October 31, 2014 – Halloween Night

My personal writing has been sporadic but today i am needing to get out … things I am missing about Halloween!!

Amanda was the kid that loved the day. The planning of the costume. The decorating of the house inside and out. The buying of the new candy bowl each year for the Halloween candy. And then sorting out the candy and giving the ones out first that she didn’t like. Although she would have been 18 in 27 days from now – she would have still been organizing the house despite planning her social life.

I saw a post today from another mom who had lost her child also. Yes – everyday is hard. Holidays and special occasions are the worst. We put ourselves in the mind and body of another person when out in public but the insides never cease to hurt. Will it or does it get easier? Not sure if there is a right or wrong answer as everybody is different.

That is why I choose to keep busy with my fmily life, my real job and Amanda’s Legacy. The hurt is too painful when time stands still. Some will say – you need to reflect and be alone more in order to get over it. There is no getting over it. What happens is that the edges don’t become as sharp over time. But as I said – holidays and reminders!!

October – November – December —> the 3 months are wrapped together. All significant in different ways. It’s my 3 months to ride that horrible rollercoaster. Amanda always loved rollercoasters. I didn’t and I still don’t.

Tonight will be a family night. My son and his gf will hand out the candy. A nice dinner. Nice to have everyone home and safe. The rollercoaster usually takes a rest when I am surrounded by others.

Don’t feel sad for me while reading this. Be happy for the memories that you continue to generate with your kids, your family and friends. Those are the treasures in life we have to appreciate.

Missing you my spunky spirited daughter!!

#SayItWithSnowflakes

This entry was posted on October 31, 2014. 1 Comment

October 10, 2014 – 2 years ago …I

Dear Amanda

Two years ago tonight we lost a beautiful angel in this world. That was you.  As you had the thoughts in your head that your pain was too much to bear, I so wish you had reached out and that someone could  have talked to you and given you HOPE!  I know you called me that afternoon shortly before.  You talked to me as if everything was normal and I had no idea what I was to come home to.  Your life and your death has taught many of us in the world how important life really is and also essential it is to MAKE A CHANGE IN THE WORLD.

I will finish writing this letter to you later tonight.  There is an event about how some are making a different to youth with their work.  We are taking a limo downtown to a event and then to see the purple lights.   Another thing that was on your bucket list.

I will come home and write more ….

Love mom

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This entry was posted on October 10, 2014. 7 Comments

Happy Birthday Mackenzie Murphy!!

Dear Mackenzie,

When you wake up, you will see this birthday message. Happy Birthday Sweetie. You turn 15 today and although there have been bumps in the past couple of years, put those behind you and look ahead. Breathe deeply and take the first step outside as a 15 year old and remember what you see, smell and hear. Growing up has never been easy thing for any generation. But we take it astride and make sure that we have our trusted people beside us to lean on when we need them. Enjoy your day and look forward to the fun and memories you will have this week in ‪#‎Toronto‬ and at ‪#‎WEDay‬.  It is the hugest honour to have you win the Social Action Award after I received it last year.  We both do things and remember Amanda and she would be so proud of both of us (and your mom).

Love you lots …. xoxo

Your other mom

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2014. 2 Comments

World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10th

It’s funny how things happen on the 10th.  It’s been 23 months and as much as some might imagine that it gets easier without your child, it sometimes gets harder.  You only imagine what it is that is missing.  This past week, many parents who have lost their child due to suicide due bullying and/or mental health issues have been emotionally suffering their losses. For some, it has been a many year.  For others, it has been few years or only one year.  Either way, it is a HARD path to walk down.  One that says, keep the super soft tissue coming.

Yesterday I was interviewed by Suzanne who is the founder of Conspiracy of Hope.  She told me her story and shared tidbits of her awareness campaign.  I shared some of my stories about Amanda.  Two people sitting in a kitchen talking about life.  The tragedies.  And the joys.  Who could ever imagine?

Death changes a person.  Sometimes for the better.  Sometimes not.  For me, it has made me a much stronger person.  The adversities that come in the way.  The people you meet along the journey.  As I have said before, some are great. Some not so great.  But it is all here for us to learn from.

Two weeks ago, I received an email from Mary to write a blog post for Write Paragraphs about suicide.  I thought about and said yes. But during the two weeks, so many thoughts went through my head about why to write about.   I have to say honestly, it was not as easy as it may have sounded.  I procrastinated until the day before it was to be sent to Mary.  My friends messaged me everyday to see if it was written.  They were happy to know the day I had finished the first draft.

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In the post, I wrote about what SUICIDE is and also my thoughts toward the ‘S’ word.  No one can even begin to imagine how close I am to this subject which has made me even more passionate about advocating for SPEAKING UP, TALKING OUT AND SUPPORTING OTHERS.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SUICIDE –  hosts on for World Suicide Prevention Day

After today, the next date on the calendar of significance is October 10th – World Mental Health Day.  It will also be the 2 year date that Amanda took her own life. A life that was way too short.  In the coming 30 days, I will be posting articles and information on mental health and mental wellness on this blog. On the Amanda Todd Legacy Society website. On Twitter – @AToddLegacy.

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This entry was posted on September 11, 2014. 4 Comments

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. 8 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