Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

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Weekly column: History needs to be written and learned the way it happened

Originally published as a column in the Armchair Mayor News on June 15, 2021.

The forest has stories to tell you if you happen to visit every now and then. As of late, the stories are sad, but that makes listening that much more important.

We took our youngest on a daytrip to Wells Grey Park this past weekend. On our way out of town we drove in silence past the crosses for the 215 children whose unmarked graves have been recently discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. There is deep sadness in each piece of clothing hanging by the side of the road, fluttering in the wind, and reminding us forever of all the lives that were violently taken away.

Weekly column: When hope, help and gratefulness count as stepping stones

Originally published as a column by Armchair Mayor News, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

On July 26, Jessie Simpson will turn 24. That’s also the day when his mom hopes to have him at home for a few days, so he can enjoy the place he has not been able to see but in memory, fragmented as it is, due to the horrendous attack Jessie suffered in 2016 on the night of his graduation party.

Presently he is in the hospital, fighting his way out of a kidney infection that has him in pain and nauseous. Just a few weeks ago, he had yet another seizure which his mom witnessed.

Weekly column: It’s not all doom and gloom as long as we make better choices

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair mayor news on Monday, April 5, 2021.

I am not much for viral news but every now and then I wish some stories I come across get shared far and wide because of how significant they are. The one I came across on social media a couple of days ago was COVID-19 related and as much as I wanted to distance myself from it all during the long weekend, this one got my attention (along with the high numbers of new cases in our own province.)

A doctor from Ontario took to Twitter to share a story (with permission from the family) of a woman who died because of her husband contracting a COVID variant at work while not being adequately protected. Not by his own will, mind you. The disease unfolded quickly and deadly, said Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of clinical care at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto.

Weekly column (from two weeks ago): Killing is not the solution for managing wildlife

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on March 22, 2021.

Do you remember the first couple of months into the pandemic when social media was inundated with images of wild critters strolling through cities and other areas usually frequented by humans that were suddenly empty due to people staying home? Photoshop tricks notwithstanding, we were indeed witnessing a different level of interaction with mother nature and its wild children, albeit from a far.

Nature, it is safe to say, has since become the ultimate and absolute saviour of humanity as the COVID-19 crisis progressed to envelop us into a grip that has yet to lessen. We cannot travel the way we used to, but people took to nearby trails and when and where allowed, they went camping.

Weekly column: Becoming old does does mean that we become disposable

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on February 8, 2021.

Some of my dearest early childhood memories have to do with my maternal grandparents who lived in a separate suite in the home I grew up in. My grandmother passed away when I was six and my grandfather three years later. I missed them terribly since.  

There were other multigenerational families living in the neighbourhood, and some of the older residents were empty-nesters, but in my mind, they are all ‘grandparents’ and an integral part of the proverbial village raising the children.

Weekly column: No matter the breed, dog attacks are inexcusable

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on July 7th.

The deadly dog attack that happened in Brocklehurst last week was by far the most commented-on news story in a long time. A witness said the victim had a seizure, which allegedly triggered an attack from the dog, resulting in the man’s death.

Never mind the breed debate, it was disconcerting to see too many people feeling sorry for the dog before they expressed the same for the human that was killed. Some were wondering whether the man did something to provoke the dog.

Weekly column: Being kind is always the better option

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday April 13, 2020.

Many years ago, I found this piece of driftwood – a plank just wide enough and long enough to write a short something on,  and that something was one of my favourite quotes by Dalai Lama and a principle I try to live by, ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ We have moved that piece of driftwood from one home to another and during many kids’ squabble I pointed to it as a reminder that kindness can be done, anytime, anywhere. A reminder for all, young and old, that is.

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