Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ALL WAS DEFINITELY NOT LOST

Like most people I am a creature of habit.  When it comes to any defense and/or coping mechanisms, should something work I stick with it until it doesn’t, then I reassess. Like any stellar mechanic, I have a really cool toolbox filled with exercises I use to help keep my personality sharp and my mind out of any unnecessary darkness. 

I don’t talk here much about how big a pessimist I am but if I were to gauge it, I'd go with T-Rex large and twice as fierce. Anyway, after a bout of postpartum depression in the mid 1990’s, I decided a change in overall outlook (combined with an understanding of my limitations) the only way to go. As a result, I ended up to seeking help outside my family physician to avoid being medicated on anti-depressants. 

Forever an all important work in progress, I'm generally very open about the fact that I lean on a psychologist if need be; with my core philosophy being you take your car in for a check-up why wouldn’t you do the same for your mindset.

Short story long, I didn’t go to work today. Specifics as to why are moot points so when the alarm rang at 5am I immediately decided I needed to completely regroup and dig deep with a solid effort to go from funk to fab. Well rested, I finally rolled out of bed around noon.

Rested, yet restless, I needed to focus and find an unrelated task. I decided to remove and attack my hard drive that'd crashed from my office desktop unit last April and see if I could salvage anything from it. I got the necessary tools from the garage and began my dissection. 

Staccs n' me  rocking the white sand beach in Cayo Coco, Cuba
TAKEN: FEBRUARY 10th, 2017
I am pleased to report that I was able to successfully remove the hard drive without further damage and retrieve all of my precious data. Thousands of pictures but more importantly all of my taxation backup. Because as we all know...the taxman is a complete and total asshole!

As my data transferred I couldn’t help but reflect on the year I’ve had. If I wasn't what the doctors label clinically depressed last winter I’ll eat my fuzzy socks and lend you all the blankets I wanted to cover my head with. 

That said, my saving grace through all of that drama was the weekend jaunt I took to to Cuba with my daughter. I salvaged this picture today. Isn’t she absolutely beautiful?

She will be excited to read that I got all of our travel pictures back. Along will all of our others from 2007 on. Hence the reason for my title that all was definitely not lost.

Who says being in a mental health daze can’t be rewarding, productive and amazing?!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

THE LOVES OF MY LIFE

A thorn between two roses and the true loves of my life.
TAKEN: JUNE 11th, 1988

Yesterday would have been my fathers' 89th birthday and tomorrow I will celebrate my 29th wedding anniversary. If I've asked you once, I feel I've asked you a hundred times; where the hell has does the time go?

It seems like it was only a minute and a half ago that I was listening to my father and his father chat in the living room of 222 2nd Avenue. His mother would be humming away in the kitchen and his brother, as always, would have been looking to instigate a tickling match. It would have been the early 1970's.

The 70's turned into the 80's and by the end of the decade I was married. The 90's brought children and the decade was a blur. All of that said, after surviving the whole Y2K fiasco, it was the middle of the decade that changed me and 2005 will always be the year that will be etched in my memory for the rest of my life.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my dad. He was the first man I ever loved and I love him as much today, as I did the moment he died in my arms. Fittingly, my other true love was with the both of us on that fateful morn. Even more than a decade later my husband will become emotional when we chat about how he left us. Our conversation usually ends with him verbalizing "...he was my best friend."

With the kids grown and gone we often talk of how we've become the others closest companion. We spend 99.99% of our time together working toward our common goals. When we began this journey more than three decades ago we were much more individual. As most can relate, friends, even greedy self-absorbed siblings, come and go but we will always have the other. He has embraced my love of the outdoors and I have resigned myself to not argue when he wants me to be adventurous with food. I must say, it is our mutual love of sports, music & travel that has become our strongest glue.

It's hard to admit that my dad leaving us the way he did produced crack in the foundation of our strong marriage but in hindsight we realize it was a lot of the subjective actions of those around us that was our issue, not our commitment to each other.

As I sit here typing on my laptop and watching my husband quietly chip away at a crossword puzzle I never finished, I can't help but daydream. I wish my dad was sitting with us. He'd be playing solitaire and humming amidst complaining about the crap card he'd be turning.

Once he realized he had lost yet again, he'd stop to acknowledge my pups. Probably because they'd be under foot but more importantly so that he could take the opportunity tell me that he thinks I take better care of them than I do my man. Yep, those were the days. When the loves of my life would tag team with each other in an effort to get a reaction out of me.

Good times. Really.... GREAT times.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A SMALL TOWN IN MOURNING

Last Friday night after arriving back in town late, I quickly picked up my pups at the house and headed to the cottage. I prepared a quick meal, read a book for a bit, then decided to watch a movie. Shortly after midnight I headed upstairs and checked my Facebook one last time for good luck. My entire body froze as I read the tragic headline aloud: Woman dead following gun shots in Wellington Street area, Bracebridge.

As soon as I looked at the online news photo, I knew who'd been killed. In hindsight, the more unsettling in the moment was that before my husband saw any photos, he matter-a-fact-ly announced her murderer by name. Almost a week later, I am truly sad to write that we were both correct. Once again, our small town mourns as a wonderful woman tragically lost her life in the terrible war against domestic violence.

Gone but never to be forgotten.
TAKEN: MAY 29th, 2017

Out of respect for the family, my post isn’t to retrace steps, nor point fingers. My personal reason for writing's more to put a focus on awareness. You see, the morning following the incident, a publication ban was placed on the episode. For the rest of the weekend the radio waves remained quiet of the incident and the online posts were only updating readers that there had been first degree murder charges laid and nothing else because the ban was in place. All I kept asking myself was... will a deliberate hush of quiet allow the loss of this beautiful soul to be in vain?

The thought of protecting the murderers' identity was absolutely and utterly incomprehensible me. I got stuck at the simplistic thinking of why should he be given the luxury? Shouldn’t he be showered with the exact amount of respect he offered his wife? As I began to voice my concern to others, every single person expressed the very same opinion; that he deserved nothing. 

Finally, Monday afternoon I took it upon myself to start making calls. My first was to one of her closest friends. I listened intently then explained the reason for my call. I wanted to rally support to get the publication ban lifted. The sole purpose being, if removing the gag order saved only one woman as a result of understanding how last Friday nights tragedy transpired, her death would not be in vain and she would be the others saviour. I am pleased to report that the publication ban was lifted at the beginning of her assailants bail hearing on the morning of May 30th.

So I beg all of you reading, no matter how painful the idea of domestic violence is, please talk about it. Talk about the ‘who, what, where, when and how’...  hell, yell it from the roof top. Because it's my humble opinion that in a society where one in three are the hard abuse statistics, awareness will always be our best front line defense tactic in saving innocent lives.

Outside of that, what I do know to be true is that I am going to follow the upcoming events at the courthouse intently and with a true sense of personal commitment. Moving forward I am going to spearhead more fundraising to help any of those one in three women that are currently under fire. Partially because I am blessed that I will never be in need of the truly valuable support services and secure shelter, yet more importantly to maximize the hope of never having to write about this again.

Thanks for reading but more importantly no matter where you live or what you do, please always work towards raising awareness against domestic abuse and improving these horrible and very senseless crimes.

Rest in peace Wendy Boland. You may be gone but I promise you will never be forgotten.