Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We have the Power

With great intensity and anticipation I watched the finale of the Oprah Winfrey show. The past three days have been of mixed emotions. Oprah spoke eloquently today which I do not think for a moment anyone in her audience or in their homes moved their eyes away from Oprah. I sat there in front of the t.v. listening and digesting every word. And again, Oprah continued to empowered me, she continued to remind me that each and everyone of us has a reason for being on this earth. Her message today was what I needed to hear again. I needed to be reinforced to continue to forge forward. I needed to be reminded that we must validate each other. I also cried as I remembered that at my last job,I would validate my boss but she would never validate me.I think of that as pure ignorance, since in all my other jobs,my bosses would praise me, but this one wouldn't. This past job as bad of an experience as it was, needed to happen as it allowed to me come to the realization that my calling is to be involved with people. I need to empower and make a difference in someone's life.

I was also reminded today that what goes around comes around. I recall a day a couple of months ago when I heard a women speak to someone unknown to her over the phone. She diminished an employee because she was an immigrant and not a Quebecer. She also complained about the numerous amount of blacks living in her neighbourhood. I was appalled at her unethical behavior and I know she saw the reaction on my face.

Oprah has taught us for 25 years that we need to be tolerant of others. Weather in the USA or Canada, we are melting pots and we should embrace that. Sadly,there are still people in our communities that just don't get it.

I had a telephone call this past weekend from a women who I had hired many years ago. She told me how grateful she was that I had given her a job and that I would never know just how much it meant to her. She recounted to me that when I hired her, she was going through a tough time and needed to save her home. I gave her a job unknowing of her plight. I made a difference in this women's life. I was touched at her recounting this to me so many years later. My point in writing about this is not to pat myself on the shoulder. It is only to explain that we are all important to someone and that acts of kindness and validation can have different meanings to so many different people. Kelly-Anne constantly validated people. Whether it was her family, her friends or the man that murdered her, she always had something kind to say. As my mother would often say, "if you can't say something nice to someone, don't say anything at all."

Today I also swam where Kelly-Anne's conference room overlooks the pool. The peacefulness coupled with the serenity of the water continues to give me solace. Again, my mind is clear and my thoughts are powerful as I swim non stop. My daughter is nearby in that pool as I feel her spirit.

I am determined as ever to continue my soul searching for where I really need to be...the place where I am suppose to be. I will not take a job because it's a has to be the right thing as I need to be doing what I am meant to be doing. Right now, I feel my place is at home. I feel this is where I need to be. It may sound so "domesticated" to say this, but I am loving cleaning, cooking, baking and just being home. Cooking is one of my passions. If only you could see the faces of Jules and Kim when I give they something new and interesting to taste.

I know that the right thing will happen for me.I know I will eventually work where I am meant to be and I know I will have many more opportunities to be empowered, to empower others and to make a difference.

As Oprah said, we need to live out our passions whatever they may be. One does not have to always work for money as many who volunteer are giving back to the community.We each have a gift and I believe we should not shelter that gift but give it to others.

Oprah gave everyone one of her viewers a gift....a gift of knowledge,understanding, acceptance and tolerance. Why can't we do the same.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Stoning in Kandahar

Last evening I was captured by a documentary on CBC. The report was about women in Afghanistan and how they are starting to stand up for their rights. Many had their faces covered while others only wore scarfs around their heads. The reporter interviewed some as they were marching for their rights on International Women's Day. The report even showed a women who painstakingly had built her own home with sand and bricks.

My heart raced as I witnessed the stoning of a women. She was on her knees covered in her burka. Men threw stones at her until she fell to the ground and died. Why, because she was assumed to have cheated on her husband. Here we are in 2011, and still some countries treat women like slaves and second class citizens.I just can't wrap my head around this one. Witnessing this execution on t.v. was surreal. At first I thought it was just actors, but no it was real. As I watched the men throw the rocks and stones the narrator never made mention if the man implicated in the assumed affair received a penalty of some sort. I imagine not.

The plight of women in Afghanistan is a daily battle. Their responsibilities of bringing up their children remain, but they are also shunned against even when they encourage their daughters to attend school.

How will the culture and mindset ever change? I suspect only with those women who are engaged to move forward despite religion, government laws and tradition. The men will never change. Here again we witness abuse, violence and control.I only hope the the younger educated generation of women in Afghanistan will develop the tools and resources to understand that they will not accept violence against women and that they they have a right to voice their opinion.

It feels so wrong to sit back in our cozy white picket fenced homes and not acknowledge what is happening in Afghanistan and other countries where women are struggling. My question is what can we do to help these women live a better life?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Ball

Some years ago Kelly-Anne belonged to a women's gym in Dollard des Ormeaux. She had invited me to come to the gym to work out.I think the year was 1999. It was then that she introduced me to working on a large rubber exercise ball.She demonstrated with ease how to balance on it and to do sit ups. Of course I was a complete klutz and found it difficult to work with.I was impressed with her flexibility, well why would she not be as she kept herself in top notch shape.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to get together with two of my girlfriends. We call ourselves the sisterhood. One friend lives in Calgary and she and her husband made a surprise long weekend visit here in Montreal. We girls had breakfast together then set out to the mall. My friend from Dorval and I each decided to invest in the famous exercise ball.

I came home with my ball and pumped it up. Then I sat on it and to my amazement, I was able to balance well on it. I will start soon to do some exercises. My goal is to get fit this summer. It's a pack with my friends, lots of walking, swimming and exercising.

It's time to turn the new leaf of being more in shape,loosing a few un wanted pounds and feeling good. Even though our three some leaves one friend in Calgary, we feel that she is really not far away. We often skype together. For our next skype session we plan to exercises on our balls. That should be funny!

And the funniest of all will be that I will probably hear Kelly-Anne's infectious laughter ringing in my ears!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Power of One - In Kelly-Anne's Memory

Here is a link to a CTV series called Power to One which I particiaped in two years ago.

A Long Distance Relationship

It is all so clear this morning.It is now 6:28 a.m. I have awaken from another dream. This time Kelly-Anne is with me, smiling,holding my hand and very happy. She is in love, she has met this young man from Britain. Her friend set her up to meet him. Kell is making a film in Britain, but comes home to tell me her good news. We are walking in the summer in a city centre. She laughs, her curly locks are bouncing on her head...oh that smile. She tells me that she had a sickness, but she is cured.
At one point in the dream we are sitting in an airplane.

This morning I feel her love even though she is so far away in a distant Heaven, but ironically so nearby.

It's Mother's Day and I feel very blessed to have had this dream. The message is obvious. Kelly-Anne loves me and in her own way has sent me that message through my dream.

Today will be a good day. The sun is starting to peak through. Kim and I will go and see a movie that we have been anxiously waiting for it's release. It is called Water for Elephants. We both read the book and enjoyed it immensely.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Finding Jolène

A cold case that has been on our hearts since 1999 has finally come to the recovery of Jolène's body and the arrest of a suspect. Twelve years of agony and despair for Jolène family has passed. Twelve years of not knowing the truth about the whereabouts and wondering if she was dead or alive. Here is another family walking under that black cloud. The wounds has grown wider, and now the family must face the next steps of seeking justice and burying their daughter. Such pain.

I do not know how the family has survived all these years of living the unknown.I do not think that I would have been able to cope if I had to had faced this situation with Kelly-Anne. We were given by the grace of God time to say goodbye to Kelly-Anne and the murdered was arrested immediately. Were we, we were blessed even though Kelly-Anne died.

Jolène's murderer has been walking the streets for the past twelve years. He is also known to the police. How many other unsolved murders could he be responsible for?

My deepest sympathies to Jolène's family. I can only hope that they find closure and get the needed support during this most difficult time.

Rest in eternal peace Jolène.