As we hope to approach the end of this pandemic, a month ago the world witnessed an explosion of chaos, of violence, of trauma, of one of the worse assaults against humanity…I’m not an expert on this. I am but an ordinary person who is in her late autumn years…or is it winter? Well, it is not spring or summer, so you figure it out.
Watching the news is a cat and mouse affair for me. I want to be in the “know” but most days I can no longer handle it. I know I need to be fresh and together so my heart is open to be filled with trauma, sorrow and the multiple questions from a confused generation of youths and young adults. And so I watch the news 3 days a week to keep some balance in my heart…my mind.
I cry for youths. I cry for my children and their children…heck, I cry for anyone who is younger than me and so many of their dreams are in question. I weep out of fear, worry, disappointment with the world and how we have become split in so many ways…more than I have ever seen in my lifetime.
I have lived a long full life without the chaos we are faced with now but my heart aches especially for children, teens and young families all over the world.
I have been trying to embrace brief moments of joy…I heard a flock (gaggle) of geese honking over my building at sunset last week…the sound made my heart beat just a little faster. My geranium is blossoming so much as it stretches out towards the sun in my bedroom window…embracing moments of joy, my feline stretching in the sunshine and my granddaughter talking to me in “her” language that is music to Nana’s ears.
don’t cry little one
the sun is shining today
hear the geese honk
April rains wash pain away
the sun will dry your cheeks
chin up little one
skipping rope and chanting rhymes
oh! sweet merriment
Valentine’s is supposed to be about love and couples but since I had my children 4 decades ago, it was more about LOVE for anyone who is very special to you, especially my immediate family.
I remember cutting out Valentine cards to share at school to those “special people” …if it was someone, we had a little crush on, we did not sign it. I also helped my children cut theirs out as well and in this generation, they seem to include more people. I am hoping that is indicative of the world we now live in…to be kind to one another…to show support and caring.
The media shows us the opposite because unfortunately “tragedy sells.” Yet, with all that has been going on in the world in the past two years, I am sick of giving attention to sadness, cruelty, and hardships. I am not saying I want to live in a bubble, but I/we DO need balance…knowing about kindness and how wonderful many people have come forward to help one another warms my heart and that too should be in the media…not just an addendum at the end of the news.
One thing I have loved doing in the past few years is writing my own greeting cards and sending them out to some friends far and near…mostly friends who live alone like me.
I do not know about you but when I get something in the mail, I get so excited…I run upstairs and put the envelope on the dining room table and make myself a cuppa tea and then I sit down and savour it. Sometimes it is one line and other times it is a bit longer but the fact that someone cared enough to write something on paper, put it in an envelope, sealed it with love, addressed it with care and attention, put a stamp and walked or drove to drop it off in a mailbox means so much!
I had another selfish reason to do this as well. It inspires me to write a poem and talk in writing to a friend, and forcing me to walk to the nearest mailbox which is 1 km away…so it is also beneficial to my physical and mental health to walk which is something I have not done much this winter especially since my fall early in January. It made me wary of walking on icy sidewalks.
I often try to spread out the cards so I have to go out more often.
This is a troiku (new form of haiku created by Chevrefeuille, at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai I wrote a few days ago, that made me think of my friends this valentine week.
greyness lingers lockdowns hold us prisoners when will winter leave?
greyness lingers looking for a bit of light shining in my heart
lockdowns hold us prisoners soon the days shall pass Oh, see the light shine
when will winter leave? thankful for a caring friend brightens every day
In memory of the 14 women who were killed Dec 6, 1989 there will be a tribute planned for the victims of Ecole Polytechnique shooting.
The women killed in 1989 were Genevieve Bergeron, Helene Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganiere, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michele Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte.
Fourteen beams of light will be projected into the sky from Mount Royal where Prime Minister Trudeau, Quebec Premier Francois Legault and Montreal Mayor, Valerie Plante are set to be present.
14 beams of light
reaching to the sky
tears in heaven
14 beams of light
14 innocent women
hear their cries
reaching to the sky
pleading for answers
still …feeling their loss
tears in heaven
(c) tournesol 2021/12/06
Tributes planned for victims of École Polytechnique shooting on 32nd anniversary - The Globe and Mail
On the 2nd day of summer, a baby girl was born. I wonder why they did not call her Summer but of course it did not translate well in French. And so, Colombe (Dove in English) was born. She was planned, so I hear from stories from my GrandMaman, on one Sunday afternoon. How did they manage to have the house to themselves and what on earth was on their minds, coming from Sunday mass?
My grandparents had a flat on the 2nd floor of City Hall at the time, because my grandfather was Chief of Police.
My grandmother often said that out of all the children there was always one that was chosen to take care of their parents in their old age. My grandmother used to call Colombe, “Mon baton de veillesse’’ (old aged stick…which really means ‘old age crutch’.)
But you must remember in those days in 1925, good Catholic families prohibited from family planning…this baby was planned. GrandMaman used to say a baby planned on a Sunday was ‘’un bébé d’amour’’ …I am not sure love child means the same thing.
And so June 22, 1926, Colombe was born…the fourth child, the middle child of seven. Of course this was a small family compared to other good Catholic families back then. My grandmother was fortunate to have learned young, as a midwife, when a woman ovulated…and so she found her way to plan her family despite the sin she may have committed.
I wonder how they spoke about this plan coming home from Sunday mass.
Mother: I think it’s time to plan for a child that will take care of us in our old age.
Father: Okay [with a twinkle in his eye and skip in his step.]
Mother: Yes, this afternoon would be a good time while the children are at the cottage.
Father: I aim to please, my love.
I don’t know if she carried her to term of 40 weeks, so I imagine this discourse took place sometime in September or early October…oh my! I wonder if it was on my Grandmother’s birthday, October 13th….[rushing to check 1925 calendar…okay, so let’s add a bit of imagination to this story]
On October 11, 1925, GrandPapa asked his spouse what she wanted for her birthday October 13th. And that was her present! I bet GrandPapa wished he could gift her like that more often…[chuckles]
Colombe certainly became a special “baton”…when her little brother was only one, he had TB and she had to quit school having completed Grade 9 to take care of him for two years while he had a body cast.
From there she later went to Montreal at Hairdressing school at Morgan’s (The Bay). She stayed at her sister’s who had a baby and a toddler and became a live in Nanny when she was not in school because her sister like to wine and dine with the rich and famous and her husband.
She never really got to live life on her own freely…and when she met my father, who was auditing a company in her small town, they married six months later.
I’m glad she did because I wouldn’t be here today .There is a story to tell on that day forward but suffice to say the best part was having moi and my sister, right? [smiles]
She was an amazing daughter, friend, spouse, sister, mother and the most loving and fun Nanny as well. I am so glad my children have fond memories of her.
Happy Birthday, Mom. Even in heaven, I bet there is some heavenly celebration you so deserve.