The best and the worst.

  I cried myself to sleep that night.  I lay on that single size mattress that wasn’t my own and cried for mess I had made, for the bigger mess that was coming, and out of sheer exhaustion.
  My arms felt heavy from the weight they had carried all day.  My legs were sore from all the steps they had climbed that day.  And my face hurt from trying so hard to put on a brave face on all day when I was scared.
That day I removed the last thread holding my family together.  I took my children away from a life they loved, cut off ties and hurt people in the process, created a vast hole where before there was something.
I no longer had a bed of my own.  I didn’t have beds for my children.  I couldn’t make them dinner that night even if I wanted to.  I was surrounded by boxes that weren’t my own.  The only space for me to lay my head down that night was on the floor in a kitchen.  I lay on that mattress that wasn’t my own, staring up at a ceiling that wasn’t familiar to me, and cried for the place I was in, the mess I had created, for everything I had lost, for everything I had failed.
It was the worst night of my life.
In the morning, the sun came in unfiltered through the kitchen window and filled the room with light.
I had slept through the night for the first time in months.  Maybe even years.  I woke and just lay watching the light move across the walls that were starting to feel a bit more familiar to me.  I did not wake with the usual  jolt of dread that left my heart pounding till after my morning coffee.  I remember feeling the smile on my face that needed no forcing, that appeared out of desire and seeing the light.
The boxes that had threatened to become an avalanche of burden the night before seemed smaller that morning, and easily done away with.  The pain of the night before had dissipated with the morning sun, and left a scrubbed clean version of my new world.  My mind was more calm and clear that it had been in months.  I knew I had made the right decision.
  It was the best morning of my life.
  Both perspectives are important to me.  In one night I saw the limits of my strength pushed and how easily it could be renewed.  The worst and best happened for me at the same time that night, and my perspective was changed.  It was OK to trust myself.

Brantford Writer’s Circle 2nd Annual Book Launch Shindig

On November 28th, the Brantford Writer’s Circle will be having its 2nd Annual Book Launch party.  This party is to celebrate the authors who have published this year, as well as to celebrate authors who have published in previous years and supported the group.

This is a public event and everyone is welcome.  Come mingle with members, meet the authors and get your copies signed.  I am pleased to announce that we will have Caleb Turgeon at the event. Caleb will be providing entertainment. He will also have his new CD, titled Sidewalk Confessions, available for purchase during the event.
https://www.facebook.com/Caleb-Turgeon-Music-169311039798…/…

November 28th, 2016 @ 7pm
Train Station Coffee House 5 Wadsworth St, Brantford Ontario

 

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Be Good.

I had to google how to write a eulogy.  In my mind it seemed so cut and dry that I thought for sure I was missing something.   

  I’m supposed to tell you how my mom was born in Brantford in 1951 to Betty Foster Hamilton, and George Jones, both of whom passed away before her 20th birthday.  I’m supposed to tell you she had a brother, Robert, who also passed away before her.  I’m supposed to tell you she grew up poor, and died not much richer.  I’m supposed to tell you a synopsis of her life but none of that will matter tomorrow.  

 But I can tell you what she’s leaving behind, and what will be missed.  

 Becky, my mom taught me the value of friendship.  She met her best friend, Karen,  when she had barely started public school, and they remained best friends through loves and loses, births and deaths, health and sickness.  I’m proud to say that I know my mom’s best friend well enough that I could recognize her laugh in a crowd.  I hope that I’m lucky enough to have you as my best friend not only for that long, but for my girls to know that they have someone looking out for them just as much as I am.  My mom taught me how important it was to be friends, and to keep them close like family.

  She left behind her laughter with my brother, Matthew.  Mashed potatoes behind the furniture.  Food fights.  Tripping over someone’s face.  Karate kids crossing the street, applecores and bad jokes.  The ability to see the punchline before the joke has been made.  The unique talent of laughing straight from the gut.  Her humour is in my brother and sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.

  She left me the rules on being a woman.  She showed me that it’s okay to be beautiful, smart, funny, strong and independant all at once.  She taught me that I should be proud of that, and never hide it away.  She taught me that Prince Charming might be a fairy tale, but that’s no reason I can’t be a legend.   

  Halia and Leona, your grandmother left strength behind for you.  Your grandmother had balls of steel.  

  Great.  Big.  Fucking. Shiny ones.  

  She took life obstacles head on, bashed her way through, and came out stronger on the other side.  She didn’t always aim her fight in the right direction, but she was a force to be reckoned with, nonetheless.  Life handed her a lot of shit, but she still fought on till the end.  If I ever teach you anything, I hope that I teach you to have even half the strength that woman had.

  When we have reached our final day, our whole life will only amount to the legacy we leave behind, the lessons that carry on beyond us, and the standards with which we held ourselves accountable.  

  In my last conversation with my mom, she told me to ‘be good.’  Such a simple sentiment, but one we often take for granted.  I’m sure part of my mother’s message was intended to remind me to stay out of trouble, but the greater lesson was to be a good person.  Be the person you want to be.  Be the person you wish the world to see.  Be the standard that others live up to.  

Just be good.  

Thank you.  

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A Pot to Piss in and a Bucket of Lists

Originally posted 4 years ago, I can scratch two of those items off my list.
Next two I work on is a successful blog and running a marathon.  Shouldn’t be too hard.

 

 

A Pot to Piss in and a Bucket of Lists Everyone has a bucket list (Thank you Morgan Freeman!)  I think my list is pretty simple, nothing insane on it like these things, but things that fit me, my l…

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“Suicide is Painless”

The Chicago Ambassador

A column by Michael Lopez. 

Photo by Megan Boguszko. Photo by Megan Boguszko.

Despite the lyrics to the famous song, what I know now and what I believe now is that nothing about suicide is painless. The act itself may be brief and painless, with death coming like a whisper to take you away into the unknown. However, the profound grief, despair and pain that lead one to such a desperate act of self loathing must be excruciating beyond belief. And yet, sometimes it can be so easily masked by a façade of peace and calm. As one of many who have experienced the loss of a dear friend from suicide, I can tell you I didn’t see or feel it coming. I had no intuition and no sixth sense. And it left a wake of grief, sadness and questions as you can imagine. In short, suicide is devastating and thousands of families have…

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