May 19 – Eyes and ears wide open ….

Today I had a difference experience.  I was invited to attend and speak at Project Eden.  The Ethiopian community in Burnaby came together to speak about anti-bullying, cyberbullying and mental health.  There were guest speakers and big community presence.  It was great.  The best part was how accepting they were of me.  I received many hugs and well wishes.  However, I didn’t fully know the entire story behind Project Eden until meeting the parents of Eden.  Eden was a 17 year old teenager who had some bullying.  Eden took her own life on September 24, 2012.  Her parents are still very much devastated with the loss of their daughter.  Then October 10th came shortly after.  Eden’s parents were even more heartbroken after hearing about another young person’s death.  They didn’t know Amanda but were heartbroken.  I met and talked to both mom and dad today.  They had wanted to contact me but didn’t know how.  After connecting today, both mom and dad were happy.  We will stay in touch and share stories.  The forum was  planned for 4 hours.  It started late.  I could tell that the speakers and people in the audience were very interested and passionate about the discussion today.  I could tell by the tones of their voices.  However, they weren’t speaking in English but in their language of Amharic.  I sat through most of it but then the language processing part of me that didn’t understand exhausted my brain.  I left shortly after the coffee break.  It was a heartwarming experience for me.

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I was able to catch up on some of the shows that had been taped on the PVR.  The Good Wife is one of those shows.  Watched an interesting episode.  Here are the key words.  Teenager.  Accused rapist.  Social media.  Anonymous.  Court case.  I did notice the date on one of the iPhones on the show was April 13, 2013.  I thought that was a timely and interesting episode considering the events on the news media lately.  Another hot topic is the ‘nixed bullying by-law in Port Coquitlam’.   Media has been calling.  I have been trying to explain.  Let’s hope that the federal government can put in place what individual cities can’t.  Each day, I am reading stories or getting by parents of kids who are being bullied/cyberbullied.  Kids who are afraid to go to school.  Kids who are starting to feel sad and depressed.   This needs to change. I do agree to a point that the behaviours of the children need to be addressed.  But we need to empower all the others to stand up for themselves.  Time and time again, it is the victims that have to move schools, move classes, move lockers.  I have been in touch with the mom from Ontario who went to school with her daughter last week.  Stay tuned for the next part of that story.

Remember the story about Amanda and the shoes.    I have had many responses from teachers and parents who remember when Amanda and her friends did this.  It does make sense that good memorable events are always remembered.  That’s why I say and will always say – keep those memories going with picture taking.  But remember to print the photos.  (Only 8 cents each at Costco right now.)  Then put together the album with your kids.  Or do the scrapbook thing and then order the copies (eg – London Drugs).  However, if you choose to put all your photos in a photobox in chronicle order, beware of inquisitive children who might take out all the pictures and mix them all up.  Hmmm…. now who could that be …. AMANDA!!!   I still haven’t re-organized them.  It’s been a few years.  The other thing is if your pics are digital, take the time to find a photo labeller app to date and label the pics.  It will be so helpful later when months and years pass by.  Amanda was my picture girl.  That is so easy to tell by all the photos she took. Selfies and those of her friends.  Her creativity allowed her to make her own albums.  She was the one that took over my scrapbooking scissors, etc when I gave up on the whole idea of scrapbooking. The same way that when Amanda wanted to sew, she sewed.  With the machine and all.  Ooops… honey …. we have to thread the machine too.

Day 7 and still no luggage…..  Now I wonder who really has it!!

I must take this time to commend the organizers of the BIKES AGAINST BULLIES RALLY.  They have spent so many man hours working on this event and it sounds wonderful.  Plan to attend if you are free.  There is also a pub night on June 1, 2013 @ the Cat and Fiddle.  Tickets are available for $12.00.  Proceeds to the Amanda Todd Legacy.

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About Carol Todd

Being the mother of Amanda Todd has lead me on this journey shortly after Amanda's death on October 10, 2012. Amanda's prolific You Tube video has been viewed over 33 million times. Through this video, there has been an increased awareness about cyberbullying, social media safety and mental health.
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5 Responses to May 19 – Eyes and ears wide open ….

  1. Markus says:

    A tip for you and other readers who need to find out on which date a digital picture was taken.
    There is something called EXIF tag or EXIF meta data. It is hidden in the file and can be read with some programs or with photo editing software. Every normal modern digital camera stores this information in it’s pictures.
    This EXIF tag includes not only time and date (hope you set the date correctly in the camera menu) but also other information like the type of camera etc.

    Be aware that editing a picture in a photo editing software will in the majority of cases destroy the EXIF tag. So never edit a original photo. Just edit copies of them.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. XO


  2. la Punisher says:

    Just excellent Carol, Thank you for sharing these stories, Hoping your day is wonderful
    Hugz 2U


  3. Dennis V says:

    I love what you’re doing in giving support to other parents who have lost a child. My deepest condolences to Eden’s Parents. Yes I do believe that we must empower the kids to stand up for themselves, we must also empower the bystanders to help the victim and not to cheer on or help the bully. We have to help the bullies because there is always a reason behind their actions whether it be family problems, mental health problems, social problems, etc. Last kids should be taught kindness, its free and kindness never hurt anyone. All easier said then done, but like you say it takes a village to raise a child so maybe one day It can happen


  4. merle48 says:

    …”if your pics are digital, take the time to find a photo labeler app to date and label the pics. It will be so helpful later when months and years pass by.”…There is always that one phrase from almost everything you write, that makes my eyes “well” up. Just a few words make me realize your heartbreaking loss, and the obscured potential. Please don’t ever get tired of hearing this from me and others. Also you as well as I, know that although you say there is a language barrier…the mission is universal, one look into another person’s eyes who have lost a loved one as you have…and there are no need for words. “The face is more honest than the mouth will ever be.” ~Daphne Orebaugh


  5. Sandra Esono says:

    You are amazing giving support to others parents. And the story of Manda Panda and the shoes to help people… is so sweet. She was so sweet with a big heart and the whole world must to know it. Kisses Carol and keep fighting you have all our support


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