Happy 19th birthday Amanda!!

Dear Amanda

Today you would have turned #19.  This was one of the anticipated birthdays you were looking forward to other than #16.  But it is sad to say (again) that you won’t ever experience it in the real world.  I often wonder what you would be like.  Would your spirit have been alive again if you hadn’t had that awful Thanksgiving weekend and that horrible experience you came home to tell me about.  If you had been able to sleep better that weekend.  If others had just left you alone.

During the 3 years since your death, I have been able to both meet and connect with many parents whose kids have also taken their lives or died by tragic means.  There is one mom in particular that I met for the first time in September.  We sat for a couple of hours, drank tea and  just talked about her daughter and you.  The one thing I have learned is that I am not alone in this journey.  Some define it as a horrific journey.  It can be.  But I am trying to make it as positive as I can.

As parents who have lost, we all share the common bond by feeling the same way and thinking the same thoughts.  Those thoughts include how much we miss you our kid(s).  I have to say that when you left this earth, a part of not only my heart but the hearts of others – some who had never known you – was taken and torn apart.  But where is the regeneration of parental spirit?  I have to shrug and say I am not sure.  As parents who have lost a child,  we walk the walk and talk the talk.  We put our energies into our surviving children if we can and gather support from others who are now in the #FAC group.

I want you to know Amanda, that you are leading me in this path of making differences.  You are also pulling complete strangers along in this journey also.  You have been added to 4 post secondary text books in the past 6 months for a total of about 9 texts.  There are musicians, poets, artists, theatre people, sports people (and many more) who you have inspired to make a shift in not only their thinking but of others.  Your story is synonymous with tragedies which unfortunately still occur.  But your story is also making people sit up and talk more with others who can help them — young people, young older people and much older people.

If you could see how the symbol of a snowflake has influenced others to think about both you and the cause, it would amaze you.  Your dream of one day being put in a position to be known has happened. I just wish you were here to see it.

This week we decorated a Christmas tree at the PoCo Rec Centre for your legacy.  In tradition, your tree was filled with purple, snowflakes and bling.  It had the #kindness cards made by other students to share the message of #understanding, #empathy and #tolerance.  You would have loved to do this.   The tree at home will go up in a couple of weeks.  It will be filled with the special ornaments from you and your brother.

Tomorrow, as  you turn #19 in the spiritual world, many of us will be thinking of you and the way you send signals to us in so many different ways.  With snowflakes.  With your numbers.  With your presence. We will be sure to raise a glass to you and what you have done to make many of us wake up and open our eyes to the deliberate evilness of some people.

This wasn’t the teary post I expected to write.  I had my emotional moment at Safeway this afternoon.  You share a birthday with a set of twins.  Same date. Same age.  But born in different hospitals.   Myself and so many others will be turning on our Christmas lights for you tomorrow as was the tradition in our family.  For others, it might be wearing purple.  Or lighting a candle.  Or finding a snowflake or putting one down somewhere.  Either way, know that you are missed.

You are ever so loved and ever so missed.

Love you always my Princess Snowflake!!

Hugs and kisses from your mommy always xoxo


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Traditions – Getting the Christmas Lights ready for November 27th

It’s that time of year again ~~ almost Amanda’s birthday.  There are snowflakes in the forecast for November 26th. What if …

Clearly we remember the tradition of our household.  When Amanda was alive, it was important that we get the Christmas lights up before her actual birthday so that they could be turned on November 27th.  Mom would take Amanda out and because it turned dark early, when we pulled up to the house, someone was always home to turn on the switch.  That tradition is still going.  The lights to my house will be up and on the evening of November 27th.

I am asking anyone else who can also turn on their Christmas lights for November 27th, take a photo to let me know … all I can say is ‘Thank You’.  It is a gesture.  One that is filled with kindness, caring and compassion.  If you can’t do lights, then you can also light a candle ~~ for Amanda and for her mom.

This would have also been Amanda’s 19th birthday.  One of those special ones because in British Columbia, you are legally allowed to drink at 19.  I know she would have been looking forward to being able to walk in a pub, bar and/or nightclub and show her ID to prove she was of legal age.  We missed 16.  We missed 19.  (Painfully sad)

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October 10, 2015 (365 x 3 = 3 years)

Amanda Todd (Nov 27, 1996 – Oct 10, 2012)

Today is October 10th.  It has been 3 years that Amanda took her life to make her internal pain go away.  I am sure she did not have an inkling of the impact her death would make or how many people she would affect from the story she posted 5 weeks before her death.  (Amanda’s You Tube Video)

I have sat here trying to compose my letter to Amanda.  It’s now 2 a.m.  I have lots to say but not sure how to say it.  I have had an emotional week and Friday (although great) was mentally draining.  Talking and thinking about Amanda brings up the bitterness of why she isn’t here and if I/we could have done more for her.   Here is what I have so far and I will work on this letter to my daughter all weekend.

The photos and messages for LUP are coming in quickly. I can’t keep up but I have others to help me.

Dear Amanda (for 2015)

What can I ever say or do to ease the pain and hurt that flows through my body and my head?  It’s been 3 long years (365 x 3) (365 x 24) and it hurts almost the same as it did that night of October 10th.  You may not have known this but I hurt for you when all this started.  Especially when you came to me telling me how much emotional pain you were in and you wanted to see a doctor.
Now as kids, the doctor was the last place that both you and your brother would ever want me to take you too.
I know that dying by suicide was never your true intent because you also went to the dentist a week before you died.  I used to have to drag you there because you didn’t like the smell.  And how the hygenist would always talk to you while she had things in your mouth.  However, you did like the toys they gave you after.  Remember the sticky hands that you would throw up at the ceiling.  And it wouldn’t come down.  I think that once, the sticky hand stayed on the ceiling of the elevator.  Ugg but really funny.  We got out of there really fast.
8:54 am (PST)
I just got out of bed and heard the bzzz of my iPhone starting at 4 am PST.  Of course it was friends on the East coast starting their day.  I am strengthened and amazed at all the support and well wishes I am getting from many that I have met (but not yet personally) in my travels.   The photos are coming in as are the tweets on Twitter.  As I sit here and type this on the Legacy website, the photo of Amanda on my right is staring me in the face.  I can’t look at her right now or I will just keep crying.  Honor her by watching her You Tube video and remember why we are speaking up.
To be continued …
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