Sunday, December 18, 2016

For Unto Us a Child is Born

A week from today, most  Christians will be gathered with  family and friends  around the dining room table enjoying the festivities of the season. Turkey, cranberry sauce and much more will adorn the tables. Laughter and gift giving will excite the children as their requests to Santa will  be for the most part  met. That is the norm for most.

I am reminded three days a week as I trek through Montreal streets and the underground that there are many that won't be home for Christmas. Is it by choice or fate? I  don't have the answer. As I  walk through Bonaventure metro station, towards Place Ville Marie, it feels so surreal. I feel I am imposing on those men sleeping one after the other in a single row  on the cement  benches that line the corridor. I feel like I am in a twilight zone. On the city streets, many are  standing with paper cups asking for change. Montreal has a major problem with the homeless. Do  we not have enough places where these men can seek warmth, a meal and perhaps a shower?

Life is tough  for many. My husband reminded me today how lucky we are. We are not in want or need of anything. Our life is good and not a day goes by that we  don't thank the Lord for our blessings.

One early morning a couple of weeks ago, I was  walking through Central Station. I had just said to myself that my knees and back are sore. As soon as I said that, a lady my age walked right  past me with only one leg and a set of crutches. I said to myself thanks for the message...I won't complain anymore about my aches and pains. I recounted that experience later that day  when I sat with a priest colleague who made a comment that his back was sore.

I have  probably  mentioned this story before about  Kelly-Anne and Kim on a  Christmas Eve in years past.We were in  downtown Montreal going to the church service when Kelly-Anne asked that we stop the car so she and Kim could get out and go to McDonald's to  buy a homeless person  food before the  shop closed. Kelly-Anne  was always mindful of those in need. Kim throughout the years would take on a family in need in the community and shop and prepare a basket for them. I am a proud mother.

The reason for the season isn't about the number of  gifts under the tree, the bottles of wine and liquor that will be consumed. Christmas is  the celebration of new birth, new life.

We will gather with our  little family and enjoy each other's company. Kelly-Anne as always will have her  place at the table.

From our family to yours, we wish you all a very blessed and  Merry Christmas.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

You tube video of Kelly-Anne's birthday is fast approaching.  She would have been 37  years old. It too  painful today to of what her life would of been like had she not been savagely murdered.

Today I feel sentimental and happy to see this video on You Tube. I guess I had  forgotten that  it was there.

I just want to share it with you.

My New Adventure

Well the new adventure began this past fall. No sooner did I blog about my morning solitude with a good cup of coffee that I landed a new position...Did I not say I wanted a part time job? That is exactly what I  got ! Three days a week in downtown Montreal, in the  heart of the city.

The commuter train and a 20 minute power walk brings me to my office. A pair of Sketchers don my  feet even with a skirt or dress. I notice more and more women are picking up this new fashion trend on the train. The runners sure make a difference in my morning and evening trek. I am actually starting to pity the women in their heels trying to keep up with me. 

I am back in Human Resources, a field which I realize now I really excel at. The office is quiet, the  people are God loving and each day brings laughter, a smile from someone, a new learning curve and the satisfaction that I am making a difference once again. It's the kind of stress that I love, the business of  getting things done.

Being on the train allows my mind to think and at times over think. One morning  we approached Montreal West station which is not to far from Concordia, I started to think about how Kell once made a  film at that  station. It was for one of her communication classes.  I saw students and teachers getting off the train and wondered if  Kell would of ever  had  an opportunity to teach or coach at Concordia. Both would of been amazing. I find myself tearing up  and of course the  frustration of she not having the opportunities makes me very angry.

I continue to forge forward in this new position. I know Kelly-Anne is happy that I am there. I know I belong there.

Oh and about that morning coffee..... a loaded Starbucks app is only a pay button away.

Montreal Barbarian Fundraiser

Kelly-Anne 's memory  continues to be kept alive by her friends  from the Montreal Barbarian Rugby Club. Next Saturday, December 3rd, they will host a fundraiser in remembering  Kelly-Anne  in Pointe-Claire.
This yearly event supports the youth and junior players as they master the game of rugby.
The fun starts at 4:00 p.m. with an all you can eat spaghetti dinner. The donation is $25.00 per person.

There will be a silent auction, raffles and music from our dear Dave Moran who selflessly donates his time and talents every year to this event.

For more details, please visit the

Come and toast Kelly-Anne and support  the Barbs.... a club that Kelly-Anne loved and  made amazing friends.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Today we Remember

" Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever  reason, turn his back on life."  Eleanor Roosevelt

If anyone lived up to this quote, it was Kelly-Anne. Today, I can only think about the way she lived and not how she died. That is how she should be remembered on this twelfth year anniversary of her passing.

I remember Kelly-Anne at such a young age always being curious to learn and explore. As a child she loved animals, people, the sunshine, a good challenge and life. Today, amidst the tears, I celebrate her life. I celebrate her smile, her accomplishments as a young women, her love of sports and her love of family and friends. The good daughter, always by my side in life and in death.

My deep spiritual connection with Kelly-Anne continues each and every living day. I found myself in downtown Montreal yesterday and at one point with all the construction  mess and walking detours, I had no clue what street I was walking on. Finally I reached a corner and looked up at the street sign and saw that I was on Drummond Street. I chuckled to myself and said thanks Kell...She liked to called herself the  human unlike myself who always  needs a road map or a GPS hanging around my neck!

Today, I ask her family and friends to light a candle remembering Kelly-Anne and all the women who lost their lives to domestic violence. Let peace prevail over all our lives.

Memory Eternal Kelly-Anne.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Paramedic....Really ?

What is a three an half year old's response answer when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up? Paige is adamant that she wants to be a Paramedic. I find  her response to be admirable and mature...but of course a three year doesn't know the truth about the work of a paramedic. I don't either, but at my age and what I have lived and learnt over the years, I can well understand and appreciate everything a paramedic does.

When Kelly-Anne was savagely attacked, the paramedics went above and beyond the call of duty. There was this one paramedic who I will never forget. I won't name him here, but I can tell you that he  had his sixth sense with him on that frightful night of October 3rd 2004. He  knew enough to take  pictures of the crime scene which  later benefited us greatly in court. 

These are the chosen few who are able to selflessly help others. Look what they accidents, crime scenes and so much more. The reality is they are human beings that  go home at the end of the day and face their families. They carry those vivid scenes in their head which at times results into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They suffer our pain as survivors of homicide. They ask themselves if they really did enough for the victim. Never once did I ever say they didn't do enough. Never once did I  blame the paramedics for not  keeping my daughter alive.

Paige at her young age displays the love and compassion that she has for people. She spent time in an ambulance recently just to learn about what  goes on in there.  Her parents had a hard time to pull her away. She is like a sponge and listened with  great interest to the paramedic as she explained her role. Paige uses her first aid kit and does first aid on her parents and her stuffed  animals.

What will Paige's future profession really be? No matter what she decides, she will succeed. She has good genes.

If you know a paramedic, do something special for them.... a cup of coffee, a kind word will go a long way.

I know I may never see the paramedics who helped Kelly-Anne again ...but let it be known that I have never forgotten them. They will always have a special place in my heart.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 2016

Once again, summer begins to make its exit. The days are still bright and hot, but we do know in my part of the world that the cool autumn nights will soon be here. I have always maintained that my feet remain bare from June 1st  to October 1st....meaning a pair of flip flops is all I really need.

September brings around the change in the way I cook. Jules and I agreed that we will continue our regular evening routine of cooking on the BBQ.  However the crock pot will be next in line. Soothing soups and stews will headline the menu this fall. It's nice to think of the things that give me so much pleasure; my family and friends, my love for cooking, the colorful leaves and the autumn spur of the moment road trips in the country.

September brings my thoughts to Kelly-Anne and her trip to Italy. The excitement of her first overseas voyage and  her pain of what she would come home to. Even almost twelve years later, I am still haunted by this. Honestly, I don't think I will ever get over it.

Kelly-Anne continues to send me messages. She continues to guide me. I am so thankful for this long distance connection. Her infectious laughter is heard at times.

I see more often now the resemblance of  Kelly-Anne in Kim. If I am standing behind Kim and she moves her head a certain way, all I see is Kelly-Anne. Paige is a going concern...just too smart for her age. I know Kelly-Anne is so proud of her niece.

My time this fall is to rest and appreciate what is around me. Hot coffee in morning and the solitude  gives me time to reflect and plan my next adventure. A part time job that I can be passionate about awaits me somewhere.....until then, I will continue to enjoy the rest of my summer.

On October 16th, Concordia Women's Rugby will host the Kelly-Anne Cup at Concordia field on Sherbrooke st.west. They will play against McGill. The game starts at 3:00 p.m. For more information, please contact me through this blog. Once again, it is a fundraiser in Kelly-Anne 's memory. All money raised will go to Women Aware. This is an organization here in Montreal who   works very hard to raise awareness about domestic abuse.They have helped countless women and children. Women Aware never left our side through our darkest moments. Everyone is welcomed to attend.

Until then, enjoy the sunshine and what is left of the lazy days of summer!

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Pocket Mask and a Pair of Gloves

Life has a way at times of  repeating itself. Kelly-Anne, as many knew about her, always kept a pocket mask and a pair of medical gloves tucked away in her back pack.  Her take on this in her own words was simply " you never know when you are going to need them".

Helping those in need was never far from Kelly-Anne's thoughts. Let's remember, she was a competitive lifeguard who was  always ready to help save those involved in water mishaps. She was never afraid to step in and deal with a situation in the water or on land.

As we fast forward, eleven and a half years later, her sister Kim  has now become a Certified First Aid Instructor. Kim  and Kelly-Anne shared many of the same  commitments and ideals towards mankind. The need to be there to help, to teach and to be involved in the community was their priority.

As their mother, I am a proud of their accomplishments.

Now the questions remains...will Kim keep a pocket mask and a pair of medical gloves in her  back pack or will she leave that to Paige?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer 2016

Hubby and I decided to take some time out from our too busy weekend and relax at the pool today. Of course the first thing that came to my attention were the new lifeguards on duty. Young, alert, polite and on top of everything...just the way it is suppose to be.

Great memories came alive today as I thought about Kelly-Anne and her  many lifeguard  postions she held over the years. Interestingly, the  lifeguards showed the same  passion and committment that Kelly-Anne  had. That  made me happy. It takes a special breed to do the job. It isn't an easy one.

This summer will bring more swimming adventures.  I await Paige's visits. She had been taking swimming lessons so I am excited to see how well she does. Last weekend she proudly told me that she passed her  lessons and was  going up to the Salamander level.
Such a big word for a three year old!

Life is a full circle and I must say Paige is amazing in so many ways. She has great role models to follow....her mom and dad are amazing parents  and she also has her aunt Kelly-Anne who  continues  from afar to be a role model.  The years are passing quickly and before I know it  Paige will probably be that lifeguard with a whistle around her wrist sitting up high on a chair guarding  the waters.

I am looking forward to the summer this year. Our summers are so short in this part of the world, so every day counts.  Enjoy your summer !

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Must Read

Our Federal courts aquitted former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi of all counts of  sexual and violent abuse. Here is an excellent article written by Paula Todd.  Please read and share. We all have to be mindful of what abuse is.  Reporting abuse should be done immediately. No one should get away with this behaviour....not even guys like this one who think they are above the law.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Note

In my September 30th entry entitled The Little Dinosaur, I wrote about a tiny piece of paper which had belonged to Kelly-Anne. I had happened to find the note on the sofa while I rearranged her cards. It was her cost analysis of what it  would cost to create a gift card. It was an complete inventory of the items she would need and how much it would cost  to create the card. A tiny square paper with so much info. I was stunned at the time and felt that this note was also a message that only I and my husband would understand.

The meaning became even more clearer in December when I started my new position. Just yesterday, I sat with my co worker to analysis spreadsheets of inventory which included a breakdown of projected stock on order. As I studied the spreadsheets, I couldn't help think that all this was already known to Kelly-Anne some time ago. Her message via the tiny piece paper was clear. Part of my responsibilities would be working on analysing data.

On the other side of the table, my husband also does a similar but more in depth job as an inventory controller. When the tiny piece of paper was found, Jules was adapting to his new position and wasn't quite sure if he would continue with it. The note for him meant that he should continue to forge forward in his new position.

I awoke during the night last night thinking about those spreadsheets and how Kelly-Anne seems to always have my back. I felt her warmth near me and I was at peace.

Each day at work I am reminded just how lucky I am to be surrounded by great people. Clients call me from as far as Hawaii, but the ones that touch me the most with their stories and struggles are those right here in Quebec. The women I speak with and for some that I  meet, many are breast cancer survivors. I praise their determination and courage as they face multiple surgeries. They are on a path to wellness. It is a process. Listening to these women reminds me to never give up. Un beknown to them, they are  helping me on my path to wellness.

This year, it is about me and my family and our health and wellness.Taking care of myself will only make me better at what I do for others.

My coach again has my back.