Monday, December 22, 2014

'Tis the Season

The tree and  house are decorated and the baking is completed. We await the family and the sparkle of  Paige's eyes. This Christmas season I  vow to  be happy and embrace my family and the spirit of new birth.  I am still  reminded each day of how Kelly-Anne is such a apart of our lives and how her soul is in our Paige, our greatest gift. I am also  reminded of Christmas past and how Kelly-Anne loved the season. And for her, I smile because that is what she would expect me to do.

This past month we heard of  the deaths of eight innocent children in Australia, and three American police officers in the line of duty. All slain. I wish for once we could really have  peace on earth...but the only thing I can do is bring about peace in my life and help those near me. We all can't carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. It just pains me that  others have to suffer and that lives are snuffed out.

This is the season of peace and hope. I ask you to share the season with your loved ones and to remember those who are in need.

I look towards the new year to come with anticipation, excitement and change. I do not know what lies ahead but I am ready to embrace  2015. Season's greetings to all.

Life is a gift...use it well.

Friday, November 28, 2014

35

Today, Kelly-Anne would of been 35 years old. I only know that  if she were here, she would of been happy and most probably celebrating. I celebrate her life and  am so very proud of her accomplishements during her 24 years on this earth.

Yesterday, she was present with us in that prison. She held me and gave me strength. My daughter never leaves  my side.

Tonight as I  light a candle for her, I will toast  my daughter in celebration of her contributions she made on earth and how she continues to impact  my life and  the community from Heaven.

Facing the Devil

Yesterday, Kelly-Anne's family were at the parole hearing for her killer. He decide he would  request day parole because it was his legal right to do so according to the sentence he had received.
It was our choice to be there and to present statements, a choice I do not regret. Even though it was an emotional  time, I felt that the board needed to hear from us. The board needed to hear the depth our our loss and how life as been for us during the  past 10 years.

I felt that I was in a time bubble. Time has stood still for Martin Morin -Cousineau. Nothing has changed in his life whereas I and many others lives have evolved. We have all faced challenges, learnt and seen new things, met new people and experienced the good and  the not so good. That is  life, but for him he remains unchanged.

He is unchanged because of choice. He  does not see himself as equal to the other prisoners. He  still believes that he has been wrongfully convicted and that he should not have been found guilty of second degree murder.  He fails to understand that  his peers judged him guilty and that judgement was backed up by an appeal hearing.

I must say that Correctional Services have gone over and above to help him...but as the old saying goes, you  can't lead a horse to water and expect him to drink. One needs to first accept  the situation, then make the decision to change and move forward with a plan and the determination to stick to that plan. This is  something he has not done.

I am not worried. I will now leave the future of his stay in prison to the Parole Board. From what I  witnessed yesterday, he will never get out of prison.

The devil remains behind bars. I will keep watching him from afar with yearly reports from  Correctional Services. I will continue to write statements when needed, but I will never see his face again as I will never return to prison. His future will be predicated on what he  succeed to do in prison. It is all in the devil's hands.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Continuing to Touch Lives

I had a special day yesterday...I was invited to speak to the Women's Studies class at Concordia University. I spoke about Kelly-Anne 's story, my life moving forward and of course the signs of domestic abuse.

Here in the back of the class sat a young women with tears rolling down her face. After my talk she came up to me and told me that she knew Kelly-Anne from one of the summer pools where Kelly-Anne had once worked. This young women told me that Kelly-Anne had taught her to swim. It seems everywhere I go, I meet someone who knew Kelly-Anne or knows someone who knew my daughter. I hear new stories which allow me to learn more about Kelly-Anne. They are a constant  reminder  how she touched other people's lives. And for that I continue to be a proud mother knowing that
Kelly-Anne is never forgotten and has left many positive  lasting memories for so many young people.

She is truly an example to follow.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Remembering

" Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet" Anne of Green Gables


As we remember  Kelly-Anne today on the 10th anniversary of her senseless, horrific death, let us remember that even 10 years later women, children and unborn babies are still being murdered in many countries throughout our world. Please take a moment to reflect on the lives savagely taken through anger, jealousy, power and cultural beliefs.

What have we learnt from Kelly-Anne death? What can we do to prevent these heinous crimes?
I ask you reflect on your place in our society, your responsibility and how you can make the difference.

The quote above was Kelly-Anne's favorite quote. Ironically it was written on all her emails. Little did she know how this quote would be rooted in my thought process for the rest of my life.

I invite each and everyone of you to take your place by making a difference towards abuse against women. Tomorrow is a new day for all of us. Let's make it count!

Love you Kell today and always.xxxx Mom


Monday, September 22, 2014

ASPIRE APP

With special thanks to Robin McGraw ( Dr.Phil's wife) there is now an app for  smart phones,  iphones and android which allow someone who is a victim of  domestic abuse to get help. It doesn't replace calling 911, but at least if  one does not have a land line, or is not  at home, there is a way to contact someone or the authorities.

Here is the link. Please read and share with anyone  whom you feel needs to know....and honestly, we all need to  know this information.

https://www.whengeorgiasmiled.org/the-aspire-news-app/

Sunday, September 21, 2014

10th Cocktail Fundraiser

                                            

                                                         Kelly-Anne's family 
                                                      
                                                                 and the
                                                       
                                                    Quebec Lifesaving Society

                                               invite you to attend the 10th annual

                                              Kelly-Anne Drummond Foundation 

                                                       cocktail fundraiser

                                                                    on

                                          Saturday, October 18th at 6:00 p.m.
                                                                   at
                                Dollard des Ormeaux Aquatic Centre banquet hall

                                               12001 boul.de Salaberry
                  
                                            Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec


Westjet Airlines has graciously donated to the cocktail,  two free airline tickets to anywhere in the world where Westjet flies. The drawing will take place during the cocktail for all guests who have paid admission and are in attendance. One lucky winner will win the tickets  !

There will also be a silent auction. If you or you know a company who would like to donate to the silent auction, please email me through this blog or call the Lifesaving society.


tickets are $50.00 each
call 514-252-3100 to reserve your tickets, or to donate.

Saying No to Violence

This past week the City of Pierrefond's Mayor Jim Beis took the time out  to place flowers at the monument in Grier Park, Pierrefonds which is dedicated to Anne-Marie Edward ( victim of Polytechic), Janet Kuchinsky ( unsolved homicide) and Kelly-Anne. The mayor wanted to mark the anniversairy of these three  very special Pierrefonds residents. I was very touched  with the Mayor's gentle and sincere words. I was surprised when  he said he knew Kelly-Anne. I guess I a still leaning  even to today how many people she knew and how she  touched the lives of the  people she met.

The message in the centre on the pristine ground is clear  to everyone who walks by it. The words are there...say no to violence. The three monuments remind us of lives taken way before their time.

As my friends rallied around me with the autumn breeze touching my face and the sun shining, I felt loved and honored that a part of  the day for the mayor, was set aside to reflect and remember.

I am very thankful that again my daughter Kelly-Anne is remembered.

May her memory and that of Anne-Marie and Janet be eternal.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Video: Find Your Courage

Here is the link to the film which I made with an incredible write/producer a couple of summers ago. This  project was a turning point in my life and journey towards healing. I would like to share it with you.  For me I was grateful to be allowed to express myself, hoping that if the film touches only one person, a life may be saved.

http://www.ingridberzinsleuzy.com/#!video/cm8a

Monday, September 1, 2014

That Smile

Life has been somewhat stressful these days. Hubby and I are asking a lot of questions and looking for answers regarding a  pending move and business issues. Jules believes strongly that things are the way they are because they are suppose to be that way. I on the other hand am asking why and how come ?

Last night I was blessed to have Kelly-Anne again in my dream. There she was about 10 years old with  that bright beautiful smile on her face. Her curly locks were  bouncing around her face and she was talking away. I cannot recollect what she was saying but she was standing next to a door which opened. Since her death I have had frequent door opening dreams. I can only believe that she was giving me a  message that she was aware of what is going on in my life and that another door was opening for me.

I awoke this morning feeling relieved and confident. Kelly-Anne in my dreams reaffirms to me that she is aware of what is going on here on earth. I feel her message is telling me not to be afraid and to move  forward with grace and dignity.

I am very fortunate to have this special relationship with her. Even from heaven we still communicate. I feel that  I have been blessed to be able to feel  her presence. I do not have this type of relationship with  any other family member or friend who has passed. I carry Kelly-Anne, well let me re phrase that....Kelly-Anne carries me each day. As she supported, coached and loved me on  earth, she is still doing the same from heaven.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Domestic Abuse 100 Years Ago

Today for some strange reason, I was thinking about my grandmother who came to Canada in the early 1900's. Here  she was in a foreign country starting out her life as a new Canadian. She married at an early age and had  her children. Her husband was a peddler and they traveled  from town to town  trying to make a living. My grandfather was an  alcoholic and died at an early age leaving my  grandmother to raise and provide for their children.

In my grandmother's later years of  life, she recount how she was subjected to the beatings of her husband. Eighty-five years later she was finally  letting out her anger which I realize now she had  bottled up all that time. Today we could say that she was a victim of domestic abuse, but back a hundred years ago, nobody used that term. What went on between four walls was private and many women like  my grandmother did not know any differently. It was part of being a wife where they cooked, cleaned, raised the children and was there to provide to all  the needs of the husband no matter how she was treated .I can only think that  my grandmother must of  felt very  alone.

The secrets, the embarrassment. I do not think it is any different today. Years ago an abused women lived in silence.Who would of  believed her? If she had told anyone, they would  of responded to her by saying that the husband was just having a bad day or you should help your husband more.Women then did not have the capacity to leave their husbands. There weren't any shelters for women and children. Women were married for life no matter how they were treated. It was  part of being a wife. They accepted it.

Fast track 100 years plus later, we are still afraid to speak out. We are still living in silence and accepting the abuse.  But things have changed. Today we have  the capacity and the resources to get out of an abusive relationship. We are aware, we talk about domestic abuse, we have shelters to  house  women and children. We have groups that support victims of domestic violence. But women are still living in fear.

As we approach the 10 th anniversary of the  horrific  murder that took Kelly-Anne's, I ask each and everyone of you who may be in an abusive relationship to please get help. He is not going to change nor will you change him. A man that beats his wife is not  a man who loves his wife no matter how her comes around  the following day and tells her he loves her and that it won't happen again. It is not love ! We deserve  to be loved and we are all capable of having a  loving relationship with someone who genuinely loves us for who we are. It is possible. I live it each day of my life  so I know it exists.

I would like to remind you that  dialing 911 from your home phone will bring the police directly to  your house. You don't even have to say a word. I also understand that  in the USA one can text 911 and receive help. I do not  know if it works in Canada but I will find out and post once I get a confirmation.

Meanwhile, please break the silence on  domestic abuse.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Being Innovated

Our house has been for sale for two months short of a year. People visit and are never to been seen again. It really is frustrating. All we  want to do is sell and re locate in another  town where my  hubby works. We would be closer to Kim and her family too. There are so many houses and condos on the market, therefore it really is a buyer's market. We seem to have exhausted ourselves trying to find a suitable buyer.

Potential buyers seems to want everything  perfect.  I have researched  many any hour looking at various houses on the Internet. Black, red, grey, green walls and doors. Imagine the many coats of paint that would have to cover all those very colorful walls? People are so concerned about what they  don't have to do in a house. What house is walk in perfect? Unless you custom build your own house, you  will not find perfection anywhere.

This whole house thing brings me  asking myself...how would Kelly-Anne have dealt with this issue? What innovated idea would she have put together to sell her home? I am still looking for that answer. I know there is  a solution but just can't yet seem to put my finger on it.

Hopefully, Kelly-Anne will send me a message in her own angel way. Kelly-Anne was always solution orientated. So am I,, but this  house selling business has to be  one of the biggest obstacles and challenges I have ever had to deal with. I stress out while Jules takes in all in his stride. Wish I could be more like him.

Well tomorrow is another day......

Friday, August 22, 2014

Un Tuer si Proche

Yesterday, our house looked like a mini  film studio. The film crew from Pixcom were here to  film segments of the documentary entitled Un Tuer si Proche which is on Canal D. I was contacted by the researcher last month and accepted to allow Kelly-Anne's story to be portrayed on t.v.

Someone will play the part of Kelly-Anne and the  killer. It feels strange to know that someone will act as Kelly - Anne. Who will she be? I  don't know, but I  do hope I get to meet her in person. Will  she have the long curly hair, the so prefect legs, the green eyes and warm welcoming smile? I find this part of the entire film emotional. Yesterday, I did my best in French to answer the questions that were asked of me. It was tense, especially the very last question. I was asked  "What do I think of Martin Morin -Cousineau"....I won't tell you my answer. You will have to watch the show...a year from now and find out. But, I think you can figure out what I said.

Once the morning filming was completed, the crew headed out to film other people involved in the story. It is a big project and I  am happy that the French  population will get to know Kelly-Anne and her story. I always felt that there was not enough exposure within the French media about her case, so for this, I am now happy. If the film saves one life, then it was worth the time and effort by all participants.

Even ten years later, people still want know about Kelly-Anne. I am touched by that. She left us a legacy and a story that needs to be told.

I ask myself at times if I will ever  live my life in a more normal state. No cameras, no interviews, no public speaking, so presentations.  The reality is that this is my normal, the normal that I was led to live because of the event that changed my life forever. Being my daughter's voice.......

Facing the Devil - Update

Surprises seem to creep up on us, even when we think we have everything under control. I  am a firm believer in doing what I have to do now and not wait for the last minute.....in this  household we aren't last minute people.

I had collected my thoughts and wrote a three page letter to the parole board in preparation for the pending hearing. A couple of days later, I receive a telephone call from Correctional Services, victims dept. The lady on the other end of the line is someone I speak to  often. She proceeds to tell me that she received a copy of my letter. She then asks me if I know what day parole is. I said  yes and give her my response. She tells me that she thought I did not know what it was by the way  my letter was written and proceeds to explain to me that if the murderer is granted day parole, it means he lives in a halfway house all the time and  does not return to  the prison at the end of the day.

Well needless to say, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I cannot envision him on our streets....no way I responded. I proceed immediate to review and change my letter, which I was told later was fine. It was  sent to the prison for him to read. I though how interesting  that the murderer gets to read the letter before I am able to present it to the parole board commissioners. Reflecting on that thought made me realize that maybe I have been able to put a  bit of fear and doubt in him that under the circumstances of  his  track record the past 10 years, he really doesn't have a hope in hell to convince the  board to release him. But knowing him, he will waste the tax payers dollars and  all our time and effort just to piss us off by making  us go to prison for  the hearing. Gosh we have a crappy justice system.

Well the  letter is put to bed,  my file is up to date and ready. I am confident. I am strong and I will face the devil  with grace and courage. I have right on my side!

To be continued......

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Upcoming Events

This time of the year brings about the planning and preparation of the fall events remembering and honoring Kelly-Anne. Being the 10th anniversary of her death marks a sad milestone. Already  ten years and so much has happened during that time frame. I won't begin to list the changes, challenges, the high and low moments, the bittersweet joy and the many tears. There are too many and now it is time to look at today and what the near future will hold for us.

Wednesday, September 10th at the Loyola Campus of Concordia University at 7:00 p.m. The Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup Rugby game between Concordia and McGill Women. All proceeds at the door will go to Women Aware/Femms Avertis, a respected Montreal association helping women who are victims of domestic abuse.

Saturday, October 18th at the Dollard Des Ormeaux Aquatic Centre at 7:00 p.m. The Fonds Kelly-Anne Drummond annual cocktail  fundraiser will be held. This year marking the 10 anniversary of the  foundation.there will be a special drawing of two free tickets any where in the world where WetJet travels. Other activities are being planning for that evening. Kelly-Anne 's fund will help competitive life guards to travel to competitions and for training. Competitive life guarding is the  only sport that saves lives.

For more information regarding these events, please send me a message through this blog.

More to come....

Friday, July 25, 2014

Facing the Devil

Last week to my surprise, I received a letter from the  National Parole Board stating that Kelly-Anne's murder  is asking for  a hearing to ask for day parole. At first I thought it was a mistake...but no he is allowed  to make application for  day parole starting this October. Imagine 10 years  and he is now allowed to ask to out  for the day. I am told that he has to  submit a plan or project...well I  can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve.

He has met his match. I too am preparing a presentation to the board as to why he should not be  granted day parole.  I will be asking alot of  questions and will be expecting answers.

I still can't wrap  my head around the fact that he is entitled to apply after 10 years. It seems  like yesterday that Kell was taken from us.

I have written in the past about how the privacy laws  protect the offender from us knowing about  any medical situations they may have. Interestingly written on the letter in  bold font was that any information that I send to the parole board will be shared with the offender. Such double standards.

And for at  least the hundredth  time, I repeat, offenders have more rights than the victims.

Has he changed,what has he done on the inside to warrant day passes? How can I be sure he won't harm anyone or run away? Many questions and concerns are quickly be written on my scratch pad.
But what I really want to know is has he acknowledged the fact that he is the sole person responsible for Kelly-Anne's death ?  Will he show  remorse with  crocodile tears on the day of the hearing?

Your answer is as good as mine...to be continued.

The Bloke

I happen to fall on a piece of information that I  had never known  before about Kelly-Anne. Many years back while she was competing with her friends in her beloved  life guarding, she  named herself The Bloke. At that time there were very few Anglophones in the mileu of competitive life guarding. On her team of four, she was the only anglo. I thought  it interesting, because Kelly-Anne had the personality to laugh at herself.  Shouldn't we all be laughing at ourselves sometimes? I know I do.

Kelly-Anne strived to be bilingual and spoke the French language very well. I was very proud of her accomplishment. I feel Kell sent a very powerful message to many : that there is always room for two languages. Language barriers never stopped her from doing what she needed to do. I feel the same way. Speaking French for me is so important. I spend most of my working day speaking French and am proud that I can do so.

I believe that we all need to be more opened to learning languages and it is still mind boggling to me to know that there are  Anglophones who  have lived their entire life in  Quebec and cannot communicate in French.

But mostly,Kelly-Anne was  not afraid to intergrate into a field that was mostly made up of French speaking athletes. Good for  her...now if  only the rest of the world would try to work together............

The Loving Aunt

Life is as it should be, busy and fulfilling. Working, trying to sell our home, and getting to know our granddaughter Paige  have all be exciting and challenging at the same time.  I realized last month when Paige  came  to visit that things have changed and that I am no longer 25 years old. I do not have the same strength to carry her around or the energy to run after her. Paige is now walking and she is quite good at it. She is growing up quickly and Jules  and I want to grasp  every possible moment with her. She calls  Jules "Ba Ba". She can't yet call him Grandpapa. Paige calls out to the cats by saying "Meow".  And me....well it is simply "mama".

The more I get to know Paige, the more I see Kelly-Anne in her. Paige shares so many similarities with her aunt. Paige loves to eat, has Kell's curly locks, loves to talk and  oh that smile and those beautiful  blue eyes.  We really have been  blessed ! Paige in her own  way has helped ease our pain. It is all about new life...new beginnings  and knowing that  God has put the soul of Kelly-Anne into Paige...what a gift we have received. Paige loves the pool.Kim started her off early at 4 months  with swimming lessons. She loves the water. I feel that I have been given this opportunity to relive the  childhood of my girls through Paige.

If Kelly-Anne were here to day...what would she say and how would  she be with Paige? It really is an easy answer...she would love Paige and be the best aunty to her....teach her to swim, sing, dance and to be silly!

We look forward to Paige's next  visit...new surprises, changes, and of course there is always a little gift here waiting for her.  It is exciting times for Kim, Joe and for us. Oh the joy we  feel  in this little 3 foot toddler...makes me smile each day.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Finding Strength

Facing my own mortality has always been  a difficult subject for  me to handle. My take on life is that I just want to live forever. I want to be a part of everything and every one's life and I really just don't want to miss out on anything. A new home, a kitchen I can  enjoying cooking in for my family and friends, watch Paige grow and become the women  she wants to be and just  spend my years with the man that I love. Am I really asking for much?  However the harsh reality is that one day we will all die. When and how, only God knows. No one is  immortal.

I  am faced  right now with two very important people in my life who are facing  death through the illness they have. One is a very special cousin and another is a recent friend who I have learnt alot from  in the  past few years. A women who I admire and  has  helped me in her own way to better understand  and accept what happened to Kelly-Anne. Her illness, hit me like a bolt of lightening. Totally unexpected. She is strong and her words to me still today bring a sense of  peace. It is all in her attitude. She is living each day to the fullest with the man that she  loves.

My cousin, so much  younger than I  knows she only has  a couple of years left on this earth. She is busy planning her funeral and after a few discussions with her, she seems to have covered  every little detail. As I listened to her speak, I said  to her that  it feels  like you are planning a party. She sounded so at ease, and ready to face  that day. Her  biggest  priority is to protect  the ones that she loves  the most, her immediate family and her boyfriend of the pain and the planning.

I  do not know how I would deal with  this situation if it was  me who  was faced with  knowing that I  was at death's door. But, I do continue to tell myself that we  will all die at some point in time. I am no different than anyone else. My only issue is  that I  will accept my fate differently that my friend or cousin. Just the thought of leaving Jules,Kim and Paige behind is so painful only because  I love  them so very much. Through my friend and cousin, they have both given me a gift of strength and courage to come to terms with my own mortality.

The circle of life continues and  I know that everyday and every moment are so  important.  It really isn't  about the house or the kitchen  or how much money one has. It is really all about family and friends and being surrounded with the  people  that love you and that you love. When the day comes, I  know I will  be reunited with Kelly-Anne and all my other family members who have  gone ahead. Ah another party !

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring is Around the Corner !

Since the new year began, I  have been consumed with the  prospects of selling  our home and moving to a corner of the world a lttle more quieter. I have  been dreaming of  my herb garden - to-  be, decorating a special room for Paige and a kitchen where I can cook up  a storm.

Back to reality and  I still am also consumed with events that no  longer startle me  but only bring me back to Kelly-Anne and her murder.  I am also consumed with thoughts of  young  girls who are in abusive relations and  are held within  four black walls and cannot get out of their situation. Fear,  lack of understanding of what is happening around them are some of the reasons girls and young women  do not leave their relationships. For families and friends who see the sighs, it is frightening and hard to deal with. How would handle a situation where you found your  daughter, sister or  friend in a situation that could become tragic ?

Winter has been particularly hard this year. I though it was just me, but many are  telling me that  they too are tired and fed up of winter. This winter, I felt like a bear hibernating....I just didn't have the energy to  to much of anything. I do look forward to spring, putting away the boots and donning my Sketchers for a walk along the lake. Spring begins next week and with it brings also the vibrant tulips of the season.

I decided this year I would give up something  for Lent....ice cream. Yes, ice cream has to be my all round favorite food...well dessert, snack, treat,call it what you may. I have never in my life as far as I can remember ever gave  up something for Lent. I felt giving up something I love was the  least I could do to thank God for my life and the life  of  my  family and the new life of Paige.

Paige will be a year soon and  I see many characteristics of Kelly-Anne in her. Her sleep habits, her personality, her looks. It is Kelly-Anne all over again. We have been truly blessed !  

This year will mark the 10 th anniversary of  Kelly-Anne death. Special events will take place. Stay tune for more updates. So much has happened in the past  ten years. I can truly say that Kelly-Anne has been apart of all the events and the many decisions that were made. She had supported me when I  was down and protected me. She has  never left my side.

It  is time to look forward to the longer and warmer days......enjoy spring.