Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Kell

This picture was taken on November 28th 2003. It was Kell's 24th birthday and the last one that we were able to celebrate with her. Shelooks so happy and beautiful in this picture.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Living the Dream

I felt last night that I have come full circle since the devastating lost of Kelly-Anne seven years ago.Each year the cocktail fundraiser is bittersweet but somehow last evening it was different.I was thrilled that the master of ceremonies chosen was a former swimming teacher of Kelly-Anne. In more recent years he participated with her in competitive living guarding and became a close friend.

What touched me the most was that a couple of lifeguards spoke how the fund was helping them. These young women never knew Kelly-Anne, but today they are able to live Kelly-Anne dream of travel,training and competition. Bravo! Seven years ago, I intended to make a difference in other people's lives. Now Kelly-Anne's foundation is doing just that.

With close to $12,000 raised last evening,the fund will help competitors reach their goals. I must thank Aquam and McDonald's Canada for their generous support. Also thank you to my family and friends and the many others who I do not know personally who continue to support the foundation.

It was also reaffirmed to me last night that the memory of Kelly-Anne and how she touched her colleagues in the sport will never fade. I also realize even more so than before that reaching goals does take time, but the importance is that we never give up. Kelly-Anne's example of perseverance,implication and dedication are the key factors which I hold to.

I feel that I have moved mountains with my "making a difference project" within my career and with Kelly-Anne's fund. My life just doesn't stop here. It's now about continuing and growing all in those baby steps. I look forward in anticipation of my future and what lies ahead for my family. Kelly-Anne's foundation is touching many young adults within the competitive life guarding milieu. They can live their dreams and that excites me. It also excites me that many more lives can be saved by the continued training and dedication of our lifeguards. Our waters will be safer.

I toast my precious daughter, Kelly-Anne on the eve of her 32nd birthday. I love you and I thank you for continuing to inspire me from afar.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Another Struggle

Yesterday,the harsh reality of my cousin's medical condition hit me straight in the face. I am emotionally exhausted from crying and thinking of her. She is still alive but her condition worsens.I am angry that again 7 years later I feel the same way today as when Kelly-Anne was fatally attacked. There is no medical solution to stop her disease. I am frustrated that in 2011 with the money invested into research,the training of medical professionals and the multi- million dollars of pharmaceuticals available,there is very little that can be offered to my 39 year old cousin.

She has agreed to an experimental operation to see if this may help her. I fully support her going forward with this operation and I believe that she will get through it. I also believe that Kelly-Anne will help guide her doctor. Ironically or not, my cousin's doctor was Kelly-Anne's doctor. She could not save Kelly-Anne's life, but I know is is going to help my cousin.

My cousin's deep faith in God has brought her to a better place. This is what she had to say to me yesterday in an email.

" After everything you've been through, I know how upsetting and horrific this is to hear and I am so very very sorry. I wish with all my heart that I had something better for you. I hate the fact that you are upset. All I can say is that you must know that I believe with all my heart in God and that I know he will not forsake me. No matter WHAT happens, He will always be holding my hand and He is the all powerful to ensure that I don't suffer.

Please know that God will take care of this: in His own way and according to His will and that I am completely trusting of Him. He has NEVER let me down and He never will.

I've always told you that I know it for a fact that one day we will all be together again, with no more tears, suffering or death. So no matter what happens in this life, it is a test. We must prove our faith in God and Christ and we will be rewarded for doing so with eternal life, peace, and love with one another for always, if we follow the example Christ set out for us.

I assure you that this life is just a passing thing,full of trials and tribulations: but that one day we shall all reap what we sowed. I know it's going to be okay - one way or another.

Please don't be sad. I love you too much to think that you are sad, although it's obviously normal to feel that way, but please know that I am not alone and that I am not scared.

Please don't be scared either. And I promise to give you my surgery date and we'll talk before then.

I love you "

I cannot get over her faith, conviction and trust in the Lord. I am so proud of her and how she is dealing with all of this. I ask each and everyone of you irregardless of your beliefs that you pray for my cousin and her family.

It's hard for me as most of my adult years I have always been faced to find solutions to problems and different issues whether in my personal life or work life. I have convinced myself that there is a solution for everything. It's when medical situations like that of Kelly-Anne and now my cousin's battle do not allow for concrete solutions,I have a hard time dealing with all.

My own faith is now being tested again. I never blamed God for Kelly-Anne's passing and I do not blame Him for my cousin's illness. I do however question what is it that we all have to learn from this present situation? What message will our family and all her friends receive? For me,I am reminded that I have to continue to trust God more and not be afraid.

My baby cousin who I love has now reminded me as God is working through her to convey His message of putting our trust in Him.

And now, I pass the same message to you.