From Mike LeBlanc – Inspiration to write a song

I still have lots of stories to tell but when one comes back to refresh my memories of Amanda, I have to share it. Mike messaged me shortly after Amanda died to express his sorrow and condolences. He told me of a song he had written and recorded and that he was going to dedicate it to my daughter. What I didn’t know at the time was the story behind it. It wasn’t until August of 2013 when I went to Niagara Falls that he shared his story with me. How he had become inspired to write a song staring at the waterfalls from his hotel room. Almost exactly where I was staying when I read his story to me. He didn’t know where I was going or where I was staying when I went to Niagara Falls that summer day. Here is Mike’s heartfelt words:

August 20, 2014 – MIKE LEBLANC

Hi carol. Here is something I wrote last year that maybe you can use. Can you check to make sure everything is accurate?  Here is a little story I’d like to share with you my friends.

I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason and also a true believer that the universe gives us perfect timing in our lives. Ill explain…

Last April, 2012, my wife and I were in Niagara Falls for my step daughter’s cheerleading competition and I always bring my guitar with me everywhere I go in case I get an inspiration to write a song. As we are sitting in our suite overlooking the falls, we could feel the vibrations and even the sound that the water made as it gushed down in that big hole in the ground. The view was amazingly breathtaking!! I picked up my guitar and started strumming different chords and this melody came to me. It fit really well with the context we were in at that very moment. I kept playing and humming that melody all weekend and made it a purpose to sit in that same chair and look at the sun shine in the water as it flowed down the falls. I get shivers as I’m writing this blog just thinking about it!! The more I played and hummed the melody, the more I knew it was gonna be for something very special. I tried to write some lyrics to it but they just didn’t come to me and I was almost forcing it at one point but had no inspiration for words or a story line yet. Then at one point, I decided to stop trying to force it because I realized that the timing just wasn’t right yet.

We left Niagara Falls and went home and I liked the melody so much, that I kept playing it and working it when I got home and the more I played it, the more I knew it was very special but didn’t know what would be the inspiration behind it yet. but I kinda knew it would hit me one day. And it did. 

As most of you know, I’m very active on Facebook and one early morning in October 2012, I was scrolling my newsfeed on Facebook and ran across this post. A lot of fake stuff gets posted on there and I usually ignore it. But this story hit home enough for me that I thought I would look more into it. Sure and sadly enough, the story was true. It was the story of a little girl that had been a victim of severe cyber bullying that led to continuous bullying in her school. Bad enough that she finally decided to end it. It was the only solution she figured that would make the pain go away. Even after her death, the bullying continued and the name calling and posting of her pictures and still, people were harassing her after her death. Personally, I had never seen bullying go this far and certain people so heartless. This little girl’s family and friends had to see the bullying continue on the Internet. Her suffering was over but now the family and friends and anyone that has a heart, worldwide, was suffering.

After reading this, I could not stop and think about it for the next few days and it really bothered me to see where our society is going and letting this happen. I looked at the video she had posted prior to her passing and suddenly, it hit me… This is it!!! My melody!!! I knew right then and there that I needed to keep her message going. The inspiration came to me like lightning strikes a high point. I sat down and wrote it in less than 30 minutes. The lyrics just flowed freely like it had happened to me. Probably because I had been in a very similar situation as this little girl. I could really relate.

I was in the process of recording some sessions for my album at the time and figured it would be a great time to cut this song and get it out there as soon as possible. I wanted to release it in November but it was just before Christmas and all the Christmas songs were starting to play on radio and on the Internet. So we had to wait. With everyone being busy during the holidays and even in January working on my album, we had to put it aside for a little bit. Then things slowed down a bit and it hit me, we got to get this song done and release it. So I called my producer and asked him to finish it and master it as soon as he had time. I got the master copy of it at the end of January but we wanted to put it on our website and iTunes before we would release it.

January 30th we released the song “I’m the one” and had over 1000 hits on it overnight. Little did we know, February is anti bullying and suicide awareness month. Perfect timing?? I would say!!

There is no better time than right now to keep Amanda Todd’s message going.

Proceeds to this song will go to the “Amanda Todd Legacy Foundation” created by her sweet mother Carol Todd to create awareness on bullying and suicide and mental health awareness.

It is everybody’s business and responsibility to do something about it!!  Not just the victims or the families and friends. If you see someone getting bullied or you are getting bullied, do something about it. Report it!! You are not alone!!

One thing is for sure right now and we see it everyday, there are way more people opposing bullying than there are bullies. The timing is NOW!!! People all over the world are affected by this problem and more and more people are joining forces and its a beautiful thing. If you haven’t joined in yet, now is the time. Support it, report it, be part of it!! Like the pages on Facebook that support anti bullying. There are numerous artists that give their talent for the cause, SHARE IT!!  Please!!  Talk to your kids about it. Ask them about it. Educate yourself on it. Now is the time. Your little like on Facebook or your words or just a simple smile could actually save someone’s life or make their day.

My gift to you and your angel Mrs Todd… “I’m the one” – Inspired by Amanda Todd.

Link to song on You Tube – http://youtu.be/hc4dCW7d_Yo

Check out these links about the cause. Anything you do to support the cause will truly be appreciated!!

Official website – http://amandatoddlegacy.org

Articles – http://snowflakes4amanda.tumblr.com

Blog – http://caroltoddsnowflakes.wordpress.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AmandaToddLegacyStayingStrong

Twitter – @AToddLegacy

Light Up Purple 2014 – http://lightuppurple2014.weebly.com

Sincerely yours Amanda

Mike LeBlanc

Note from Carol – It gave me ‘good’ shivers reading this.  To see that my 15 year old daughter has had so much impact on the world and to so many people living on it.  To me, Amanda was a teenager who undoubtedly had teenage issues and concerns. Now to the world, she is someone to learn their lessons by so that what happened doesn’t get repeated.  

Thank you Mike for caring and putting so much into a beautiful song that will undoubtedly affect others to ‘MAKE A DIFFERENCE’ towards others. xoxo

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This entry was posted on August 20, 2014. 3 Comments

BIKES AGAINST BULLIES – JULY 27TH #VANCOUVER #PORT COQUITLAM

Bikes against Bullies – Sunday July 27th. Starts in Port Coquitlam @ 9 a.m. with the rides heading from Port Coquitlam to the Trev Deeley Motorcycles  in Vancouver for the OFFICIAL 10 a.m. start.  There will be presentations, activities and a performance by Sarah K. who I met in January of 2013.  She then went on to produce the song ‘FLY’ which has become one of the many anti-bullying songs around.

I can only hope that with what everyone is doing, that we will see the differences.  The awareness starts now and with everyone. And if everyone takes a part of the action, then we can make sure that the awareness and solutions start to work.  Tired of seeing the abuse that goes on both offline and online and the emotional toll it takes on individuals and families of all ages.

So if you live in #Vancouver , please think of attending and supporting a great cause – THE ULTIMATE SAFETY OF NOT ONLY OUR KIDS BUT OF EVERYONE EVERYWHERE. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THE WORLD IS A KINDER PLACE.

 

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My Last Night in NYC and I LOVE IT HERE!!!

Tonight I was inundated with visuals and sounds of New York City in Manhattan.  It was both stimulating and annoying.  But annoying for the fact that it was so hard to walk along the sidewalks without stopping and running into people.  Never mind the rude looks.

STORY FROM TONIGHT – I was taking my pictures and minding my own business as a me and as a Canadian.  In Times Square, there are the people who dress up (same as Las Vegas) and wait to get their photo taken and then ask for money.  I didn’t want photos of the people who walk on the ground, I wanted the neon lights and the LED billboards.  So the guy looks at me and says “You won’t take a photo of me because I am not ASIAN”.  Like WTF.  Really.  My delayed intelligence was too slow.  I should have said something different. And he repeated it like multiple times as if I didn’t hear or understand him.

I bought souvenirs at one of the many souvenir stands.  Then we went beyond that and met a street vendor that sold t-shirts, etc.  Got into a conversation with him.  Gave him some bracelets to share.  He took the bracelets and has friended me on Facebook.

Then Todd and I went to Tony’s Restaurant on 45th Street for a beverage.  We talked to the bartender and the manager.   Both shared stories with us.  The manager has young kids of his own and knows what needs to be done.  More bracelets given out.  More to share.

I love New York  and the people that make it so worthwhile to be here.  In the souvenir store, I found something with Amanda’s name on it.  Amanda had asked me that when she graduated if I would take her to New York.  I said yes I would.  Unfortunately, she never made it but I am here in her memory.   ‘Amanda – you would have loved it hear but I could also hear you complaining in my brain about all the people.  However, you would have loved all the lights.’

Happy Graduation Princess!! You will always be in my heart, soul and brain.  (one year early)

 

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This entry was posted on July 21, 2014. 7 Comments

Words of Inspiration from Justin Preston

I have met so many wonderful and great people but when I first started talking to @Justin Preston who founded Rise Against Bullying, I knew he was truly a leader and a champion.   As we sat in Tim Horton’s (the Canadian version of Dunkin’ Donuts to those in the U.S.)  and talked about him, and then me, and then him again and then about what he was doing – I could see the excitement he had to be sitting and finally meeting me.  (Justin – do you remember your words to me that day?)

It was so cool to be sitting in his hometown.  He told me about his early teenagehood and how that affected him.  He told me about his later teenage years.  Such harshness and uncaring from others.  But Justin continues to battle his way through that darkness that he experienced in a positive way.  There will always be bumps in the way but he has been able to use the positive messages he gives out and the way the youth that he speaks to embrace his message.  (Make sure to go to Justin’s You Tube channel to see his many messages.)

If I could have only bottled up the energy and sunshine he exuded.  The time together was way too short as the journey back to where I was staying was about 2 hours.  BUT —- I was so glad to have been able to be with Justin for the time that we did.  He thinks he has gathered so much from me.  I have gathered so much from him.  Plus he promised that he would look into going back to school.

Justin promised that he would help with Light Up Purple 2014 and he did just that.  He managed to help get the Peace Bridge which spans across Fort Erie, Ontario to Buffalo, New York lit up purple for this coming October 10th.  I am proud.  Amanda would be prouder.

Love you Justin.  And with our promise, we have continued to keep in touch every few days.  xoxo

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This entry was posted on July 20, 2014. 1 Comment

July 10, 2014 – 21 months ‘gone too soon’

Short but sweet. Today is the 10th (again). It’s been 21 months. It sometimes feels like a throwback when you were once asked the age of your baby/toddler. Now in a different scenario, I am counting the months. Only the pride and joy isn’t there this time around.

Tonight I will light my candle and reflect on the 20 months before today. What happened? Why it happened? What has happened since? My therapist says that you can’t dwell on the past. You can’t think about the what ifs. But how do you stop them. And will we ever not think about them. I think not.

Because unfortunately … they are part of the memories that the children we lost have left behind. And mainly, for their parents and family to bear. I cannot speak for what is in the head of others but I know what is in mine.

The many hundreds of people I have met via social media and at my presentations are so numerous. The one thing in common is that they all have a passion. And that passion is to help kids. It might be solely for bullying or cyberabuse or mental health. It might be all of the above. It really doesn’t matter as the common denominator is always kids. And the definition of ‘KID’ is loose as the definition is left up to the individual. You might be 79 years old and have kids. They are still someones kids.

Where has the 21 months gone? Scroll back on the Snowflake blog. Or the Tumblr. Or the website. Or the Facebook. Google Amanda’s name. Google my name. I recently went back to do that on the internet and was amazed what I didn’t remember or what I didn’t see.

I miss my kid so deeply. I wish I could change the history as does everyone else for Amanda and every other person we have lost to the issues of society. I think I once said I like Winter months better. I don’t have to be out seeing young girls enjoying life ~ dating ~ at the river ~ planning their futures. I am so very happy for them but at the same time …..

But in Amanda’s words, we must STAY STRONG and also BE STRONG. We have way too much work ahead to make the changes that are needed for our future generations.

xoxo Miss you PSnowflake.


July 10, 2014
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This entry was posted on July 10, 2014. 6 Comments

Light up the World Purple for October 10, 2014 (World Mental Health Day)

New ways to promote Light Up the World Purple 2014 for this coming October 2014.

Take a pic of yourself and/or others with a sign that says “Light Up Purple 2014″ as an invitation from Amanda’s Legacy.

If you wear purple in the photo, that would be great also.

Goal is 1000 images by October 10, 2014 so let’s SHARE this around.

What to do with the photos?
1. Send to amandatoddlegacy@gmail.com
2. Post and tag to Amanda Todd Legacy – Staying Strong and Carol Todd
3. Post to Twitter @c_todd or @AToddLegacy or #lightuppurple2014
4. Post to Instagram #amandatoddlegacy

LET’S TURN THE WORLD PURPLE FOR AMANDA AND MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS.

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2014. 1 Comment