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
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
Twitter – @AToddLegacy
Light Up Purple 2014 – http://lightuppurple2014.weebly.com
Sincerely yours Amanda
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