Torstar’s Niagara Dailies January 2018

Let’s Talk

When my daughter was in Grade 6 and I was a single mother, we lived in a cute little north Toronto ‘war home’ built in the ’50s. It was all I could afford. Its bright red door and matching shutters set it apart from the long row of similar story-and-a-half houses. We loved it. It was one block off the school bus grid, so she had a long walk each day.

White blond hair and cornflower blue eyes, my beautiful child, only 11, knew I loved her without condition. She had her own key, and called me the minute she was home so I knew she was safe.

Wrong version of safe.

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https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/opinion-story/8358379-time-to-talk-about-mental-health-issues/

Oasis Journal 2016

To The Brink…a memoir of mother and child

OasisJournal2016

Globe & Mail, Facts & Arguments  September, 2015

Surviving With Grace

I rise with the sun. Being late is not an option. I have come into my farming life too late to change old habits; rising early remains a challenge.

The dogs’ tails bang against the wall enthusiastically, unconditionally welcoming me into their morning. A momentary distraction.

Today is my daughter’s first trip to the chemotherapy clinic, and I am her chauffeur; okay, bodyguard. Intravenous immunoglobulin, a miraculous concoction of antibodies from donor plasma, will be delivered into her veins.

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https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/as-my-pregnant-daughters-muscles-shut-down-all-i-could-do-was-beg-stay-with-us/article26456301/

St. Catharines Standard, July 30, 2012

Final Column as Publisher

Dear Readers,

The loss of a child in a family is incomprehensible. Recent devastating circumstances irreversibly changed my family’s life making the writing of this near impossible. Yet everyday courage surrounds me; I am in awe of this grace and dignity amidst such sadness and loss. As we seek to navigate this unchosen path, we are constantly astounded and grateful for the constant outpouring of kindness, support, and expressions of condolence. So write this I must

It will likely be some time before I write again. But I made a commitment some time ago – repeating a promise for a second year, willingly, proudly, happily, to do whatever I could to help Hospice Niagara. At that time I had witnessed the extraordinary intuitive and skilled kindness these wonderful caregivers offer to families through a loved one’s final moments. As I got to know them, I discovered that they do so much more -helping those coping with grief and loss; helping those with illness still at home fill their days with hopeful, joyful, important moments – so many quiet, important caring touches that mean so much to families and individuals facing mortality and loss. I have written several times now asking for you to consider Hospice Niagara in your plans for contributions. This will be my last request for a while. But here`s what I would like you to know. Who would ever have suspected that the quiet kind work of Hospice Niagara, the house of angels, would now touch me and my family first-hand – not through palliative care but through bereavement care?

The weight of grief is a heavy burden.

But somehow, through these dark, dark hours, a light glimmers, a small light. Maybe it`s the light shed by a small moment of hope felt through kind words, or a momentary, unexpected laugh or smile – fleeting perhaps but no less real for the time it was felt. These small things, guided by those who carry us through when we ourselves are unable to walk, never mind stand, are the pieces of the puzzle that will help put the shattered picture back together for us. Hopefully.

Hospice Niagara provides this. Hospice Niagara provides a light in the unconscionable darkness. Hospice Niagara provides solace and kindness. And truly this world needs more kindness.

So, in these, my last words for a moment in time, I beseech you to help them. The annual fundraiser, the 5 Car Draw, takes place on Civic Holiday Monday. You could win a car – the odds are good – but you will surely, by helping them, help Hospice Niagara win. Their funding is limited and this draw makes such a tremendous difference to the entire operation, and to our beautiful Niagara. Buy tickets – please.