Twenty six years ago today we stood before our family and friends and made a lifelong promise to one another. It was a promise to become partners and to love each other unconditionally, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.
It was a promise of friendship, a promise of commitment, a promise of forgiveness, a promise of kindness, a promise of laughter, a promise of honesty, a promise of trust and a promise of patience.
We may have weathered many storms since then and we may have tested many of those promises too but still, twenty six years later there is no one else in the world I would rather weather any storm with than with you.
Thank you for keeping your promise to me; especially during the storms.
I love you to the moon and back, forever and a day!
My heart is overflowing tonight. There are no words to describe how I am feeling right now.
This is Jacob’s latest tattoo that he got yesterday. The picture was originally taken while on a family vacation in Washington D.C nine years ago during the week of his 13th birthday (but he swapped out the Washington Monument for the C.N Tower).
Thank you for this incredibly meaningful and very moving gesture. You are always so full of surprises. 🤗🥰
Last night I watched “The View” from earlier that day (yes I tape The View every day and once I even got to sit in their VIP seats for a live taping many moons ago!!!!). The ladies were discussing the tragedy that unfolded in Philadelphia earlier this week when Police Officers were called to the home of Walter Wallace Jr., a young black man who was in the midst of a mental health crisis. For those who don’t know, he was shot (many, many times) and killed by Police Officers because he was wielding a knife (not a gun!) and had ignored their pleas to drop it even after his mother was heard hysterically begging them to help him. This is yet another story of unjust in America today especially amongst the Black community but sadly the Police in many parts of America don’t have the necessary tools or training when it comes to deescalating a mental health crisis. Family members of this young man had called 911 to request an ambulance and medical assistance but instead the Police showed up with their guns drawn and ready for battle. As the ladies further discussed the tragedy itself and the imminent need for proper tools and training in police departments across America they then continued to support their cause by stating facts on how many other countries are so much better equipped to deal with these types of mental health crisises and how they have also taken the important steps forward to deescalate similar situations in a more humane way. I was most proud when Joy Behar gave a particular shout out to Toronto for having these tools and training in place. I have found myself in situations where 911 has needed to be called during a mental health crisis. And yes, I may not be black or living in America or have ever been in a state of psychosis or armed with a weapon for that matter to fully compare the two situations but when 911 is called during a mental health crisis here in Toronto (and its surrounding areas) I can tell you first hand that an ambulance will arrive on the scene and that a police officer will always be accompanied by a trained mental health professional. This very tragic outcome was also very preventable and should never have happened. Apparently since this tragedy just days ago, Police Officers in Philadelphia are now required to carry a taser with them (which they didn’t have on them at the time due to there being a shortage) when responding to mental health calls which could have made a difference between the life and death for this young man who deserved to live and get the proper help he needed, the help his family stood by begging for as they watched him be shot again and again and AGAIN. He was not a CRIMINAL, he was SICK and it’s time for America to take a page out of Toronto’s Playbook. #makesmeverysad #mentalillnessisnotacrime #mentalhealth #mentalillness #itsoktonotbeok #youareenough #proudtobecanadian @theviewabc
Over the last several weeks there has been a growing concern in our neighborhood due to a coyote who was becoming more and more aggressive with its prey. They had to close the local parks this week because several humans and pets alike had been attacked and Rich began carrying a stick with him while walking Maggie in the evenings and early mornings after he and Rachel and Maggie were chased home right to our front doorstep by that same coyote one evening last week.
The wildlife service officers have been camped out all week on the perimeter of the park near us waiting for the coyote to make its next move. They told us that people have been leaving their food waste by the forest where the coyote roams freely enticing him to keep coming back for more.
They also told us the other day that by law they are only allowed to move the coyote 1 km away from its home and that would only mean he would just keep coming back.
Well tonight we were just informed that they have “humanely euthanized” the coyote as it was the only option for the safety of the community at large. I find myself both saddened and relieved with the news.
We have invaded his space by building a community around his home and I don’t believe he deserved such a cruel ending to his life as moving him to a safer place away from communities where he could be free to roam and hunt safely would have been a much more humane option.
I feel like a teenage girl sometimes who is overcome with emotion and a genuine devotion to a Pop Sensation. To many, it may seem odd that I would be obsessing over a Teen Heartthrob the way I do, but there is some unexplainable connection I have to Justin Bieber.
Maybe it started off as a way to connect with my girls who began obsessing over him well before they were teenagers themselves or maybe it’s because of his Canadian roots and that he grew up just an hour and a half away from me in Stratford, Ontario and still comes home VERY regularly to visit with his dad, Step Mom and siblings or maybe it’s his adoration for the Toronto Maple Leafs, cheering them on and attending as many home games as he possibly could as though he was just some “regular” ten year old boy idolizing their favourite Hockey team, or maybe it’s his “bad boy” persona that I like lol.
Perhaps though, the more probable explanation would be because that once 16 year old “bad boy” who literally rose to stardom overnight is now a happily married 26 year old young man who has so bravely allowed the world to see a very relatable, imperfect and vulnerable side to his life’s journey. Over the past couple of years he has let the world know that he is only human and that he struggles with his mental health and loneliness just like millions of his adoring fans.
His new song titled “Lonely” is a perfect anthem for so many of his very impressionable young (and old) fans. The song is an emotional ballad that reflects on the obstacles he faced as he rose to stardom, especially his feelings of isolation and loneliness and how difficult it was for him to find the kind of emotional support he so desperately needed at the time which soon led to his “bad boy” persona and an eventual diagnosis of Depression.
We all feel lonely sometimes, even when you are famous and have millions of dollars in your bank account and just like the Biebs, we all crave genuine human connection and want so much to feel understood and cared for. So I just wanted to say a special thank you to you Justin for not only your music and talent but for sharing your voice with the world and most of all for letting us know that our feelings are valid no matter who we are.
And P.S. Next time you’re in town, call me, we’ll do lunch!
Today, October 10th, 2020 is World Mental Health Day. For over 7+ months now our entire world has been met with the most unimaginable challenges and tragic losses and moving forward, probably for many years to come, there is going to be an even greater substantial need to have more and more Psychological and Mental Health supports put in place that are more readily and easily accessible to everyone.
So this year’s goal for World Mental Health Day comes as no big surprise as they turn their focus to ensuring that there is a sizeable investment made in Mental Health programs, Research and Education both on a National and International level which as many of us know firsthand is dangerously underfunded.
But just this past week, right here in Toronto I felt that first glimmer of hope unfolding toward that goal as CAMH (Center For Addictions and Mental Health), together with many community leaders (including the Premier of Ontario) unveiled their two, brand new State of the Art buildings at this historic landmark.
They will be opening to the public next month and it will include 235 inpatient beds and 600,000 square feet of safe space to allow for healing and recovery.
BRAVO to everyone involved for taking this critical step forward in creating this incredible safe and inclusive space for our community and beyond.
I myself have personally benefitted from many of their world renowned community outreach programs and resources and I am hopeful that this redevelopment will help benefit many others in the near future too.
Yesterday I posted a picture of the 500 stairs I was about to climb up along the Bruce Trail (Canada’s oldest and longest footpath; 890 km to be exact) and part of the Niagara Escarpment. I didn’t realize when I took the picture and posted it that the graffiti on the signage next to the steps was Anti-Semitic as I was too busy at the moment trying to figure out how I was about to get to the top of the steps without collapsing or having a panic attack from the height. My beautiful cousin Susan first noticed it a short time after I posted it and let me know. Thank you❤!
First thing this morning Rich emailed the picture to a couple of organizations within the Jewish community informing them of the hate speech and within an hour of receiving his email, the Hamilton Jewish Federation (which is where this trail is) got back to Rich to let him know that the local police were already contacted and will be taking the necessary action immediately. (Read email attached)
There should absolutely never be any excuse or tolerance for hate or racism of any kind; never ever!
About a month prior to the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic I had registered my family to participate in a Walk for CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) in support of #MOBYSSinmotion; a confidential mobile Walk-in-Clinic for Youth and a wonderful resource for our young people who may be facing crisis right now.
CMHA has played an important role in my life over the last 6 years and I had donated some proceeds from my book sales last year as a thank you for the services they provide to both adults and youth in Canada which was why I wanted to participate in the event and why I didn’t want today to go unnoticed so I found a picture perfect place for us to enjoy a beautiful hike on our own in honour of the walk/run/bike event since it was of course cancelled.
Oh and I should also mention that it was 5 months ago today since I had my last cigarette!
On our way home from delivering some lawn signs this afternoon throughout the Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Milton and Burlington area Rich and I happened upon a Trail that we probably would have otherwise never knew existed.
We decided to park our car and go explore the trail for a bit and try to enjoy some of the sunshine and warmth of the beautiful spring day (finally!).
Something (or maybe someone) pulled us to the direction of this Trail today because while walking down the path we came upon this note (see pics) that was left purposefully on the ground next to some painted rocks. I bent down and read the note (don’t worry I didn’t touch it!) and then snapped a picture of it to hold on to because some “lovely stranger” left me a message today of hope and kindness and now I want to pass it along to you. XOXO