and somehow got on this conversation about those who are in difficult times. We truly do have alot to be thankful for despite our own loss.

Family and friends called today to extend their warm wishes for the holiday season. Everyone means well, but it is very hard to be in the spirit of the holidays.Kelly-Anne loved Christmas and I am thankful that we have wonderful photos of her as a child under the tree on Christmas morning. I will scan some pictures and post them. Both she and Kim would have matching pj's. Just their smiles on their faces on Christmas morning was so delightful to see.

A friend of mine told me today that his half brother found him. He never even knew that that this person existed. I look at this as a gift. A new brother comes into his life probably at a time when he needs it the most. We really do not know what life will bring us. As I have said so often, life is fragile and we must live for today. We must love those around us and cherish our fond memories of today and of Christmas past.

I wish you all not matter if you believe in the spirit of Christmas or not, a beautiful and peaceful holiday season and New Year filled with health, happiness and love.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another Birthday

Today would of marked Kelly-Anne's 31st birthday. Today we can only imagine if she were alive how happy and proud she would of been. That smile, those curly locks and perhaps a little toddler with those same curls lagging behind her dragging a blanket and a favorite stuffed animal. We will never know what might of been.

This evening,once again for the 6th year, we will gather to toast Kelly-Anne and remember her spirit, her perseverance and determination towards competitive life guarding. For many in attendance, they will not have known Kelly-Anne. They will only of known her by her reputation as being a world class athlete. Her legacy continues to live on in those who challenge themselves to the harsh waves and deep waters of our oceans.

For me, the pain doesn't go away. The lump is still my throat. I just get better at masking my true feelings. I put on a smile and forge forward each day remembering what Kelly-Anne would expect me to do. The swimming gets better and each time I flex my arm and see the strength of my muscles, I hear Kelly-Anne in my head with that little chuckle of pleasure and envision that smile of approval on her face.

They say time heals...that's a crock of bull. They should say...time changes things :life and oneself becomes different.

I love you and miss you each day Kelly-Anne.xxxxx

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Video: Sister's Keeper

Here is a video from today's Gazette where Kim speaks openly of the loss of Kelly-Anne. Again, I am in awe of Kim.

Video: Sister's Keeper

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thoughts about Kelly-Anne

Here we are already in November. They say that November is the month of the dead. I tend to agree with that. Last week I attended a church service remembering the dead and of course prayers for Kelly-Anne were said. November is such a dismal month. The sun is shining today, but that is a rarity.

Last week I had a conference call with the hard working committee members for Kelly-Anne's cocktail. It the same each year at this time. We plan the cocktail fundraiser and work hard at getting donations and selling tickets. I wonder what Kelly-Anne is thinking about all of this. It's weird to be planning her birthday party each year as she is not in attendance. Only her spirit is there. Kelly-Anne's steadfast lifesaving friends will be there too. How proud Kelly-Anne would be to see that her friends who she competed with now have children. Their lives have moved forward and I know that Kelly-Anne as I is happy for that.

Who else, I ask goes thought this each year on their deceased daughter's birthday? Sometimes I feel so different that everyone else...maybe because I am different. I still can't get away from the fact that I walk under a black cloud. I'm labeled.

I will take pride in contributing to honoring Kelly-Anne on her 31st birthday. My family and friends are so supportive and will join me to raise a glass to toast Kelly-Anne. I can only believe that she will be looking down and beaming in admiration over the the many people who work hard to keep her memory alive and at the same time work to insure that lives are saved through the hard work of the Quebec Lifesaving Society.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cocktail Fundraiser in honor of Kelly-Anne

The Societé de Sauvetage du Québec and the Family of

Kelly-Anne Drummond

cordially invite you to attend the Cocktail Fundraiser in

Memory of Kelly-Anne


Sunday, November 28th 2010


6:00 p.m.

The Dollard Des Ormeaux Aquatic Center

12001, De La Salaberry

Dollard des Ormeaux

Donation : $50.00 per person

Come and enjoy this annual event as we remember Kelly-Anne on what would have been her 31st birthday. We celebrate her love of life, her accomplishments as a competitive lifeguard and her example of sportsmanship, where she has continued to inspire our lifeguards.

“ Competitive Life guarding is the only sport that saves lives.”

To reserve your tickets, please call 514-252-3100

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Victim's ex-lover arrested in fatal Montreal North stabbing

Here is a story in today's Montreal Gazette. Another young mother of three has been fatally stabbed by her ex husband. A restraining order was put in place, but of course the order was not respected. It is time now that our police forces and government agencies understand that restraining orders do not protect a women's life nor the lifes of children. They are always at risk when even with a retraining order. It is another family tragedy where three young children no longer have their mother.

Victim's ex-lover arrested in fatal Montreal North stabbing

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Poem

Here is a poem which Rachel sent to me. I was so happy this past week to have a visit from her. Rachel's bubbly smile and personality always makes me feel good. She thought of me today when she found this poem. It really fits how I feel.

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending she didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that she has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing
I feel it will take a lifetime.
~ Elizabeth Dent ~

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 5th 2004 - Footprints in the Sand and Saying Goodbye

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you."
Mary Stevenson

Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights reserved

I received this poem yesterday from my dear neighbour.I had always loved and believed in this poem and thought it fitting to share it with you.

Today, six years ago we said good bye to Kelly-Anne. The biggest decision in our lives was to have the life support system which kept Kell's heart beating turned off. A very special ethic's nurse said to me as we stood over Kelly-Anne's lifeless body that what we saw in front of us was just a shell and that her soul had already gone to Heaven. Her words helped us decide to have the machine turned off. My best friend,a priest gave prayers of the last rite and communion. We hugged and kissed Kelly-Anne. It was 3:30 p.m. The sound of the life support machine is still embedded in my mind.

The weather today in Montreal is identical to the weather six years ago. A lightly cool breeze with the sun shining. That is how I remember October 5th 2004. I also remember how Kelly-Anne's face was perfect, warm and flawless. Up until the machines were turned off, we asked for miracles.

The time has passed very quickly and many things have happened. For me,the past six years has been a learning curve in so many ways.I know full well that Kelly-Anne is always nearby. She is there when the big decisions have to be made. She is there for the special holidays. She is there to help carry me through the sadness....oh I can just hear her soft sympathetic voice saying "Oh,Mommy". I still remember running my fingers through her soft ringlets as she would sometimes lay next to me on the bed.

The candle will be lit today at 3:30 p.m. I hope to see another star tonight hovering over my head. I will call out her name and she will respond with a quick twinkle and a smile.

October 4th 2004 - Love and Support Continues On

I was up early this morning as I went into the city to help out a good friend at her church with the preparation of the Christmas Puddings for their bazaar. It was good to be out of the house for a while and to feel that I was needed for something.
Riding the train to and fro was fun as I really miss the train.On my way home my thoughts reflected about Kelly-Anne. I sat where the sun was able to beam down on me. The warmth on my face felt good and I felt at peace. Kelly-Anne is safe, I said to myself and she is nearby.Last night a lonely star shone above me as I sat on the balcony....a Kelly-Anne star I will call it.

Today on Facebook,I am so touched and overwhelmed by many of Kell's close friends who changed their facebook picture to include one of them with Kell. What a tribute with so much love. It's this type of kindness that helps me get through the day...the little things, the thoughtfulness of others. Yesterday, my cousin and I went to the mall. I really liked a particular sweater and she bought it for me...just to make me happy and feel that she could do something for me. She gave me beautiful pink roses as she said she just wanted to brighten my day.

This evening, the candle is lit next to the flowers and Kell's picture. Painful thoughts of six years ago on this day still haunt me. The crowds of Kelly-Anne's family and friends overtaking the trauma unit remind me of how all were so stunned and shocked about what had happened to Kell. But they were all there to see Kell and offer prayers and love. For that I will always remember and be grateful of the support which we had and that even six years later the support and love is still here. How blessed is Kelly-Anne's family!

I was asked by a friend if I am pissed off over the lost of beautiful Kelly-Anne. I have responded by saying yes,of course I am pissed off, but I cannot allow my anger to destroy me. Only a parent or a sibling who has gone through what our family has will understand homicide. We walk under a black cloud 24/7. We are different than everyone else....a sect of our own. How many times and even today, a stranger says to me "oh your Doreen Drummond....I know all about you" Strangers know me because they know of Kelly-Anne's story...they don't know me anything more but as the Mother.

I slept well last night and I pray that I do so tonight. The emotions are scrambling right now. There are a couple of people I need to speak to. I need to tell them that I love them. One is someone who Kell and our family loved and still loves and the other is someone who came into my our lives after Kell died. Both uniquely different people who have hearts filled with gold and compassion.

I need to find a 30" x 31" black picture frame with a glass. Does anyone know where I can get one? I have to complete a special project to honor Kelly-Anne, but am having trouble finding one. My projects keep me busy and give me a smile as I know how much Kell loved her projects. Once I find my frame, I will post the tribute.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October 3rd 2004: The Day that Changed Our Lives Forever

I remember October 3rd as being much like today. It was cool and the sun shone. I picked up Kim to go to Fairview as she asked me to go with her to look for shoes for a wedding she was to attend. I asked Kim if we should call Kell to join us. She said no because as I quote her: " Kelly-Anne and Marty were having a Kelly-Anne and Marty day ". I thought ok, that's nice. Off we went to Fairview.I remember bumping into my dental hygienist....I always seem to bump into someone I know when shopping at Fairview.

It was just an ordinary Sunday. I cooked supper and prepared for the week ahead. I remember that evening sitting in my pj's in front of the t.v. watch On Assignment. The topic was the "Coroner's Office." How creepy is that.I then went to bed and fell into a deep sleep. The phone rang around 11:00 p.m. I didn't answer it at first as I though it was part of my dream. Once I woke, I laid in bed and then phone rang again and I answered it. From that moment on, my life had changed and now I was in a tailspin of emotions. Through a series of events I soon found myself at the hospital and thinking that I was still asleep in my dream.

I remember at one point being given the telephone. There was a male voice at the other end. I remember the voice sounding kind. I don't remember why I was speaking to him, but I remember him wishing me luck. He was a police detective, a man unknown to me and now had come into our lives. He would be the man that would eventually fight for justice for Kelly-Anne,her family, friends and the community.To this day, he remains very special to me and I hold him close in my heart. The hours went by as we sat by Kelly-Anne who was so lifeless. We were in total disbelief. Somehow the disbelief still remains with me.

This weekend so far we hear of multiple murders, much like the weekend six years ago. What is it about the first weekend in October that gives the right to people to kill each other.

The cemetery was wet and cold today. The aura of silence filled the plots as cars slowly drove through to pay respects to their loved ones. We noticed that the flat stone monuments needed fixing. The land has sunken and is starting to destroy the usual pristine look of the cemetery. We added our bouquet of flowers to the flowers that her father had placed. They all looked beautiful together as the colors blended in so well.No matter how long the time passes there is always such a profound sadness when we are standing over her grave. Kelly-Anne should not be there. Each time I am there I keep looking at the name inscribed on the plaque, hoping that there has been some terrible mistake and that I am visiting someone with the same name who has died after living a very long and fulfilling life. But reality sets in when I see the dates and know that it really is Kelly-Anne buried there.

A candle was lit at supper hour and remains next to Kell's grad picture. Tonight I choose to honor Kelly-Anne with one of her favorite meals. Roast beef encrusted with black pepper and oregano with assorted vegetables.

The sun has now set and the night lies ahead. I am so tired that I hope I will sleep well. Rachel has called me. I was so happy to hear her voice. She writes on her blog that she ask that we" pray for the repose of Kelly-Anne's soul and for strength,peace, and grace for all those who loved her".. I seconded her request.

" May her memory be eternal."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 8

Our usual Saturday morning routine started early this morning with a trip to the grocery store. I keep on telling my husband that we spend too much money on groceries.I say we eat for four people. That comment only makes him laugh. He decided that he would cut out the purchase of soft drinks, like that is going to make a big difference at the cash! We bought some nice flowers for our visit tomorrow to the graveside. Lots of purples and pinks tones.

The oddest thing happened today. I was outside on the balcony and there was this one autumn leaf hovering in the air dancing all alone in front of me. I must of stared at it for a good ten minutes and wondered how could this leaf be twirling in the air without falling to the ground. I looked to see if there was anything attached to it, but there wasn't. How interesting as many of the leaves have now changed color and fallen to the ground. This particular one was just happy to be dancing alone in mid air. I finally went to the leaf and stood beside it as it continued to dance. I was looking closer to see if there was something attached that I may of not noticed from the balcony but there wasn't. After standing there for a couple of minutes,I finally grabbed it and placed it on the ground. I asked myself if this a sign from Kelly-Anne telling me to dance and be happy?

This evening,six years ago was the last time that I had a conversation with Kelly-Anne. She was at her father's home and called me to chat briefly about her trip.She told me about the portraits which she purchased in Italy that she was giving me. She also said that she bought me a pair of underwear from a marketplace. We laughed over that purchase. She was so happy. I didn't know that that would be the last time we would speak. I asked her how Marty was and she said something to the effect as I can't remember her exact words: "Mom, I need to be more respectful towards him".I remember biting my tongue and not responding to her,but my thoughts were you don't need to be more respectful, you were brought up to be respectful to people. I simply ended the conversation by saying that I had to go to bed and we said goodnight to each other.I didn't realize that that that was a sign of an abused women. I am grateful that we didn't argue and that we had a pleasant conversation despite her comment about how she should treat Marty.

This evening I spent in good company with old work friends at a retirement party for a friend who I have know for many many years. The party allowed me to escape my dreaded thoughts for a few hours and laugh a little. The next few days will be tough but I feel something surprisingly is going to happen. I feel this aura of new energy around me. Kelly-Anne has something up her sleeve...I just know it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 7

Here is a picture which I promised that I would post. These are a sample of the greeting cards which Kelly-Anne would create. It came to my attention only today when I browsed through them that Kell had written notes in certain samples that she had been experimenting with. They were notes to herself on how she could make improvements using different types of glue, ribbons and fabric. Typical Kelly-Anne always trying to find better ways of doing things! I also found apiece of paper where she had broken down the costs of making the cards. You can see the Ladybug cards in red. She had them costing her $0.03 each to produce.I wonder what she intended on selling them for. It was all about detail and originality that made her cards special.

Today, I watched the installation of the new Governor General of Canada. I though of Kelly-Anne while I watched as I somehow know that she would of enjoyed watching this ceremony. She would of been most impressed with them man from Newfoundland who sang a special song to the new GG. Kell loved Celtic east coast music the likes of Ashey MacIssac and others. For those that do not know this, Kell was conceived in Carbonear, NLFD so I guess that may be a reason why she loved east coast music.

Today,I feel out of sorts. I really could use some sunshine! I continue to apply for jobs as I want to keep all my options opened. Still no news from my telephone interview a couple of days ago. I know the right thing will happen for me at the right time.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 6

Today was a good day. Breakfast out this morning with a good friend, then we did a little shopping at Costco. It seemed that everyone was there today shopping as parking was at a premium. It's what people do on rainy, gloomy days....spend money.

My thoughts brought me back to yesterday's telephone interview as I seemed to pick up on cell phone and call home for messages more of fen that usual. I wait in anticipation to see if I will get a second interview for the job. I know that I am the person for the job, but it's challenging convincing others that I am the one and only best choice.

I also browsed in a magazine and found an interesting idea to display seashells. I have tons of seashells which Kelly-Anne and Kim brought me from their numerous trips away. This craft was about making shadow boxes and displaying the seashells from the ocean where they would of originated from. I looked at my collection and said to myself that I have no way of knowing which ones were from Kelly-Anne. I thought that I could create a collage of hers separately, but that is not going to happen. I will just use the shells appropriate in size and shape and create my shadowboxes.

I also read Rachel's blog. She and Kelly-Anne were best friends. Please take a moment and read her blog at

Rachel shares beautiful stories of their years together. In her latest post, Rachel writes about how she sees girls of Kelly-Anne's stature who also have the curly hair and has to do a double take as she thinks that it could be Kell. Well that has happened to me a few times....boy did my heart ever pound when I had these sightings. Can I please jump out of my dream and have Kelly-Anne come knocking on my front door one day?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 5

I am trying to get use of not having any sun shining in the house these days. It's so dismal and wet. It's the time of the year that I load up on vitamin D and calcium.

I had a telephone interview today that lasted one hour for a position in Montreal. I felt I did well and this job would suit my abilities nicely.I really want to work. It's not just about collecting a pay check every two weeks. Itis more than that. It's about being a part of something positive and about working with people. It's in my blood. As much as I have enjoyed my time at home and at the pool this past summer, I really miss the structure in my life of getting up in the morning and making a difference in a workplace.

Kelly-Anne loved also going to work. She had a keen interest in all the jobs which she held in her short life. When I think about Kelly-Anne during her time in San Diego where she worked for a catering company and bakery called The French Gourmet. When she returned to Montreal,she taught me so much about setting up a buffet table. There really is a technique to make a table look presentable. She had the talent for it. She would ride a bicycle to work carrying her pressed white blouse and black skirt. Kelly-Anne wasn't shy to try anything. Her attitude inspires me to not be afraid of new work places, but to embrace the opportunities to learn new things and be with new people. I like these ideals and I just can't wait to start working again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 4

I thought for this week I would try and remove myself from listening to the news or read it. But today, I broke down and since I am a news junkie, I ate my lunch in from of the t.v.

The headlines for today in the Gazette include the following: 1 in 4 Canadians are victims of crime, a 19 year old girl is murdered in a park in B.C., a 15 year old intoxicated girl reports that she was apparently sexually assaulted, a 39 year old chef commits suicide because of something that Chef Gordon Ramsay had said to him while on Hell`s Kitchen, a gunman kills himself at a Texas university campus,a body is found in a burning car and a wall of a building falls and kills a 54 year old man. I think this is enough for one day.

The words that come to mind for all these headlines are Trauma, Grief, Memories, Loss,Anger,Denial,and Pain. Words that I can so easily identify with. It is hard not to feel moved and hurt for these victims and their families as their lives will forever change.

Today, I took photos of the scrapbook which I made last year of Kelly-Anne`s trip to Italy. Making the scrapbook allowed me to come more to terms with the fact that she is no longer alive. I had the tendency to tell myself these past years that Kell was away on vacation or living back in San Diego. It`s all part of the disbelief that one goes through after a trauma, but the scrapbook helped me come to terms with my thoughts and feelings. I have posted some of the pictures. I am so happy that she had the opportunity to travel to Italy. My hopes and dreams are that I will too have the chance to travel to Italy and retrace the route that she took. My friend will come to visit me next week and promises to bring me movies that take place in Italy in the Tuscany region. Two weeks ago I went to see Eat, Pray, Love. The scenery of Italy was beautiful. There was a spot which they shot that I know Kelly-Anne stood there over looking the city of Florence. I had this lump in my throat as I watched this part of the movie and only said to myself how thankful I was that Kelly-Anne had that chance to experience such beauty.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 3

I awoke early this morning and made decision that I would keep busy and active this week, but needless to say my plans of going swimming today just didn't happen. I also woke with with a sore throat and head congestion. My hubby had the same thing last week and even up to today he can hardly talk. I feel the same way, so the solitude of my home was very comforting today. I looked outside and at one point the sun shone, but what I noticed was the many colorful leaves now fallen from the trees. It just seems that fall really creeped up on us quite quickly here in Montreal.

I have this "policy" that I don't wear any socks between June 1st and October 1st. Well I don't think I will get to October 1st this year without any socks on! Kelly-Anne too like her bare feet and sockless shoes. She even felt comfortable driving in bare feet! Now that is not something that I can do.

Today after breakfast I prepared a spaghetti sauce. I usually make one each week or two. I just love the herbs and spices in my sauce, not that I could smell them very well today. I also throw in a cup of red wine. I find the wine while simmering for a bit gives a nice rich flavor. While cooking I thought about the meals that Kelly-Anne liked to cook and sadly it brought me back to the last meal that she ever cook. Pork chops and side kick noodles. I said to myself...get that out of my head and think about the meals that she cooked in happier times. At that point I remembered her roast beef dinners garnished with all the trimming. She really was a good cook.

I thought about her again today as I sat with my button box and reorganized it. I have this plastic mauve colored box which has hundreds of the most beautiful buttons. I was thinking about how Kelly-Anne loved to sew and how she would of probably asked me for some of these buttons.

I thought about Thanksgiving weekend and decided to make a reservation in Ontario for our Thanksgiving meal. It's only about 1.5 hours away. Jules and I have been going there for the past two years. It's quaint,old fashion home cooking in the country and I don't have to cook. I had spend so many years cooking meals for the holidays that by the end of the day I was tired and exhausted from everything. It now has come to a point in my life that I want to enjoy the holidays in a more relaxed way. Driving through the autumn breeze and colorful scenery is a better way of doing things. It's about time that will not be wasted over a stove. I always loved Thanksgiving weekend. It was a really big thing while growing up and while the girls were young and my parents were still alive. In 2004, that all changed. Since then, I have been dreading October as for what is now symbolized in being a very sad month. I am trying now to bring myself to appreciate October and it's beauty and to look forward to my birthday and at the end of the month to Kim's birthday.

Tonight after supper, Jules and I will sit and watch our favorite shows while sipping tea. I will surprise him with a couple of baked apples.....we need to warm the soul and start to enjoy the month ahead.....I keep telling myself that Kelly-Anne would expect us to enjoy October but without her here, it isn't easy. Life is not better or worse than prior to October 2004. It's just different. Part of my soul is still lost and very wounded and it is with every step and breath that I take, that I remind myself that I must forge forward, keep strong and love those around me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 2

Today, being such a dull and gloomy fall day, I decided to create pictures frames showing papers that Kelly-Anne which she brought from Italy. I imagine she bought these rolls of decorative art paper with the intention of using them for her gift cards. She loved making cards and was quite creative.She would sign the back of the cards as "KellMark". She wanted to be a direct competitor to Hallmark! Here are the frames which my hubby photographed.

I will make a collage of the gifts cards and post them later this week.

The 6th Anniversay- Day 1

It is early Sunday morning, the wee hours of stillness one might say. It is also one week prior to the fateful Sunday that changed our lives forever. For many of us effected by Kelly-Anne 's death we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing at this time 6 years ago. I thought this year I would try and document each day my feelings and thoughts and actions. This year in particular the dates and days all fall exactly as they were 6 years ago.I find that such an eerie feeling and wonder how I will get through the next few weeks. As usually I will have no choice but to do it one day at a time....well actually one minute at a time.

I'll start now with this morning. I will get some sleep, then wake up and do the usually Sunday morning routine. I will also take in a walk with a neighbour. I have some ideas on crafts and plan to get what I need to create some crafts in honor of Kelly-Anne and her trip to Italy. Once they are completed I will post the pictures. For that I am excited that I have come up with a couple great ideas to showcase some of the articles which she brought back with her from her trip.

This week I plan to keep busy.....swimming,hanging with friends, cooking meals that Jules will be delighted with, watch my favorite t.v. shows, housework, job hunting,crafts, seeing old HBC friends, and of course blogging.

I know that I am loved and supported by many and that gives me peace. Even though the devastating memories are as clear as yesterday,I am reassured by many that I am not alone and as my dear cousin reminded me in an email today...I will see Kelly-Anne again.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

National Day of Rememberance for Murdered Victims

Today we remember all victims of murder in all countries throughout the world. We have all been touched by this subject and for many of us we know someone who has had their life snuffed out from this heinous act of crime. I ask all of you to light a candle in memory of those who are no longer with us.

We will never forget Kelly-Anne and the many many others who lost their lives from people who were controlling, jealous and evil. Many these loved ones who I will call soldiers rest in peace in the eternal gardens in Heaven.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birthday Gifts

After going through a life altering drama such as loosing a loved one to homicide, we tend to forget about ourselves as we are so often are busy tending to the rest of the family, fighting off depression, learning to accept and live without that special person and grieving his or hers death. One thing that I have noticed since Kelly-Anne's death is that each time around the anniversary I or Jules get physically sick. Is it the change of season or just the post-trauma? The doctor tells me it's post -trauma.

These past couple of weeks have been difficult...the pool is now closed, the leaves are starting to slowly change and the memories of Kelly-Anne preparing for her trip to Italy are still very fresh.

In all of this I only now have received the wake call about my personal responsibilities towards myself. My doctor reminded two weeks ago that I was no longer 30 years old. Yay, right I didn't know that! Don't get me wrong. I have been taking care of myself...yearly check ups, blood work, eating right and exercising. But the fact still remains that at a certain age we all must be aware that we should be having certain tests.

The rule of thumb....age 40: mammogram, age 50: colonoscopy. These are both vital and important tests that can detect certain cancers. Think of it as prevention and as the nicest and best birthday gift you could give yourself.

I had my colonoscopy today. The doctor asked me if he could sedate me. I said no was 15 minutes of a little deep breathing...just like I was in labour. I thought of two things as I laid on the bed...Jesus suffered on the cross longer and harder that I did today and Kelly-Anne suffered physically and emotionally in a way that I will never know, so I said let me go to the fear and live was the least I could do.

Concordia keeps the Kelly-Anne Cup

Again this year the Concordia Women's Rugby team won the Kelly-Anne Cup. The late game goal allowed the Stingers 3 points bring ending the game at 3-0.

Also I am pleased to announce that the generosity was abundant towards the donations collected for Women Aware. Over $1,500.00 was raised to help this wonderful organization in their work against domestic violence.

Another wonderful tribute to Kelly-Anne in keeping her memory alive!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Kelly-Anne Cup

Concordia Women`s Rugby will host again this year the Kelly-Anne Cup on Wednesday, September 8th at 8:30 p.m. at the Loyola Campus Field on Shebrooke St.west here in Montreal. The entry fee is $5.00 and the proceeds from raffle tickets sold will be donated to Women Aware at non - profit organization helping victims of domestic violence.

Last year Concordia won the cup for the very first time, so I am hoping that they will continue their winning streak.

Kelly-Anne played rugby at Concordia during the time she was studying Communications there. Her memory lives on!

Hope you can attend the event.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Laugh out Loud

One thing that our family enjoyed with Kelly-Anne was laughter. She always had a way to make us laugh. Even as a little girl she would bring so many smiles to our faces or do silly things that would make us laugh until we cried. Her sense of humor through writing was hilarious. I was thinking today of the camp letters she and her sister would write us while away at summer camp.I recently re - read them probably for the 100th time.

Humor and laughter has always been a focal point in my relationship with my husband Jules. When Kelly-Anne passed away so did our teasing, silliness and laughter. Our home became a place of silence, depression and despair. We lived in our disbelief and pain for a few years. Then one day something funny was said and both Jules and I laughed. It was a strange feeling.....something that was forgotten and had to be re learned again.

Not a week goes without Jules saying something that makes me laugh until I cry. He has this habit of saying something funny at supper it's not about my cooking. We could be watching TLC and something from a show will trigger him to say something funny. He really should of been a stand up comic. Looks are deceiving as he always give the impression to others that he is shy and reserved. But I know better.

I can honestly say now that the humor and laughter in my life is a good thing. I have come to terms that I am allowed to laugh again and be silly. I no longer feel guilty about living life. It's a hard thing to do, but I remind myself daily that Kelly-Anne would expect me to laugh and be silly just like her.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Broken Families

Yesterday's announcement of a 14 year old Cote St-Luc girl being murdered by her 18 year old brother leaves me with another hallow pit. It is so sad that these tragedies happen amongst siblings. It becomes a double mourning for the parents as now they have lost two children. We have heard of sibling murderers in the past...may I remind you of Karla Homolka actively participating ( and didn't do a thing to prevent or stop it) in the murder of her sister.

I know what it is like to be a parent of a child murdered. I know the pain, the hurt, the grief but I cannot tell you what it would feel like to know that my other child had committed the crime. I can only imagine that there is alot of disbelief, anger and denial.

In the case in Cote St-Luc, the family also had another daughter. She instantly has now lost her sister and brother. I grieve for her more than another one else.

Becoming an only child has to be the biggest adjustment ever in one's life. I can only commend my daughter Kim in her daily strife to live her life without her sister. Here is a poem which Kim posted on Facebook that I would like to share with you.


We grow as the years pass
Timeless we seem like an hour glass
Dreams, thoughts, and fears
Give us the strength with very little tears
Close at heart
We remain
Even if we may seem far apart
You don't judge me nor do I judge you
Everything you did or still do
I'm glad to have a sister
A sister just like you
I love you

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Water Safety

The summer is not even half way over and here in Quebec we have heard of many drownings of both children and adults. It pains me to hear a story especially when a child drowns in a pool or a lake or even in a bathtub. Yesterday, a one year old baby was left in a bathtub with a two year old sibling. The father ran to the kitchen and was away from the children for about three minutes and when he returned, the one year old had drowned. So so tragic and sad. The courts are thinking of charging the father with criminal negligence. We don't know the whole story yet, but what we do know is that a child should never be left unattended in water at any time.

Water safety is not just about knowing how to swim but there has to be a clear understanding to children and adults about the perils of the water. Whether it is kayaking in a river where the currents are difficult or a back yard pool which would not be manned by a trained lifeguard, the risks for danger and accidents is always there.

I think back to the days when Kelly-Anne would teach water safety. I remember her little picture cards that she had laminated. She would have group discussions on the deck of the pool with her students teaching them about water safety. It is not enough to know how to swim and for Kelly-Anne, she understood the entire picture and knew that the need was there to complete her teachings about the water. I remember seeing her drawings of sailboats, life jackets and diving boards. I happened to be at the pool one day and there she was was with her little group of young swimmers. They sat around her listening attentively as Kelly-Anne spoke to them. She was so good at it and one could see how the children adored being with her.

This recent bathtub drowning is a reminder to all parents to always be vigilant with their children. I see no point in charging this father...he has now paid the price and a jail sentence would not even compare to the loss of his baby and the life sentence he now must endure.

Each day I am at the pool and even though I do not have young children with me, I have a tendancy to be mindful of the young ones in and around the pool. It's like a reflex and I feel we all have to be alert as accidents happen so quickly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Remembering Mom

Today,we remember my mother who passed away in 1993. I know I have already written about my Mom back in 2008. I was then touched how Kim responded to my entry.

It is strange how I have been thinking of my mother alot these days and often reminisce with Jules about her and her habits. Funny, now that I have been off work for just about a month, I have noticed myself repeating some of the routines and habits from my Mom.

Jules comes home from work with the newspaper under his arm...funny my dad would do the same and once he arrived home, my Mom would take the paper, make herself comfortable in her favorite chair and read a bit before supper was to be put on the table. Well, I notice that I am doing the same thing when Jules arrives home.

Mom use to knit and crochet. I never could get the hang of it, but last summer I started to learn how to knit and have made quite a few washcloths for the kitchen. Funny how I now get comfortable in the evening and knit,just like Mom did.

Last spring I decided to go through old family pictures and frame some of them to place on my mother's piano in our living room. One in particular is of my Mom when she was 16 years old. I can't get over how in that picture she and Kelly-Anne looked so much alike.

I find also that I am cooking differently these days...more salads are on the table. Mom always had a salad prepared as part of the supper meal.

When I think about how energetic she was when the girls were small, I can only hope that I will have the same energy when I become a grandmother. It was nothing for her to be playing on the floor with them and never grow bored or tired.

Rest in peace Mom. I know you, Dad and Kell are together.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


As the weeks approach for the eligibility for Karla Homolka to apply for a pardon, the federal government has worked to pass a bill through the house which will not allow Homolka to make the request.

Firstly, why she was even allowed out of prison is beyond me. Oh yes...plea bargaining: that is what is is called. She ratted on her ex husband Bernardo so the courts went a little easier on her. Did they forget that she played an important role in the rapes and murders of the two Ontario girls along with the murder of her sister? Her sister.......I still can't get over that.

As far as I am concerned, there should be no pardons for any criminals especially when innocent lives are sniffed out.

In Webster's dictionary the definition of a pardon is as follows:

1. the excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty
2. a release from the legal penalties of an offense
3. excuse or forgiveness for a fault,offense or discourtesy.

Does Homolka or Morin- Cousineau fall into any of these definitions? A pardon given to a murderer in my opinion would say, oh well, we know you didn't mean it...try and be good from now on. pardons for no the crime, do the time and let's make sure it is for a long, long time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Honour Killings

I was very disturbed to hear this weekend that a mother in Dorval stabbed her 19 year old daughter. Charges has been laid against the mother. The family is originally from Afghanistan and have other children. The husband and three other daughters where at home at the time of the stabbing.

It appears that the 19 year old was out all night. Isn't that typical to what many of that age do.....hang out with friends. For most it is just innocent fun and for those who come from another country, in my opinion is it about integrating into our culture....movies, jeans, friends from different nationalities and cultures, different kinds of food, parties and most of all acceptance. This case sounds so similar to the murder of the St.Leonard girls in Kingston last summer. Mercy killings because the girls were becoming too "Canadian".

My question is why do people from other countries immigrate to Canada? How do they think their children will integrate into the new culture? It's one thing to keep your religion and practice it, but parents need to understand that children will be exposed to a new way of life and will want to be accepted with their new friends and yes girls especially will want to dress in the latest fashions and give up a conservative look. Families immigrate to Canada because they want a better life, they want a future for their children...well there is a price to pay for it and that means accepting that the children will want to be
" Canadianized". And for that ...we do not kill or attempt to kill our children because they want to fit in.

I would much prefer that families of origins who do not want to integrate into our society, please stay in your own country and spare the thought of killing your children. They are allowed a life no matter where they live.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Toussaint's body found in manhole as arrest is made in case

Toussaint's body found in manhole as arrest is made in case

Here is a story from today's Montreal Gazette about 23 year old Cinthia Toussaint, mother of a three year old boy who's body was found after disappearing from her from her home this week. Another family shattered, and another women murdered. The main suspect is the ex boyfriend, but no charges have been layed. This family's life will forever change and the little boy being so young will never remember his mother.

Each time I read a story like this, memories return to me instantly of our family's horror of October 3rd 2004. Today I regress back into my shell. Even though I do not know Cinthia or her family, I mourn today with them.

I hope the suspect, if charged and found guilty, rots in hell. I wish Cinthia's family courage and faith to face the future.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Missy Higgins Music Video Staring Kelly-Anne

Here is a music video. Many thanks to Martin and Caroline for their efforts in producing this.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

And The Best Is Yet To Come !

Yesterday, I learnt that my position in the law firm where I have been working for the past eight months will be abolished shortly. That means I will be out of a job...or should I just say
" in between jobs ". It was sad to hear this but I was told that the layoff had nothing to do with me and that the firm was very satisfied with my work .

I reflected alot last evening about the past months and all I can say is that I was very fortunate to have this experience which allowed me to learn more about my field and to work with amazing lawyers and administrative staff. I also learnt about myself that I am very capable of integrating into new positions, adapting to new people and facing new challenges. That was my fear back in February 2009 when I lost my position at HBC after 28 years of service. At that time , I didn't know how I would be accepted elsewhere nor how I would adapt. It's the fear of the unknown....just like when Kelly-Anne was murdered. The fear of the unknown as to how I was going to live my life without her scared the hell out of me.

I learnt then that moving forward is a daily steps and that it is ok to be afraid and to cry. Going to the fear is the only way to overcome fear....remember, I said once that I work on the 45 th floor of a building. Did I ever tell you that I always was afraid of elevators? I told myself 8 months ago that I was not going to let the elevator situation stop me from reaching my goals therefore it became a non issue.

I now face a new challenge and I really don't know what it will be, but I will let the cards drop as they should and go with flow. I am now more educated in my field of Health & Safety, have the confidence and ability to strive to be the best that I can the best is yet to come!

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Sexual Assult Help LIne

The Quebec government announced today the new sexual assault help line available immediately to all Quebecers.

It is a 24/7 free bilingual service.

The phone number is for Montreal 514-933-9007.

Outside of Montreal is a toll free number 1-888-933-9007.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Domestic Abuse - The Forgotten Ones - Part 2

We take for granted that there are many women who suffer from mental or physical handicaps who are also victims of domestic abuse. These women suffer in a silence that is very unfamiliar to most of us.

It is very easy for a partner to convince the authorities that his wife is just exaggerating or she is not well and makes up stories. A women who has a speech impediment may not be able to articulate to someone what is really happening in her home. The spouses are in complete control of their wives and they know it. So often the men will use their authority to the point of saying that they will put their spouses on the street.

For most, a women in a wheel chair cannot leave her home unassisted. There is a dependency on their husbands or boyfriends that is far greater than most. Many of these women do not work and have no income of their own. They depend on their spouses for every thing and the FEAR of leaving and being put on "the street" to live is every much the determining factor for these women.

As I have previously mentioned in another story, anyone can call 911 and not have to speak. A police car will come to the home where the call is made from.

There are in Montreal shelters for women who are in need of a refuge. I would thing that in most major centers these types of shelters exist. If you now someone who could possibly be a victim of abuse or needs help, check in your community to See if there are specif homes than can receive someone who is handicapped.

We can't forget them.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Domestic Abuse - The Forgotten Ones - Part 1

I would like to reflect about two social groups who we often forget as possible victims of domestic abuse. The first one that I would like to share with you is about the immigrant women who come to our western society to start a new life.

For many of these women, they are sponsored by their husbands or boyfriends. Just imagine the scene. Here a women gets off a plane in a foreign country with her young children. Her new home and neighbourhood awaits her. She doesn't understand the language, the customs nor know her rights. She has little education and knows that she will have to face re- training in order to get a some what decent job, but for now she lives at home with her husband and is busy trying to get her children to adapt to the new school and their new life. The husband has a job and is out everyday working.

What we don't know is that the kind hearted, much respected at work husband, is an abuser. He does come home and when he is in a bad mood, he beats his wife and threatens her by saying that he will send her back to her country without the children if she doesn't do as he says.

This women is now living in FEAR just like western society women who are victims of domestic abuse. But for her, she believes her husband will send her back and keep the children with him. She cant' speak out language, she can't communicate very well with her neighbours, she doesn't
understand what 911 means or is feeling insecure about what the police represent to her in our society. In her country she was always fearful of authority as the police roamed the streets with machine guns.

What this women does not know is that our laws in Quebec ( and I hope elsewhere in North America) will not allow an immigrant women who is a victim of domestic abuse to be deported back to her country. If anything they will be given the support and the aggressor will be dealt with. We have seen much too often women being murdered who have not been in our country for very long. Only two years ago, an immigrant women who had a young baby was found dead in her apartment on Christmas day. The suspect still at large was her husband.

If you know an immigrant women, don't be shy to befriend her and let her know that she has as much rights as any North American women. Give her some useful information as to who she could contact if she needed help. In most communities there are organizations of different faiths and nationalities that could be a support to a new immigrant.

Many women who come from countries where their culture teaches them to be submissive to their husbands does not work in our country. Yes, there are submissive women by choice, not by culture and it is this that these women need to understand that here we do not have to accept abuse in any language.

Here is a link to information booklets available through the Department of Justice Canada government that are in many languages. They are free of charge and you can download them. There is also other useful information on this site. Knowing that this information is available to us may just be what we need to help a women who feels alone and isolated in her new country.

It just may save her life.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chef Jamie Oliver

Last evening I relaxed in front of the t.v. watching new show on ABC with Jamie Oliver. His mission was to convince and make changes into a community in the USA withing the school board system. His was to bring about a new way of introducing healthier foods in the school's cafeterias. It wasn't about just changing menus and convincing children that there is more to life than burgers and fries, it was about getting a buy in from the first line workers, the food service management and the school commissioners.

Jamie was able to create a crew of six high school students who decided to embark with him for each of their own person reasons. Jamie was able to empower , nurture and support each of his crew as they prepared a beautiful dinner for 80 people from the community. Each team member spoke in front of the guests as to why a project of this type was important for them personally and how it would impact the community.

My whole point in sharing this show with you is that it made me think that if there were more people like Jamie Oliver who would give their time to embark on these types of projects with the school systems we would most probably have students leaving high school with a better direction in their life. We tend to see children slip through the cracks of our system as many are not supported with help and guidance and often are left on the streets getting into trouble.

Empowering children and young adults is probably the biggest gift one can give. They need to know that they have talents and are capable of obtaining their goals with perseverance and dedication. Cooking is a creative, individual art and anyone can do it. It 's a career of giving and loving and of personal satisfaction.

Imagine convincing students to eat healthier. With the high obesity rate amongst the youth, only programs like this will educate not just the children, but also their families.

I can only remember the many times that Kelly-Anne would prepare a meal and see the personal satisfaction it gave to her as we enjoyed very bite.

Hopefully Jamie's efforts will be life lasting and impact many other communities.

Kudos to Jamie Oliver !

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Egg Hunts

This evening, while watching a little t.v. there was a commercial advertising Easter egg chocolates. The scene was a bright sunny afternoon, probably somewhere in the mid -southern states where children were running around in a green space with their baskets hunting for eggs. Jules piped up and said to me " Do you remember when we use to have Easter egg hunts for the girls?" That question struck a cord as those memories of Jules hiding Easter eggs on Easter Sunday brought back a few chuckles and tears.

Jules, being great at hiding things and very crafty at finding unusual areas where no one would ever think of inside a toilet paper roll while being in the holder would have as much fun as the girls. They would never find all the eggs and months later we would find a couple either melted down or stuck to something.

Easter egg hunts did not just start when Jules came into our lives 11 years ago. When the girls were little we always had hunts. One particular year, we went to Beaver Lake as there was a hunt being put on by the city. I remember that the weather was not exactly dry and warm so Kelly-Anne and Kim wore there rubber boots and ran around an area of the mountain looking for eggs. They really didn't find much of any at all but had a good time participating in the hunt.

One of the special hunts were would have was the golden egg hunt. I would manage to find eggs wrapped in gold paper and buy a couple and place they in strategic areas. Usually we made sure that both girls would find a golden egg.

Many years ago, my best friend Joyce bought the girl's stuffed bunnies. Kelly-Anne named hers Dave and Kim named hers Molly. Kim still has Molly on her bed and would bring her over when she would sleep over. Dave is somewhere at their father's house and I have asked Kim to find him so I can give him a hug.

My story this evening may sound" korky" to some, but for me it brings back those special, sweet childhood memories of too much chocolate and lots of excitement.

This Sunday, Kim Jules & I will have our own little Easter. The Easter egg will not Jules says we will wait until Kim has her own little ones running around.

Happy Passover and Easter to all!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quebec launches sex-assault awareness campaign

Here is an important story for anyone who is a victim of sexual assault or suspects that they know someone who is. Click on the link below for the story. In the article, you will see another link to the government website on this subject.

Remember, sexual assault is a crime.

If you are in a situation where you are being hurt or someone is being abused and you are afraid to speak to the police if the perpetrator is in the house, you can dial 911, and not have to speak. Just leave your line open. If you are calling from your home phone the dispatcher will be able to identify your address and send the police to your home.

This will not work if you are using a cell phone. It is always a good idea to have a few phones in different rooms in your home, not only for this reason, but even for possible break ins or other family emergencies.

Quebec launches sex-assault awareness campaign

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Photos from Celebrating the Spirit of Kelly-Anne

Here are more photos of the fundriaser at McKibbons. Thanks to Rene for sending them to me.

Celebrating the spirit of Kelly-Anne

On Saturday, March 20th , the Montreal Barbarians Rugby Club hosted the annual fundraiser "Celebrating the Spirit of Kelly-Anne, Take 111"Mickibbon's West Island was standing room only as Montreal entertainers volunteered their time for this great cause. We laughed ,drank, munched on a lovely buffet prepared by McKibbon's, chatted with friends and cried. This was truly an event that Kelly-Anne would of enjoyed and I know that she would approve of such a fundraiser in her name. The funds are to support the rugby club junior and elite teams. I have said in prior posts regarding this event, and I will say it again that I am so touched how her friends from the team do their part to keep Kelly-Anne 's memory alive. That is true friendship and team spirit. The Montreal Barbs... a class act!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Relationships with the Police

This past week in Montreal we witness the annual demonstration against police brutality. A mere 100 people showed up to voice their dissatisfaction with the police. It's not alot of people given the population of Montreal. My first thoughts were that this was such a waste of tax payers money and here is a bunch of people that have absolutely no clue as to what the police are all about. For some of the demonstrators, they were there because it was the thing to do. They never ever had any real interaction with the police.

I though back about my relationship with the police, mainly the major crimes department. Prior to Kelly-Anne's death, I never really had any interaction with the police. Dealing with major crimes from October 3rd 2004 on, was a very special experience.I said back then and I still maintain,that these investigators are gold medalists and that Kelly-Anne had the right people in place to be her voice.

This past October on the fifth anniversary of her death, I called major crimes and asked to speak to a police detective who worked on the case. I also met him at a function a couple of years later. When we spoke, I asked him if he remembered me. He responded by saying of course he did, but I am surprised that you remember me , he continued. I responded to him saying how could I not remember him. I though afterwards how could he think that I would of not remembered him. The relationships that are fostered between the family and the police are so close. That may seem odd to some, but in reality the police become family. They suddenly know everything about you and are sharing some of the most intimate things with you. Once you are involved with the police your life becomes an opened book.

I can remember daily telephone calls from the detective in charge after Kelly-Anne's death just calling to say hello to see how we were. I can remember his visit to our home. I can remember the telephone calls during the trial to tell me to take care of myself. The openness to be available to us at any given time was always offered.

The police department took us under their wing. We couldn't of gotten through everything without their support.

I would of loved to have been at that demonstration last week to tell these people my story.
These demonstrators never lived in my shoes, and probably never had my experience. All they see is the negative and cannot allow themselves to see the police in any other way.

It's so sad to wear blinders.

Each time I hear of a murder in the city, I know our major crimes department is out there working earnestly to gather all the information and to find the person responsible for the crime. It's long hard work.

Kudos to our police force!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Crimes

This past week we heard that a 24 year old man was stabbed and killed by a 16 year old in the St. Henri district of Montreal. Many people said that it's a bad neighbourhood and were not surprised that such a crime happened.

I personally do not know the area but as far as I am concerned crimes happen everywhere. My bigger issue in all this is that again we see knives been used as the lethal weapon and that a 16 year old is the suspect.

A couple of years ago I did a CTV National interview regarding knives. Statistics shown then, that more murders were being committed with knives than with guns. Everyone has a knife in their home, but most people use them for it rightful purpose and not as a weapon. A knife registry is not the solution...the solution is getting 16 year old kids away from bars and involved in sports and community activities. A 16 year old should be at home in bed at 3:00 a.m. This is only my opinion and many may have other opinions, but I am a mom and I never had these issues with the girls at that age. I always knew where they were and who they were with. I can also remember staying up late and waiting for telephone calls from Kell & Kim to be picked up from a house party......but never at 3:00 a.m.

Another family will grieve and and other family will see their son go to jail and probably be sentenced as a adult. His life will be grim...but I ask who is to blame for this crime?

We also saw this week, which just set me fuming, the death of a three month old baby who was neglected from her parents. The young couple who spend their days and nights at a video arcade playing a game with a virtual baby. The media says that they were addicted...what the hell is going on ? The baby was fed once a day and she starved to wait, I call it a slow and painful murder. I hope this couple never see the light of day again. I am angry, but remember this baby had no voice and no one to defend her.

I find it worrisome that we are not getting better at being parents. Babies are still having babies and parents are raising babies in dysfunctional homes and the end results are at times dreadful.

I hope this spring and summer brings less crime to our streets and less heartbreaking stories.
Families need to be more supportive of each other especially when new babies are being born into the families and parents need to be more assertive with 16 years olds.

What's your take on all of this?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Missed Opportunities

This week while riding the train to work and home, I have been doing alot of thinking about the past. The train seems to spark something inside of me that allows me to reflect on life in general and Kelly-Anne. Maybe it's the fact that I don't have to be concerned with the traffic and driving. I have those 20 minutes just to rest and be worry free twice a day.

My thoughts yesterday morning were about the fact that there are certain things that I never go to do with Kelly-Anne and Kim together. One of them was to have professional pictures taken of just the three of know the new fashionable photos of dressing alike...jeans and a white t-shirt look. It may sound so lame, but I missed that opportunity to do just that. I also missed the opportunity to take a trip ...just the three of us...a girl's weekend away.

The notion of traveling to Italy with Kelly-Anne a few weeks prior to her death was an idea I thought of doing...but I didn't. If I had known then what was going to happen later, I should of gone with her to Italy...but I didn't and I regret that now.

My point in all this is that we can't have any missed opportunities with the ones we love. Now, when Kim asks me to do something, it is very rare that I refuse. Even if she asked me to go to a movie on a cold winter's night during the week, I will go even if I am tired.

We can't allow ourselves to say no....we can always negotiate a better day or time...but the vent cannot be forgotten and put off until next year. It's about today as we do not have any control of the future and the past is never coming back.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Olympics & Kelly-Anne

We have been swamped with great competitions from the many young athletes representing countries from all over the world. It has been quite exciting to see what capacities, determination and athleticism that these competitors have. The Olympics also brought tears to my eyes. We have seen the sudden deaths of a luger and of Joannie Rochette's mom.

My tears during the opening ceremonies were also for Kelly-Anne. She loved the Olympics and was thrilled when women's waterpolo was finally accepted as an Olympic sport. I can remember the many Olympic games where Kelly-Anne would be glued to the television. I think it is every dream of an athletic to one day be an Olympian. For Kelly-Anne, one of her achievements was that of a gold medal for Canada in Wasago Beach, Ontario in 2003 in surf ski.

For me , Kelly-Anne is my Olympian.

No matter who wins or looses, the games are a wonderful reminder of what we are capable of achieving ; that our successes are within ourselves; that we can all be athletics in our own way. These young people have shown that being focused and courageous as Joannie showed us last evening is all within our reach.

I am aspired by these athletics, just as Kelly-Anne inspired me and continues to do so even in her death.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Loosing a Friend

Today, I received word that an old friend of mine who lives in New Brunswick passed away in her sleep. The first thing that I thought of was the disbelief, how could that of happened. She was only 62 years old. I then said to myself that she is now with Kelly-Anne. I was angry at myself for not keeping up the communication in the past few years. We saw each other about 8 years ago when she visited family in Montreal for a few days. She did call me when Kelly-Anne died.

Eileen raised a wonderful family of girls. She loved her pets. I can remember a time when one of her cats was gong to have babies. We all sat around the cat and this is where the girls had their first lesson in childbirth! Kelly-Anne's first sleepover invitation was at her home as Kelly-Anne and Kim were great friends with Eileen's younger daughters.

I cried alot today but as I sit here and write I can only smile as I remember the fun times we had together...the birthday parties and the family suppers.

Friendships are priceless and life has a way of getting ahead of us and then it's just too late.

Rest in peace dear friend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reminder- Quebec Civil Code on Leases

On April 1st 2006, the Quebec civil code 1974. 1 was brought into effect.Thanks to women's groups in Quebec such as WomenAware which worked so diligently to convince our government of the much needed change.

Many women in abusive relationships stay behind and endure the hardships because of the financial commitment they are burdened with because of leases, car loans, etc.

Let me just say that no matter what the financial implications are, they do not out weight the price of life.....and we all know that there is no price tag on life. I would rather see a women leave a relationship with debt, but be free within herself knowing that she is safe and can move forward.

Our civil code in Quebec allows a women to be released from her commitment in a lease if she is a victim or her children are victims of abuse. This law states that if a women is a victim, she must divulge this information to the authorities which is a step in the right direction...a step towards freedom.

I know that I have already written about this law before, but it's always good to be reminded as I just don't know who will be reading my blog!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Being a Mom

Kim decided back in July of last year to move out with her and Kelly-Anne's childhood friend Monique and her baby Lilah. That made me very happy but of course brought back memories of Kelly-Anne being excited about moving into her first apartment. The situation was different, Kelly-Anne and Marty were moving in together and that brought about a stress that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Kim's move brought me bittersweet memories as I saw her unpack alot of Kelly-Anne's household possessions. I was happy that Kim agreed to use them in her apartment.

My worries about Kim are different that what they were about Kelly-Anne. Kim has been coming over on weekends and leaving with a big bag of home cooked meals. That really makes me happy. She tells me that my homemade soups are amazing. I don't want to sound like an enabler but knowing that Kim is eating well and is living in a clean, safe environment is important to me.

I would of loved to have cooked more for Kelly-Anne. I made her a pizza a couple of weeks before she left for Italy. I never knew if Kelly-Anne liked the pizza as there was no talk of it afterwards. I realize now that pizza was the last thing on Kelly-Anne's mind; she was suffering so much inside of herself.

I cherish the time that I have now with Kim, cooking and talking about adult stuff...what her wedding dress will look like, what names she likes for children, and of course discussing up bring and behavior of children. Now the next step is finding the perfect Mr. Right for her. How I would love to be the Mom in the movie..."Because I Said So" you think I could pull it off?

Haiti -The Aftermath

The past few weeks all eyes have been on Haiti. The pain, the deaths, the suffering and the fellowship have all been deeply relayed through the media. We are fortunate here in Montreal to have Sue Montgomery writing for the Gazette. She spent two weeks living with the people in Haiti. Her bed consisted of a piece of cardboard which she slept on under the stars.

Before Christmas , Sue and I met up for lunch. It had been a long time that we had not seen each other, so it was good to catch up. I remember sitting in the resto munching on my goat cheese salad and listening to her talk about her traveling adventures. We parted after lunch and did not know then that the country of these already impoverished people would have to face four weeks later, as much as Sue did not know that she would be off to help the people of Haiti.

While Sue was in Haiti, memories of a conversation came back to me. Kelly-Anne must of been in high school and one day were were talking about her future. She said to me that she wanted to be a journalist reporting in countries around the world. Kelly-Anne did graduate from Concordia in Communications but did not get much opportunity to work in her field. She was never able to live her dream in a career which she was excited about. I remember thinking back then when Kell said she would welcome the opportunity to go to war torn countries to report. Sounds like nothing could put in fear in her, but it sure did in me. My first thought was no way...I am not going to loose my daughter because of any war. Reflecting about that today, Kell would have been safer in a war torn country or a country like Haiti than being in her own home.

I feel that if Kell had had the opportunity, she would have had Sue as a mentor. I see so much of the same traits in both them of them. Sue and Kelly-Anne have also taught me a little something, that being gung ho and a bit of an adventurist is a good thing. I have taught myself that fear is only an obstacle that cannot be allowed to control my life. It's a non- issue.

I have to go up 45 flights in an elevator each day to get to my office.....and I was always fearful of elevators. It's a choice...I wasn't about to let my fear get in the way of having a great job in a great company.

I know that Sue 's voice of the people will remain with them for ever. I only wish that Kelly-Anne would of had that opportunity to live out her dream.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Correctional Services of Canada

Here is the link to obtain the pdf forms for parole board hearings. There is also information on the site regarding victim's of crime.

The processing time is not long, but I suggest that those dear to Kelly-Anne, complete and send it in to get processed and out of the way.

A Humbling Feeling

Something happened in the early hours of this past morning. As Jules and I slept so very soundly, I was softly awaken by Maya our eldest cat. She was sitting between us and facing me. I awoke to her paw gently patting my arm. It is just a lovely, serene way to wake up.

Her soft demure ( and we all know how bad she can be at times !) and how I felt so protected, reminded me of Kelly-Anne's experience surfing in the Pacific with the dolphins surrounding her. She described that event in an email as being a humbling experience. Now, I better understand how Kelly-Anne felt that moment surfing the waves. Animals have a way of soothing the soul and making us feel good. Maya seems to understand my everyone mood. She has hovered over me when I have faced difficult days.
I wish I could wake up that way everyday. It's alot better that be awaken by the clock!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Talk is Cheap

It has come to my attention again that more and more people are coming up with "Marty" stories. I cannot tell you the credibility of the stories as I do not know the people telling them. It hurts to know that this person who took Kelly-Anne's life had such a sorted past. All we can do from this is learn from it and look out for these types of characteristics in others who have have a violent pattern.

My suggestion to those who know of Marty's past, is to document what you know because one day we will be facing the parole board. Marty can apply for parole in less than 8 years now. Those that know him seems to agree that he will never change, therefore do you want him on our streets? Do you want your sister , daughter or friend at risk? This is by far not a publicity stunt...this is serious.

There are many Marty's and Kelly-Anne 's still on our streets...meaning ,many women are still be abused by men like Marty. These women have not come forward because they live in fear. How are we going to help them? If somehow had come forward before Kelly-Anne met Marty to do something about him, maybe Kell would be alive today and this blog would not exist...but the women who dated Marty were fearful and thus dropped the charges. That must of made Marty feel that he was untouchable and gave him more power to be violent.

Talk is cheap but action speak louder than words. For those who feel as bad as I do about loosing my wonderful daughter, please contact me if you want to join forces to keep Marty in jail. Petitions, lobbying to the government, media interaction are all important tools that have to be dealt with at the time of the parole hearing.

Step up to the plate people....this is not a witch hunt...this is about doing the right thing for Kelly-Anne and all women who have died at the hands of violent men. many crimes especially murder are committed by men on parole. Why, because they conned the parole board in letting them out on the premise that they were good boys inside , went to chapel, were born again and have said that they are sorry for their bad deeds.

So who will help me?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Time Heals

I having been thinking alot lately about myself , the family, friends and of course Kelly-Anne. But life for some strange reason seems to be different recently. It is like life is changing again. I have always maintained that after a life changing event such as loosing a loved one from a murder, the ones who have been left behind lives's forever changes. For life is not better nor worse than before Kelly-Anne was murdered, but just different. Her death has not made me an angry hostile person...because really it is not the world, nor God that I should be angry with. There is only one person responsible for her death. His peers judged him and is now locked up. The day will come that God will judge him just like God will judge all of us.

The forgivness issue at times creeps up in my brain...but I have come to the conclusion that the only person that can forgive Kelly-Anne's murderer is Kelly-Anne. Can that possibly happen? I can't answer that.

Kelly-Anne's death, with all it's horror, sadness and devastation brought me to meet in the past five years some wonderful people. People who have stood by me through it all and strangely enough relationships that became bonded through the circumstances of life. In reality, we are more alike than unlike ( my famous words). I think it is the people around me than allowed me to heal and lessen the pain. Sure, there are still difficult days but I am still able to turn my face towards the sun and say thank you for my life and the people around me.

This week a friend called to touch base and say hi. We talked and I felt so good speaking to him. Life has taken on a new dimension for him. After getting off the phone, I reflected about our conversation. Now he faces change and adaption just like I did last February when I found out that my job was abolished. Those sudden changes helped mold my life into what is it now and it is the sudden events that change our lives that help us to be stronger and wiser people. Life is not to be taken for granted and the friendships we have are not to be tainted. They should be supportive and nurturing.

Loosing a job is hard especially when you love your job and knew you were making a difference, but I have discovered the past three months that I can make a difference no matter where I work or what type of work I do. I feel so much better within my self that I am somewhere else in my career......even after all the years I spent in my last company. My confidence has come back to an all time high. I know that Kelly-Anne is proud of me and wants me to help others as they face change and difficulties. We all have the power and capacity to take charge of our lives and to challenge ourselves to overcome judgement and pain.

My friend, you know who you are...turn your face towards the sun and be proud.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year

I can't believe how time is passing us to quickly. It has been a month since I last posted.

Christmas was special as Kim hosted the dinner at her apartment. The table was set beautifully and the tree and decorations gave such a splendor to the occasion. Kim in her own special ways remembered Kelly-Anne by pinning up Kell's old Christmas stocking. I loved seeing it on displayed and felt again that Kell was nearby watching over us.

Kim cooked a wonderful meal. As I write this, I am chuckling to myself about the girls and their cooking expertise. I always felt that if one of the girls was to be the more inclined that the other to cook it would be Kell. I have already recounted to you stories of Kelly-Anne's cooking experiences, but I must say Kim really impressed me. Her chestnut stuffing was incredible! As you also know, Kim is a wonderful pie dough maker. Even with her busy schedule she found the time to make my meat pie crust.

Having not to cook for Christmas allowed me to reflect more on Christmases past. Now as the years go by, Kim is stating to take over the reigns. She did remark that the next time she cooks Christmas dinner, she better have a husband and a dishwasher. I neglected to ask her if the dishwasher would be the husband.

Jules and I did our regular thing for New Year's Eve... dinner at our favorite Italian resto , then a bottle of sparking wine while we and probably many others watched the ball drop in New York.

It seem that the hardest part was to stay await between 11:30 p.m. and 12:00.

My New Year's resolutions have been put in place...and I don't intend to break them. The list is short but straightforward : diet, exercise, lend an ear to a friend, and be happy.

Enjoy your year!