Sunday, January 1, 2017

A New Year... A New Beginning

Welcome to 2017 ! I asked myself last evening as the clock neared midnight what do I wish for myself, my family and friends. The answer was easy-  health, happiness and love. Really is there anything else more important. Love encompasses so much..".love thy neighbour", show compassion to those in need.... take the time to listen to those who need to be heard.

Love....Kelly-Anne  knew how to do all the above...such a great neighbour to many, a listener, and someone who  knew how to help those in need. I remember a time when Kelly-Anne  helped a lady to seek refuge in her home as her husband was  hitting her. Kelly-Anne was there to help this women  and only after her death,  did that women decide to leave her abusive  husband.

This year we hear in Montreal that  the record of homicides is much lower than usual...23 to be exact.
For me that is 23  too many. However, we do not know  how many women continue to  be victims of domestic abuse...silently within their homes.

I hope this year brings about we think and view the world. My hope for people in Syria and Turkey and even closer to home is to be kinder to each other.

Gosh I wish I could spread Kelly-Anne's infectious smile...all I can really do is  keep that smile on my face and play it forward...

A new year...a  new beginning...lets make it the best. Our attitude, our smile can brighten someone 's Mom always said it costs nothing to smile.

Enjoy your year !

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 think of what her life would of been like had she not been savagely murdered.

Today I feel sentimental and happened 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.