Mental Health Day

Today is Bell Let’s Talk day. It’s like a Mental Health Day awareness campaign. Bell Canada has an initiative to promote texting today with each text resulting in a donation to Mental Health . I am capitalizing Mental Health because it deserves recognition. It deserves a voice, a bigger voice than it has. And I think we’re getting there-making progress that is.

I’m reading all over social today about different types of Mental Illness/Health and the many ways it manifests and affects sufferers and their families and caregivers. I’m incredibly happy that there are so many voices sharing on this topic. A topic often thought of as taboo and forced to remain silent often due to societal pressures.

Everyone has a story. I firmly believe that and the theme of a lot of my writing and writing projects centres on this very idea- EVERYONE HAS A STORY. Today some difficult stories are being shared.

More talk, less shame and more lives saved.

Today I remember some family members that struggled and didn’t win the battle:

D, Lynda, Marie, mother Carol and most recently, brother James.

A Christmas Carol

Carol #WhereIMFrom

Carol #WhereIMFrom

I’m late on this. Been thinking a lot more than writing lately. Blame it on the time of year. Blame it on THIS year.  My mother’s name was Carol. She was born on December 17-the day this post should have gone up. She was named Carol after A Christmas Carol or after a christmas carol. A near Christmas baby.

Her life ended much sooner than it should have. 24 years lived and that was all. Some of those years were joyful and others hard and dark. I always try to picture her smiling. I desperately insert one of the many photos I have of her-gorgeous, regal almost, in my mind. A beauty on the outside with a battered heart on the inside.

I do hope her soul sings in heaven.

Sun Maid Mommy

Sun Maid Mommy

Nan, Lola & SunMaid Raisins

As my new dot com gets closer and closer to launching, I feel more nostalgic than usual. Sifting through photos, all kinds of them. Many have provided the backdrop or idea for one of my shorts. It’s often how I write. I used to question it but not so much anymore. I see a power in photos that many might not. Early loss may be the reason. Holding on to memories and sometimes making some up out of desperation to remember something that isn’t or wasn’t there or that you just can’t remember or want to change.

One of my stories is entitled “Sun Maid Mommy” for many reasons. One of them is that as a very young child I seemed to find comfort in that magical, little red box with the little lady wearing the hat. I loved raisins and I ate them a lot with my Nanny. The photo here is of me and my Nan, sitting on her car, me in a fancy dress, holding that beloved red box and Nan smiling, a bit pensively, into the camera, also all fancy in her green pant suit.

See? It’s a faded photo but I can still see the colour. It comes from the memories of my Nan. And years later, I learned the real story behind this photo and wrote a story about my mother, my Nan, me and of course, my beloved SunMaid Raisins.

Here’s a line or two, ” She always nods yes and her smile turns up, but only halfway, and I know she’s not really listening. But I don’t care. She’s so beautiful and magical to me. I just like being near her, even if she’s not listening. And even though she’s smiling, her eyes never smile anymore. They don’t match her mouth.” Lola Speaks

Favourite Birthday Memories

What’s your favourite birthday memory?

In this photo I am turning 2. I think I am very happy. My face looks happy. I am wearing a birthday dress.

I’m with my family. I know my Nan is there because it’s at her apartment. And my parents. My hair is fancy and there is cake. I’m sure it was one of my favourite celebrations!

Your turn!

Some Sadness Has No Remedy But There Is Ice Cream

dadtomI think sometimes we see things at certain times for very specific reasons (even if we don’t know it in that instance).

I was reading some blogs and came across this-a blog I follow regularly but not daily. Anna lost her son-it’s a devastating story that she shares so beautifully.

Today I read this and I believe it’s no mistake as today is the anniversary of my father’s death. The night he just did not return home. I was 7 years old. That coupled with the recent news of the sudden and tragic loss of my brother, makes it all seem so unbearable at times.

This helps. It offered me peace and made me smile.

Excerpt from the novel Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel

“To love is to lose. It’s just that simple. Maybe not today but someday. It is the inevitable condition of humanity. Some sadness has no remedy. Some sadness you can’t make better.”

“But then why isn’t everyone walking around miserable all the time?”

“Because ice cream still tastes good. And sunny and seventy-five is still a lovely day. And funny movies make you laugh, and work is sometimes fulfilling, and a beer with a friend is nice. And other people love you, too. [Death] has been around since time immemorial. You’ve run up against it. And there’s no getting around or over it. You stop and build your life right there at the base of that wall. But it’s okay. That’s where everyone else is too. Everyone else is either there or on their way. There is no other side, but there’s plenty of space there to build a life and plenty of company. Welcome to the wall.”

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