Just another weekend at home …

What is a normal weekend?

Friday – I connected with my first employer ever. When I was 18 and going to university, I needed a summer job.  I saw an ad in one of newspapers and applied for it.  Got the interview. But then had to sit in a lobby for about an hour waiting for my interview to happen.  I think they forgot about me sitting there.  They did eventually remember I was there, interviewed me and I got the job.  It was a great five years. Selling concert tickets, meeting new friends and being able to work and attend different kinds of shows and sporting events around the city.  During this time of work, I became good friends with my employers. But as time passed, we lost touch.  Last week, I found them again living in Toronto.  Luckily I seem to travel there often.  Reconnecting has been wonderful and I can’t wait to catch up on the past 29 years.  How time flies and that ‘s why it is so important to keep up with people you know. If only an email or a FB message or a text saying ‘Hi, how are you doing?’

Saturday – I had to buy car insurance and went someplace local.  As I was sitting there waiting, the young lady noticed my nails with the snowflakes.  Then she probably recognized my last name.  She asked me how she could get a bracelet.  She also told me how she had followed Amanda’s story including the fact that she couldn’t wait to get out of high school and how after school, it was so much better for her.  I gave her a bracelet.  She wanted to pay for it and so she did.   She has a huge heart and told me that Amanda’s story had a big impact on her.

Sunday –  Going to Home Depot to look for flooring.  As I walked through the appliance section, a lady and her husband were looking for fridges.  She saw me and said out loud “I know you from somewhere”.   I just smiled like I usually do.  I could see that she was thinking really hard about where.  When it clicked in her brain, she asked if she could give me a hug.  And it was the biggest hug ever.  She told me that we were meant to meet.  I gave her a bracelet that she immediately put on.  She said that when she heard Amanda’s story on the news, she cried continuous tears.  We ended up talking in the aisle.  I shared with her to wear purple on October 10th and explained that it was World Mental Health Day as well as the same day that Amanda died.  She said she believed that some people are put on earth for a reason like an angel.  It reminded me of the conversation that I had with Shannon Turner from Prevention Violence of Canada who called Amanda ‘a tranformative angel’.  So true the more time passes …
Later on Sunday, I bumped into a young woman who is in her late twenties and who remembered me as a teacher from the elementary school she attended.  She now has a young child entering middle school and says that Amanda’s story has made her open up conversations with her daughter.  That is a good thing.  We talked about trust, communication and being non-judgemental about the things your kids tell you.  

Remember Amanda on October 10th.  Remember to wear purple. Remember to be creative with purple in some way, shape or form.  

All over Canada, places will be illuminated purple on October 10th. As well, people will be wearing purple and organizations will be sharing on their social media about World Mental Health Day.  www.lightuppurple.com 

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UBC Alumni – Education 100 – 2015/16

Surprised … honoured … thankful… blessed!!!

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Yes, I think Amanda would be proud of her mom.  When I look at the other 99 recognized recipients and their achievements, I think to myself “Wow”!  In my minds eye, I am just doing my job as a mom.

Over the past few weeks, I have spoken to many parents who have lost their child way too soon.  Some were to suicide, some to death by the hands of others.  These kids are now the voice of the silent.  Who can talk for them?  All of us.


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I am at a loss for words at this time of year.  Kids are getting ready to go back to school.  The excitement of it all.  Amanda would have graduated last June and would have hopefully gone on to college to start working on a career. She wanted hair design and/or she wanted to do something with cooking.  All that is now a dream as sad as it is.  I do think that at times, I block out her death so I don’t have to think about it. Then reality hits when I see her photo and realize that the in real life, she is gone.

I stand both ‘proud and sad’ in keeping Amanda’s dream alive with the all the support and love of others. Without them, we could follow the ‘DREAM OF HELPING KIDS’.

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#JustBecause …

Today started out as a simple kind of day, but with peaks and valleys.  About a month ago, I saw some chairs for my deck that I really really liked, but they were not within the $$ I wanted to spend.  So I left Home Depot sad but hopeful that these chairs would go on summer clearance.  Yesterday, I was in one of the Home Depots and saw that they were on sale but that store only had one left.  So I did some internet sleuthing and found out that another store had more of the same chairs.   Today was the day – to get my chairs.  I called the store to make sure that the chairs were there.  Then put them on hold and went there.  But … looking at the size of the box .. 85 lbs — only one would fit in my truck at a time.  Two trips.

It was a hot hot day here in Vancouver today.  When I drove into the parking lot, the security guard was catching some shade under the tree.  I saw him later pop into the store for a bottle of cold water.   When I went out with my first chair, I shared a joke with him that a cold slurpee would probably be perfect right about then.  He laughed and agreed.  Short part — drove home with my chair and decided to go back that afternoon to get the second one so Sunday would be a sort of free day.

I told the story of the security guard under the tree for some shade. Then the idea was given to me.  ‘Why don’t you bring him a slurpee?’  But what if he doesn’t like or can’t have sugar.  And then what flavour of slurpee?  Next idea.  Gift card to Timmy’s for an Ice Cap or Fruit smoothie or something.  Hmmm…..

As you all know me, ideas don’t have long to perculate in my head.  On my way back to Home Depot, I picked up some  $5 Timmy cards.   Giving them out for #kindness365 or #justbecause sounded like a good idea.

I got my second chair and the same Home Depot person was taking it out to the car for me.  I passed the security guard again.  Handed him the Timmy’s card.  He didn’t want to take it.  I insisted and said ‘It’s what I do’.  He then wondered what it was I did.  So I sort of told him about Amanda in 15 words or less and said that doing KIND acts was all part of her legacy.  All this time, the Home Depot person was listening and watching.  When the security person said to me ‘What’s the story?’, I saw the Home Depot person nod and say, ‘I remember that girl and her story’.  That’s when I said ‘Well, I’m her mom’.  Both gentlemen shook my hand and then a discussion started on bullying and how race and culture sometimes/often plays a role.  It was that AHA moment when you think, this is the coolest conversation to have randomly.  I am sure these two men probably didn’t have the same breaktimes to ever have a chat like this.

We walked away.  I gave them both bracelets.  The security guard person kept the Timmy’s card.  After loading up the second chair in my truck, I gave a second #JustBecause Timmy’s card away.  The Home Depot person left humbled and thanked me for telling Amanda’s story.  When I pulled out of the parking lot, I got big waves from the two men and they were still standing – under the shade tree – talking a bit longer.  I can only imagine what they were talking about.

I just bubbled telling the story when I got home.  Another two lives who now have a story to tell.  Question: Why do nice things?  The answer can only be …

#JustBecause      #Kindness365     #SayItWithSnowflakes   #BeKindAlltheTime


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