Sunday, December 23, 2012


 The short breads are  finally baked and sitting untouched in a tin. The meat pies will be  created tomorrow. Jules and decided that this year we could keep the festivities on the quiet side and just enjoy the time together. Somehow, plans have a way of changing and we have ended up accepting  invitations from friends to join in their festivities. And that is okay...I'll just share some of my goodies with them. We can't show up empty handed.

Jules though it fitting to play some Christmas music this  morning while I baked. The song I'll be Home for Christmas just seemed to hit a nerve and I found myself thinking about Kelly-Anne again not being here with  us. My thoughts also led me to  the many who have lost their life recently to homicide in particular the three darling children who's mother has been accused of  killing them in Drummondville. I have such a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a mother took the lives of her own beloved children. My thoughts are also with  the  children of Guy Turcotte  who he killed. He is a free man this Christmas and I  just can't get over that fact. All this to say that our Canadian justice system needs alot of revamping.

Christmas is the time  for  family. It is not about  what is wrapped under the tree, but more about why we celebrate  Christmas. We are looking forward to going to church on Christmas Eve and rejoicing in the birth of The Saviour.

Our family is looking forward to the birth of our grandchild. Next Christmas will be different as the baby will consume our  holiday season with love and joy.

Whatever your beliefs are, I wish you a very  Merry Christmas and all the best for a Happy, Healthy and Loving New Year. Peace,  joy, acceptance and understand of  others is something our society needs to work on.  My hope for the year to come is that we can all respect one another and the value of each other's life.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My New Chapter

What should I call it...Grand motherhood perhaps ? Someone pointed out to me that I am already a Grandmother. Hum....after thinking about that statement for one silent minute, I spoke up and said  yes, I am already a grandmother! A tiny living being  with a heart that beats lives in Kim's belly.

I should know better, as I look at babies every day  who are being carried by excited moms. Babies that suck their  fingers and play with their toes while nestled in the womb. They are living little people waiting for nature to tell them that it is their time to face the world.

I wait in anticipation  to hold that new baby in my arms. I fear my emotions as our family welcomes a new member. I fear how heartbroken I will be that Kelly-Anne will not be here on the physical earth to share the joy. I  know that I have to be brave.

I saw the joy and beauty in Kim's face last week. She is going to be the best mother ever. That baby will be so loved. The baby's father is the  man of my dreams of what I always wanted for my daughter. I could not be happier to have him as part of our family. I have been truly blessed.

Now, me...what kind of grandmother will I be. Some tell me it is a completely different  situation than having one of  your own. Others tell me that  I will not be able to keep myself away from the child. It is going to be tough as the baby will be living out west. Will I visit twice a year, will Kim visit....I can only take it one day at a time. There are too many thoughts and questions passing through my brain these days and I know I cannot let what I cannot control affect me.

I know that Kelly-Anne is  totally elated for Kim. I know that she is helping Kim and is the baby's angel. How will the baby get to know about Aunty Kelly-Anne? What will Kim tell the baby? I know we still have few years before that conversation happens. Kim will find the right words when it is the right time.

A  new chapter in out lives approaches. I can only be thankful for this blessing bestowed upon our family. No matter the distance between us, there will  always be love and support.

So my dear grandchild, rest well  for a few more months in your mommy's tummy. Give her a few kicks now and then to remind her that you are a tough little cookie. We will welcome you with open arms and many hugs and kisses. You are already so loved.   xxxx 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Letter to my Daughter

Dear Kelly-Anne,

Would it  be appropriate to wish you a happy 33rd Birthday today? I know you are smiling down from Heaven and at peace.I know you are happy for your friends and family that remember you on a daily basis. I know you are working hard from above to help us. You have helped all your friends and family and those you never met like Mario.

You were here yesterday in our house. I thought of you  and realized that what had just happened was something you put in place. It was a good thing that happened  and I thank you for that. It was your  way of telling me that you cared and wanted to find a way to help me find a solution to my problem.

Today I was speaking to a group of students studying to be Early Childhood  Educators. You  helped me wing it as I felt your presence  with me in that classroom. I spoke about you and your sister and about the work you both  did with children. I also spoke about my  business and about  taking care of oneself during pregnancy. My goodness, my life has changed...who would of thought.......I would be where I am today. And you were there always, these past  8 years, through thick and thin, always by my side.

I thank you for the  baby that will be apart of our family. I know you are beaming with pride. Saturday evening, I will see your  friends from life guarding. Hugs and kisses will flow and I  will try to put on my brave face.  I promise. Their news, their little additions to their families for which I am very happy for them, still  leaves me with a wound straight through my heart. They have all the things that you should of had an opportunity to have.

Remember Kell, you are never forgotten. This week has been an emotionally charged one leading  up to today. You have to realize that I did shed some tears this morning, but you helped me be strong throughout the day. Thank you for that.

The Christmas tree is up. The balls which you so perfectly made are hanging on the tree and  Jules and I reminisced about Christmases past with you. 

I await your next message or a dream with you in it.

Sending all my love to you,

Mom xxxxx

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Find Your Courage

Through fate, I was very fortunate to meet a writer/producer who had worked on a film called Dreams and Mirrors which un known to her at the time, Kelly-Anne had also worked on this very same film.The short end of the story is that we met and instantly seemed to have a connection. She had a goal in mind to produce a film and I wanted very much to have someone help me tell Kelly-Anne's story. With the wonderful collaboration of a  film maker from Toronto, we  spent a day together in late August  2011 and  filmed Find Your Courage. What a day it was with emotions coupled with memories and many what if's for myself.  

After one year of   filming the  film is now completed and ready for distributing. It is a 7 minute film geared to reach the community being families, parents and women going through what Kelly-Anne lived. I have reviewed the final product several times and  I know that my words will touch someone. If one life is saved, then I know that all our work was not in vain.

A short segment of the  film will be aired on CTV Montreal News on October 26th along side  a piece on teen violence which I also had the privilege to  participate in. CTV Montreal has been from day one very supportive of our family. They were there at the court house reporting daily on the trial. They have supported the work I have done with  families of those  murdered, issues related to government  policy, domestic violence issues and reporting on events in the community where Kelly-Anne is  remembered through Power of  One and  other newscasts.  I am not a television star and far from it, but I am humbled with appreciation that  CTV has helped me to be my daughter's voice.

Once the story has been aired, I will post a link for those who would like to view on line. I do hope that at some point the entire footage of the Find Your Courage will be on line.

I truly believe that Kelly-Anne brought me and Ingrid together through Dreams and Mirrors. Little did Kelly-Anne know in 2003 while helping out on the  film that  years later what impact her life and legacy would make on so many others.

Stay tune to CTV Montreal on October 26th. If you know families or other women or teens who are struggling because of abusive situations, I ask again to reach out and maybe even get them to watch the  piece. It is not just about me and my daughter making a difference, you can too in your community help someone in need. Break the silence on abuse.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I awoke early this morning recounting  what is was like  eight  years ago that same  morning. What did I feel, what would  I face that day were the toughts that tormented me. We all have memorable monuments in our lives, the birth of our children,  the day they took their first steps, but  I  also have this moment of horror implanted in me. It just doesn't seem to fit right with all the joyous memories.

Rachel  was very clear and right on in her latest entry on  her blog. 2004 divides  my life too. Pre-2004  is somewhat a blur. I guess trauma does that  to you. There are things I just don't recall. Life as I know for most part is post 2004. My void, my pain, my loss, my life lessons, my adjustments.

Today I sit in my office and write as a happy couple are seeing their baby for the first time. Today I call  the first day of the rest of my life. Today, eight years ago was the day that  I  had to make the biggest decision in my life. It was the day that changed my life forever. I didn't know then how my life would turn out  going forward. When you think about it, it really isn't any different  for anybody else. Even someone who does not experience a life changing situation, still  does not know what life will bring them. The thought of the future was just too  traumatic to bear without my daughter, Kelly-Anne. But through the grace of God, family, friends and the community I managed to forge forward with this army behind me. All I can say is thank you for listening to me, being a shoulder to cry on and allowing me to be the voice of Kelly-Anne.

Find Your Courage, a film which I was in is now finished, edited and ready for anyone who would like to view it. I speak from the heart and I hope others in abusive relationships will take the time to look at it. I also hope other parents will listen to my message. Hopefully others lives will be saved.

After viewing the film and listening to my words, I have  finally come to another  realization and have now accepted the fact that Kelly-Anne had a role to play in her death. She knew her life was wrong with Marty but she was afraid of him. It was  painful up until now  to admit that  Kelly-Anne made a bad decision to be with Marty. I believed that my daughter could do no wrong. It  hurt me to hear this from others. I have now come to  the point that I do not blame her for her death, but  do understand her role in it.  I want  other  women to understand that they do not have to have a role in the lost of their life, but their role must be to take charge of their situation and get out of it.There is always someone that can  help...police, social workers, teachers, doctors, women's shelters, and the workplace.

Last week I had the opportunity to speak again from the heart for a two part series  that CTV is producing.  I viewed this as my last venture. I have had the last word  and now must step back.  I have done all I can to be the voice of Kelly-Anne. I have delivered her message and now it is time  for others to follow that  message. My work is completed. I will however continue to blog.

Life  going forward is now about me, my family, the new birth and my business. Life will be full of  laughter and tears...and hopefully more happy tears than sad ones. I look forward to the rest of my life and all the exciting things that will happen to me. Kelly-Anne will always walk beside me no matter where I go or do. She is  always there and will never be forgotten.xxxx

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Rachel is Kelly-Anne's faithful  and loving friend. Even in Kell's death, Rachel has been steadfast and committed to Kelly-Anne and her family.

Please take a moment to read her blog, Remembering a Friend. She has done a marvelous job  with all her latest posts paying tribute to Kelly-Anne. It's well worth the read as she somehow  just knows how to says things the right way!

The link is below.


Let us believe that tomorrow is always a new day with no mistakes in it...... Kelly-Anne believed that.

Let us believe that we will all be kinder and more compassionate to each other...Kelly-Anne believed that.

Let us believe that women will break  away from the chains that hold them to abusive  relationships ...Kelly-Anne taught us that.

Let us believe that our justice system will support women who are in abusive relationships and that  justice will prevail.......Kelly-Anne's voice was heard in court.

Let us believe that through the media we will be reminded of those who are victims and those who are the aggressors........Kelly-Anne's story was a constant reminder.

Let us believe that women will continue to educate themselves and become the women that they want to be......Kelly-Anne wanted that.

Let us believe that women will no longer be silent as an abused  women is the only one hearing the noise and feeling the pain that surrounds her........Kelly-Anne lived that.

I believe that my daughter, Kelly-Anne has taught me how to live, love and listen. I thank  her everyday for  being beside me as I go about my life. As I smile, I also cry.

Thank you, Kelly-Anne for giving me the courage to be your voice as your mother. Thank  you for being in my life for 24 years. You taught me so much. xxx xxx

That Last Conversation

That last conversation I will never forget was on October 2nd 2004. Kelly- Anne was at her father's house and she called to say hi as we had not had a chance to catch up since her return form Italy. She was happy. She had supper at her father's and Marty was not there. He had something else to do.

Kelly-Anne recounted to me a little about her trip and about the things she had bought for herself and me.Towards the end of the conversation I asked her how Marty was. Her answer was > Mom, I need to be more respectful to  him>. I have mentioned this statement in previous  posts. I was floored when I  heard her say these words. I bit my tongue and said I had to go to bed and would speak again soon. I didn't  not want to start an argument. Here I was walking on eggshells with my  daughter, knowing full well that she did not need to be more respectful to Marty, but what I didn't understand at that time was that her words were a true sign of domestic violence and control.

That was my last physical conversation with her.

For all the women out there who think that you need to be more respectful to your  partner, please wake up and understand that this  is what your partner expects you to do. You are being controlled in a way which is called abuse. This is a red flag sign letting you know that your are in  a potentially dangerous situation.You have been brainwashed,belittled and demoralized to believe that you are not respectful enough and that your partner's words are what controls you as a  person and your very distorted relationship. If you are reading this blog and you are not a women who is being abused, please refer my blog to women who you feel are being abused. Please educate yourself on domestic abuse, even if you are not in a relationship. Know the  signs and be vigilant  towards your family and friends who you feel could be victims of abuse.

I have too many regrets that I should of known better. I can now only be the voice of Kelly-Anne and and openly tell others not to allow yourself into this web of abuse. That is what Kelly-Anne would tell  you today if she were here to tell her story.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

There You'll Be

Yesterday we attended a beautiful wedding of close family friends. The groom danced with his mother to this song below by Faith Hill. Each time I  hear it, I have a  melt down. This song I dedicate to Kelly-Anne  on the eight anniversary of her passing.

"There You'll Be"

When I think back
On these times
And the dreams
We left behind
I'll be glad 'cause
I was blessed to get
To have you in my life
When I look back
On these days
I'll look and see your face
You were right there for me

In my dreams
I'll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be
And everywhere I am
There you'll be

Well you showed me
How it feels
To feel the sky
Within my reach
And I always
Will remember all
The strength you
Gave to me
Your love made me
Make it through
Oh, I owe so much to you
You were right there for me

[Repeat chorus]

'Cause I always saw in you
My light, my strength
And I want to thank you
Now for all the ways
You were right there for me
You were right there for me
For always

In my dreams
I'll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be
And everywhere I am
There you'll be
There you'll be

Thinking Back

The years have past us in a flash since that horrible life altering day in October 2004. We have all changed. We  have all moved  on with our lives. But, for Kelly-Anne with all the ambition, life and love inside of her, her life ended abruptly October 3rd. I remember sitting in the limousine while on the drive to the church for her funeral service and looking out the window in  a numbed gaze. I was thinking about all the cars driving alongside of us...just people  going on with their day. Nothing for them was changing, but I sitting in that limo, realized that everything had changed. I was now different that all these other people. The world around me was evolving, but mine had suddenly stopped.

As the years  progressed, I continued to feel different, that I was someone who stood under a black cloud. I was the one the people pointed to, the mother who lost her daughter to a murder. Was it shame, was it embarrassment, was it my fault, what were all this people reallying thinking I wondered. People would stop me  and say oh I saw you on tv or I  heard  you speak at this place....I knew I had to  speak up. I knew I had to be my daughter's voice. I knew women were still being abused and knew that my heart was still torn in shreds. I had to be strong and forge forward, but that  bloody black cloud was still hovering above.

People would ask me how life is. My answer was and still is the same. It is not worst nor better now. It is  simply different. My life was forever changed and with change comes different persspectives and priorities. My goals have changed. I have been more aggressive in business as my dream of being my own boss has finally come to light. Nobody will ever lay me off again as I am in charge of me. As Kim would say when she was little..."you are not the boss of me". Kelly-Anne, I am sure is turning cartwheels knowing that I am now complete in my career. I am in a happy place and joyfully go to work each day. I think back to Kelly-Anne skipping  down the street on her way to school and not that long ago found myself with those same footsteps on my way to work. I had to laugh at myself, but realized that if I could skip my way work, it was a good sign that my life was turning around.

Correctional Services still call to tell me that Morin-Cousineau is having medical escorted visits.I received a call the other day. He visits the doctor on October 2nd. How interesting I thought, that he gets to go out on the same day as the last day of his freedom. The madame calls from the victim's unit, she gives me the information and I jot it  down for my file. I know longer have any pleasantries to say to her. I am polite and say thank you and wish her a good day. I don't bust my head over this issue of escorted outings anymore. I have too many other things that are more important in my life to concern myself with.

I still dream of Kelly-Anne. She is either giving me advise or just being happy in my dreams. Are these messages from her? Everyday as I awake, I thank God for a new day and ask Kelly-Anne to walk with me. She, my faithful daughter is always beside me. I feel her presence and see her  star shining alone above our home. I know it is her.

Why did my daughter leave this earth, why did she have to go. Sometimes I still want to believe that she is on a trip somewhere...adventuring. I still think that if Kelly-Anne had been alive today, she would have moved on  from her relationship with Marty, met someone who would love her, have a great career and maybe even a baby.This would of all have been behind her. But no, the harsh reality is that her life and  dreams ended on October 3rd 2004.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Swimming Pool Dangers

During the past few weeks in Montreal and the surrounding areas we have heard about young toddlers drowning in backyard pools. Each time I heard that this tragedy has  happened only brings me to feel deeply saddened about the loss of  these very young  children. Actually I feel  heart broken  which  brings me back to my own sudden loss of Kelly-Anne. A loss is a loss no matter the circumstances, but  knowing that these young parents are going through the same as what  Kelly-Anne's family went through leaves me feeling ill. That gut wrenching  pain returns and who better understand the families of these children better that myself or anyone who has walked in my shoes. 

In a matter of a couple of seconds these families lives have now forever changed. The guilt, the blame, the I should of known better,  the I am a  bad parent will torment these parents for a long time to come.

Why did these drownings  happen? Where were the parents at the time of the drowning? Why was the child allow to  enter the pool? Was there a proper security fence around the pool? Did the adult suddenly become distracted? At the end of the day, these children lost their lives in what  was  suppose to be a family fun pool. Those families will never look at the  pool in same way again, and I would not be surprised if they all eventually move out of their homes.

Thinking back to when the girls were young brings me to the days when we had an above ground pool in our back yard. We moved into the house when Kelly-Anne and Kim were 6 and 5 respectfully. Ground rules were set in place. I even remember hiring someone to give the girls swimming lessons in the pool. Their friends would came over to swim and frolic  and so did their parents. Never were the girls or their friends out of view. The pool  was accessible  by a ladder that when not in use was raised. The deck was  not attached to the pool. There was a link fence that enclosed the back yard. All security measures were in place and the rules were followed and respected by all.

Little toddlers move quickly. They have to be supervised at all times and swimming lessons are a must. Even if  the parents are not keen on swimming they must  set aside their own feelings and allow their children  to have lessons. I can remember myself as a young child being  bused from elementary school once a week to an indoor pool where we were  given lessons.I am going back to the early 60s but even then knowing how to swim was important.  The school made  it their responsibility to make swimming a part of the gym program. Swimming lessons should be just as important as leaning to read and write.

Kelly-Anne and Kim  learnt to swim early in life  and I do not have to tell you how accomplished they both were and as Kim is still today in the pool.

Each family who owns a backyard pool and has a young family needs to:

1. establish ground rules for the  children and for visitors
2. ensure that  the children get swimming lessons
3. ensure that there is ALWAYS an adult supervising the pool
4. surround the pool with the proper fencing and a secure lock
5. ensure that the adults supervising are not taken up with distractions
6. ensure tht  if the child is in the house, that they cannot on their own leave by an opened door

Remember, we never leave a toddler alone in a bathtub, so why would be leave one alone near a pool.

Have a safe and fun summer with your families.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Remembering Janet, Kelly-Anne and Anne-Marie

Here is an article that I would like to share with you. Brenda O'Farrell  remembers Janet Kuchinsky, Kelly-Anne and Anne-Marie Edward. It is articles like this that help us to continue to remember those who have lost their lives through selfish, senseless acts acts of crime. We need to remember how  these three beautiful talented women died, but equally too how they lived their lives and what contributions they made to their communities. I had the good fortune to have met Janet a few weeks prior to her death. The Grier Park Memorial is a constant reminder to all that pass through the park that violence of any kind cannot be tolerated in our society.

Somewhere in the files of the Montreal Police major crimes division is a folder with Janet Kuchinsky’s name on it. Her dossier is what is referred to as a cold case.

Kuchinsky was a 42-year-old mother of three who was bludgeoned to death just off a bicycle path at the north end of Sources Blvd. in Pierrefonds on July 10, 1999. No one has ever been charged with her murder.

She had left her home just after 6 p.m. July 10 to go out on one of her frequent walks. According to reports, police suspect she was killed soon after. Her body was found the next day.

There was no evidence of sexual assault, and theft was ruled out as a possible motive for the attack. During the course of the investigation, many tips were followed. But all led to dead-ends. A $20,000 reward was posted for information leading to the arrest of a suspect went unclaimed.

So the question remains unanswered: Who killed Janet Kuchinsky?

I was reminded of this case last week by a colleague. The topic came up in the wake of the news of an attack on a female cyclist in Longueuil. The events in these cases seem so random. There is no apparent reason for why they happened. And that is perhaps why these stories stick in our minds.

A park bench in Grier Park in Pierrefonds bears Kuchinsky’s name. It was installed in October 2005 as a memorial. It is one of three benches that pay tribute to other Pierrefonds women who were victims of a violet death: Anne-Marie Edward, one of the 14 victims of the massacre at École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989; and Kelly-Anne Drummond, a 24-year-old daycare educator who was stabbed in the back during a domestic dispute on Oct. 3, 2004. She died of her injuries two days later in hospital.

When Kuchinsky’s bench was unveiled, the pro-mayor of the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough, Bert Ward, said the memorials provide a place where people can sit, meditate and pray. The best thing these memorials do, I think, is serve as a reminder.

And as the 13th anniversary of Kuchinsky’s death approaches, we need this reminder. As time marches on, we need occasions to pause. We might never know the answers to certain questions. We might never learn the reason behind what appears to us as the randomness of others. But as long as we remember, we continue to mourn a little and heal a little bit more.

I welcome your comments.

Brenda O’Farrell

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Magestic Jasper and Family

It  has been a while since I last blogged. We returned from the west and life resumed to  its busy days with retuning to work, facing the loss of my dear aunt, medical issues to address and taking care of  one of my best friend's two cats as she toured  Switzeralnd. Oh such is life! However, seeing Kim in her new life gave us a respite from our crazy life here in Montreal. Life is so much different out west. Kim has  certainly found her place surrounded by great new friends, a job which she loves, a great boyfriend along with his wonderful family and friends who all welcomed us with open arms.

Shopping was fun, the sites were great and a highlight was a short trip to Jasper Park. The mountains were still snow capped and we were delighted to see the mountain goats poised on the cliffs allowing many tourists an opportunity to  take a few  snap shots. While driving through the mountains, I could only think about Kelly-Anne and realized that she never got to see the  mountains. She would of loved the sights. I am fortuante to have had that  chance to see Jasper and know that  on our next trip out west  we will make the time to see more of our beautiful Rockies.

I noticed as we arrived at Kim's home how  quiet it is. The noise level of  the city is no where to be heard. It is such a drastic difference to where we live. Everywhere one looks there is sure to be a pick up  truck near by. Jules counted 12 in the parking lot at the hotel one evening. Apparently it's the thing to own a pick up even if  one doesn't actually need one for work purposes.

We flew for the first time on Westjet. That was an experience in itself and have to say the staff on both flights were super. It's the only way to fly across Canada! We found it  touching as we were pulling out of the gate in Montreal that at least a dozen Westjet ground crew were standing in a row all waving goodbye to our plane. A simple gesture with a nice touchy good feeling.

There is something to be said about taking a short trip. It's nice to get away and change the routine, but also nice to return home. That being said, the memories of Kelly-Anne and the thoughts of her not being with us on this trip were there. I was having a good time and had to remind myself that I was allowed to enjoy  myself and that she would expect me to do so. Even after almost nine years that is still hard to do sometimes.

Being out west allowed me to see Kim's life and now I can sit back and not be so stressed about she  being so far away. It was the best thing for her to settle in the west and I believe that any young person should go west and pursue their dreams. In my humble opinion, it is really  better than living in Quebec!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Adventure

Today,  Jules and I  organized our luggage  as we are off this week to visit and Kim and  her new life in the wild west. You would  think we were going away for a month as we pondered for the  longest time as to what we need to take. The bags are basically packed thanks to Jules and his meticulous packing technique. There is even room left for the  bagels. Now who can travel from Montreal without packing those original bagels that Montreal is  so well known for. It was the only thing on Kim's list that she wanted. We are excited. It is a new adventure for us and especially for Jules as he has never flown before. I keep telling him that there was also a first time for everyone on a plane. The headsets  will be with us along with magazines and crossword puzzles. He can watch movies and I will probably watch the Food Network!

We are fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Jasper National Park. Ah, the mountains and all its glory. It will be marvelous.

Today being Mother's Day my thoughts  turn to  my mother and of course to Kelly-Anne. Mom loved to travel and see new things. She also loved to shop no matter where she was visiting. She always felt that there would be something new and different  to purchase  compared to her regular shopping routine here in Montreal. Kell on the other hand loved the adventure of travelling. Shopping was secondary to her. I remember a time when she returned  from  a water polo tournament in Florida. She arrived at the Canada customs agent  in Dorval and was asked what she had purchased. She proudly opened her bag and showed the custom's officer her purchase which was a Tweety bird toy for her cat Trixie. How cute was that, I thought at the time. It was more important to her to think of her cat than of herself or others. I am  a mix of  both. I want to see everything and I want to shop to  look for that  find that is not available here at home.

Today, I feel very blessed and at peace. The sun is shining and I feel even though Kell is not here on this earth or that Kim is so far away that I am still very much  loved by both of them. I am  also thinking of other mothers like myself who have lost a child. And I think of the mom's to be that I have met over the past eight months who are or will become new moms. The anticipation, the excitement, the preparation of welcoming the little one brings a smile to my face each and  everyday.

Stay tune for the continuing stories of  our adventure. I know Kell is happy that  we will be adventuring and I am sure she will be watching over us with a smile on  her face and my mom will probably lead me to  some interesting  shops along the way!

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Federal Aid for Victim's Families'

Yesterday, Stephen Harper announced the new Federal aide program for the families of victims of homicide and disappearance. It is a start but in my opinion no way near where it should be. The program  will help families for a period of 35 weeks who have lost a child under the age of 18 to either homicide or  a disappearance. The person applying must have an income of  over $6,500.00 per year which would entitle them to  receive $350.00 per week and be assured that their job  awaits them at the end of the period.

Firstly,  the government  has forgotten all those who have been victims of homicide or who have disappeared who are over the age of 18. Also the government has not taken into consideration that 35 week is hardly enough to get over the loss, deal with the police and crown. Nor will any court proceeding be held during this period.

I had proposed to government officials a few years ago that a program under the  compassionate leave program with the E.I. act include families of those murdered or of disappearance. It would have included all  and not just victims under 18 years old. Also, my idea would have give have possibly given  more income to the families based on 55% of their salary for a period of one year providing that they would have been contributing to employment insurance benefits.  Don't forget, here in Quebec our labour standards allow someone to be absent from their job for up to a  year without  pay. They also would of had job protection. I felt that the program through E.I. would of complemented our Quebec program.

What  Harper does not understand  is that  families still have to pay bills, feed and take care of  the rest of the family members and live through the grief, post traumatic stress, court and eventual return to work.

Imagine a family where the father is the only bread winner. His regular  earnings are $80.000. 00 a  year and now faces this terrible trauma in his family's  life. He is unable to go to work and decides to stay home. He is not going to be able to survive on $350.00 a week. This is where  many employers will allow the employee to go on a absence management program. With that, and company insurance benefits accompanied by a doctor's certificate would be far more beneficial to the worker than any government run program.

It is only those families who do not have company benefits  that will  use the government program. For me,  the government is  not giving up alot. It is not everyday thank goodness that  someone under 18 is murdered or disappears.

I feel that Harper  has no choice but to finally step up  to the plate and help victims.He has Pierre- Hugues Boisvenu  as a Senator and I am sure that Pierre- Hugues has educated Harper regarding victim's rights.

All this being said  however, does not influence  how I will vote in the next eventual federal election. Harper still has a long way to go before convincing me of his worth.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Life, Renewal and Family

It has been a busy winter, with endless projects and transitions. I am forever grateful that the snow has finally disappeared and that the winter boots are cleaned and put away. Easter is upon us, a time for renewal, a time for new life and new beginnings.

Easter will be quiet this year with Kim living out west. However, she texted me several times today as she prepared to create her Easter feast. What is cream of tartar? What is lemon curd? Eventhough we are not together for Easter, I still feel that I am apart of her dinner preparations as I coach her on the how to's. We spoke today on my drive home from work about the technical aspects of preparing lemon curd.

Kelly-Anne is always is on my mind. Somehow,I feel she keeps us all on an even keel. My husband soon will begin a new transition in his career. I have never seen someone so cool, calm and collective about moving forward. He inspires me with his confidence. He continues to support me in my career goals.

Another person in my life is my boss of almost nine months. What a joy and pleasure it is to work with him. He allows me to be me and make the decisions that I need to to in order to keep the place afloat. This man is kind, compassionate towards others and a great teacher. He tells me that I have a soft heart, but in reality he has the softer one. He just won't admit it! Most mornings I feel like a kid again. With my lunch packed, I skip out of the house, hop on the bus with the excitement and anticipation of the day ahead. It's such a good feeling. On days like that, my thoughts bring me back to Kelly-Anne. She,as a young girl skipping her way to school in the morning with that smile and her bouncy curls waving in the breeze. The image of her never leaves me. This job is my renewal and my new life. Seeing expectant mothers with smiles on their faces delights me in ways one cannot imagine.

My,have things ever changed since my days of work accidents,unions and steel capped shoes.....full circle I would say. I told someone recently,that I would never go back to my old career. It seems like another life, another time and another me.

Wishing you all a Blessed Easter!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It Takes Two to Tango

Today in the news we hear the name revealed of the convicted murdered doing time in prison who gave money as a bride to two Montreal cardiologists. We all remember Valery Fabrikant who murdered many of his colleges some twenty years ago in a Montreal university. Yesterday, the media was not able to reveal the name of the prisoner as he being a patient had his right to confidentiality. Again, my blood curls as I hear that protective word : confidentiality. What changed from yesterday that allows us to know the name of the prisoner today is something I am not yet aware of.

The doctors in question are André Pasternac and Mark Eisenberg. I ask why would two supposedly upstanding cardiologists find themselves in this mess with Fabrikant. How could they think that dealing with this nutbar would not have any repercussions. How could they not of known what Fabrikant was like as he has been in the media often in the past twenty years while trying to stir up trouble.

I blame the doctors for not refusing treatment right from the get go. I know that a doctor's is obligated to help people even criminals, but from the first instance of trouble brewing,the doctors should of sounded the alarm. However, the stuffed enveolpes looked very appealing. THese doctors have lost their credibility. They made bad choices and for that I would not ever be able to trust them with my life or anyone I know as their decision making would always be questionable.

From the responsibility of Correctional Services who govern and house Fabrikant, I question what control are they allowing him to have. Why was he allowed to choose his own doctors? From what I have read, it seems that Fabrikant wanted the doctors to be available to him at his beck and call. Does that mean whenever Fabrikant wanted to see his doctors, Correctional Services would just put him in a van and shoot him off to the doctor. Who's is running our prisons? Is Fabrikant using his manipulative enveoples with others around him to get services as he sees fit? I wonder if Fabrikant has access to the internet which I am told by CSC that the prisoners do not have access to.

The doctors should face the courts and Fabrikant's stuffed envelopes should be going to the familes of the victims he distroyed. Interestng how even from prison he still controlls his wife. What is she afriad of? Why is she still in the picture?

It was reported that Fabrikant had an operation which Pasternac deemed unnecessary, however he still operated. He was paid with a stuffed envelope, plus our RAMQ paid him which we the Quebec taxpayers paid for. How long was Fabrikant on the waiting list? Who did he bypass on waiting list to get the operation? Probably, someone who desperately needed it.....a good law abiding citizen.