Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two Truths and a Lie

Saw this icebreaker game on the web and was thinking of using it over here. Talking about two truths and one lie. I like that lying is an easy thing to do. It's telling the truth that's hard. Not all truths are hard. Some are very easy and so true. Like I love my kids. I love my grandkids. People can tell stories about those truths without any measure of difficulty. Tell a truth that examines some of your darker self. No one wants to look there. But if you're going to lie, I say go to town. We lie so many times in little ways that it's not a big deal. We lie when we say our boss's stupid remarks don't bother us. We try to shrug it off or rationalize the feeling away. Even those little lies to our selves weigh heavy after a long time. That is what happened to me. Having a friend and a boss that was abusive. I lied to myself all the time that he was just having bad days, he is really a kind person. That is not the case. Even today I still lie to myself that this relationship did not do harm to me and my family.

I did a thing that I can never get over. I still try to make up for my selfish act but it is not an easy thing to do. It was when I was 19 years old. I went Wild Rice picking with my Dad and my brother-in-law.
The travel was very far by boat. We had to take a couple of boats and a lot of camping gear. At the island where we camped there were other people camping and picking rice there as well. A number of my cousins were there camping and picking rice as well. My Dad was into the drink those days. He was never sober. It was very frustrating and maddening. I couldn't take it anymore. When the bush plane (a Beaver) came in to pick up rice bags. I took the money from the rice. I took my share and gave the rest to a guy that was loading rice as well. I told him to give the money to my Dad. I got a ride with the plane back to the loading docks. I just left my Dad there. Don't know how he got back. If he got his money. How long he stayed in the bush. I never asked him or my Mom what happened. That is a regret that I have to this day. I was not a good son to my Dad in my younger years.

I sent my kids away to a residential school when they were young. The school is called Lebret.  The school no longer exists. It was in close proximity to my Uncle's Reserve in Saskatchewan. I drove six hours every weekend from Manitoba to Saskatchewan to see my kids. We used to stay in a Travel Lodge motel in Regina. There was a little pool in the hotel where the kids could swim. This one weekend these little Indian kids were swimming in the pool. My kids were there and I was sitting around reading. One little kids must have been about four. She stood close to the shallow end of the pool but kept bouncing on her feet. She went out to far and was up to her nose in the water. She could not bounce on her feet back to the pool stairs. My kids were on the other side of the pool. The older kids that this little girl was with were on the deep end. I tried to reach the little girl but she was beyond my arm reach. So I jumped in with all my clothes and sneakers. Wallet in my pocket. I pulled her to the stairs. She didn't say anything and her siblings didn't say anything either. I was the hero of the morning.

I once won seventy-two thousand dollars. It was a raffle with the Manitoba Theatre Centre. I used to live in the north end of the city. Winnipeg I paid $24,000.00 for the house. One day there was a message on the answering machine asking me to call this lady. I erased it and did not bother to call back. The lady called again and again. I never called. It was about a week when the lady finally got a hold of my wife on the phone. The lady did not want to tell my wife why she wanted to talk to me. My wife told her, might as well not wait for my husband to call back, he won't call you. The woman told my wife that I won a prize but not to tell me. Anyway when I got home that day, my wife told me the lady called. My wife said,"you should call her, she sounded kind of nice". :-D My wife convinced me to call. The lady told me I won the grand prize of the MTC draw. I didn't really believe but hoped it wasn't a joke. I went to the MTC at the date and time they told me to come. There was a representative from the MTC and the local Jaguar dealer. You see the first prize was a choice of a Jag, or a RX7 with a MPV Van, or a BMW, or cash. I took the cash. With the cash my wife bought a house in the suburbs, bought my Mom a 1992 honda civic for $15,000 and a Maytag washer and dryer for my wife's mom.

And those are my stories.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bran Muffin with Legs

I just watched this video by some Quebec students and it was great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zcOFN_VBVo I notice the students were all in good shape. There were no porkers. No eggs with legs. No bran muffins with legs. That's what women are called on the Reserves, two bums. Men are just plain fat. Some are called lard asses, but mostly just fat. Sometimes we are referred to as "juicy". A number of years ago my Dad used to give me heck about getting a belly. He would say "I was never like that at your age". "You should join a gym or something". When my Mom was around I would just tell on my Dad, to get him in trouble for hurting my feelings.

I have been thinking about my weight for a while now. Since I went into hibernation 4 years ago, I have had no exercise. I use to run when I was younger and up to 4 years ago I was pretty active. Now the inactive side of me has reached my belly. It bothers me a bit because I want to be able to see my little buddy. I look around the Reserve and it looks like I am not the only one who can use his belly as table top. If I was man that drank beer I could blame it on that. Heck I could even rest a beer on my belly if I needed to. It seems like the Reserve community is not the only one that suffers from an over weight problem. Canada and the U.S. are dealing with the heavies as well. Wonder what it is? The food?

We have to admit that lifestyles and eating habits sure have changed over the years. We have become a society of quick meals and junk food. But that is not all, we no longer have to go fetch water or chop wood. The convenience lifestyle is helping us become bran muffins with legs. Everyone wants to be thin without doing the work. This past winter I lost about 25 pounds from January to March just by changing what I eat. I quit bread and sugar. I gained all the weight back over the summer. I stayed inactive and went back to eating everything available. It's so convenient to just watch tv and have food delivered (or have your wife feed you).

It is so funny a video game was invented to try and get kids active. It is recognized that kids today play video games rather than enjoy physical activity. I refuse to buy my girl a video game. There are so many things to keep a child inactive that I don't want to add to her inactivity. I am guilty of not being a better role model for her. I hardly get out for walks anymore. My problem is not unique, seems like everyone is getting fat. It is leading to very bad health problems. I am sure the government has a handle on this problem. I am sure they are. I see advertising about 'Participation' on tv. A government initiative to remind people to be active. So I guess it's going to be okay. We will wait for the government to handle it. At least I think that's what happens?

But in the meantime, maybe I will start to walk a bit. I did two kilometers today and that's a start.

Oh, you know why they say 'two bums'? Because from a profile view they have a bum in the front and a bum in the back. A couple of years ago my sister phoned me, she was very serious. "I got to tell you something, Okay? Don't get upset, you're getting fat". Oh I just had to laugh. I imagined all sorts of things, but never thought my sister would be concerned about my fat. My wife joked about me looking like baloney (you have to imagine uncut baloney still in the skin) when I put on a t-shirt that was too tight.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Are You Peggy? The privilege of Racism

"Are you Peggy?" he asked. My wife and son looked at each other and said to the man,"what, pardon me?" Again he asked my son, "Are you Peggy?". My son still didn't know what this guy was saying. So my wife asked him, "What? Excuse me? What?". This time the man was a bit clearer when he asked my son "Are you begging?" My wife says "No! This is my son". The man said "Oh, I see a lot of people begging and I call the police on them". My wife said "Me and my son are having a conversation". He identified himself as the priest of the church. The man walked away trying to smile at my wife. She gave him her best look of scorn. You see my wife was meeting my son close to her place of work on her lunch break. My son starts work in the afternoon and wanted to speak with his mom. So they agreed to meet outside the mall. They met in front of the big Catholic Church that is beside the mall downtown Winnipeg. The gentleman that approached my son for begging is a Priest of that church. My son is brown. He was dressed as he normally dresses in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. There is a large Indian population in Winnipeg and some of them do pan-handle. My guess is the priest wants to discourage pan-handling in front of his church. He saw an Indian fellow speaking to this woman. My wife is fairer than our son. My son is tall brown Indian man. So I imagine the priest saw some Indian talking to this not so brown woman and assumed he was begging. I wonder if the fellow was fair skinned if he would have asked him if he was Peggy. My wife was pretty mad as she saw it for what it was. I laughed at her because I know priests are just people and they have their predetermined view of things just like anyone else. The priest must think he is a good citizen. It makes you wonder though about being charitable? Him calling the police on some of the poorest segments of the city?


The moral of this story? This Roman Catholic priest - a Father is one racist arsehole; a judgmental piece of crap. You see, he uses his position of privilege as both an older white man and of a priest to cast his views on others. He cloaks himself in his pious role and demeans others. His position (in his mind) gives him the authority (the audacity) to approach people on the street and give his skewed opinion of them. Now that is privilege.

Ed & Suz 

If you were approached with your child and someone accused him of being a beggar to you, how would you feel? How would you react and what would it tell you about the person saying this to you?



Lastly, I was commenting to my wife about how big my belly is. It is getting so big that I have belly flap. You know, the part of the belly that flaps over itself. My wife said her belly was big too. I said but you don't have belly flap ... yet!. I don't think that was the correct answer.


Just want to share a song with you, it's by Van Morrison and it's called these are the days... just beautiful hope you enjoy
Van Morrison these are the days>

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What makes you Happy?


Joshua Wolf Shenk has written an article entitled "What makes us happy". http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200906/happiness He is reviewing the Harvard Study of Adult Development. Following Harvard men since 1937 and watching their lives. These were to be a study of 'normal' men. The Grant Study... "central question is not how much or how little trouble these men met, but rather precisely how—and to what effect—they responded to that trouble." There is a great story in the article which leads the researcher, George Vaillant's to look at how people adapt. "...a father who on Christmas Eve puts into one son’s stocking a fine gold watch, and into another son’s, a pile of horse manure. The next morning, the first boy comes to his father and says glumly, “Dad, I just don’t know what I’ll do with this watch. It’s so fragile. It could break.” The other boy runs to him and says, “Daddy! Daddy! Santa left me a pony, if only I can just find it!” You have to love that. Is that the key to happiness? In the end Shenk's article does not give us a the magic template for what makes us happy. I wonder what does make us happy? I am sure that each person has their own definition of happiness. The other thing does happiness have to be a constant state or is it only necessary or possible for brief instances? Happiness in small doses and at certain times.

A good joke or a bad pun will bring some happiness, if only for a brief moment. My friend and I were laughing yesterday about old Bobby (or was it Frankie)and their moment in the Reserve spotlight. Bobby was complaining about people talking about him. I guess rumours were that he and his wife were having problems. He said "I hear there are allegations being made about me! And I want to know who the alligator is!". Wait, that is not as bad as this Maori fellow who was describing an accident to his cousins;"two cars were coming at each other and then there was a head on conclusion". It may not be Seinfeld but it makes for a split second of happiness.

Funny thing about being happy, for some reason we have this need to sabotage it. I always say don't get to happy because something will happen that will make you fall and fall hard. Bang, that little sentiment slams the brakes on being happy. The fear that if you get happy because it's too good to be true. The worry about jinxing your good fortune by saying how good things are out loud. Always waiting for something bad to come along. The proverbial calm before the storm. When something happens that actually challenges our happiness, it is how we defend against it that will affect our long term happiness. I don't know much but experiences do add to our character; how we behave and what we become.

I have friends that are not making big coin and live hand to mouth, but on the surface all is fine. You couldn't find happier people. That is something because much stress in life is due to financial worries. Money doesn't buy happiness but lack of money sure piles on the stress, at least for some people. I am like most people thinking of who I would buy things for, but at the end of the day, my happiness is not linked to cash. Rather it is part experience, part attitude and a bit of luck.

With the Grant Study they are starting to show that wealth (or at least normal wealth) does not mean you are going to end up happy.

Have a good day folks from the "Health and Happiness Show".

Monday, September 14, 2009

Are dreams just dreams or do they actually mean something?

Prior to my Mom passing away and my Son taking his own life. My son had a dream that he shared with my Mom and Dad. He saw this Eagle flying in the sky. The Eagle fell to the ground. My Son went to the bird. He found it was very big, as big as him, but now the bird was no longer an Eagle but an Owl. He went over and kicked the Owl and it opened up, broke open. There was a smaller Owl in the big Owl. My Mom and Dad were kind of surprised by the dream but they didn't interpret the dream. My Mom just told Donovan that he had a powerful dream. For me I knew that the dream was a message. My Mom and Dad always said the Owl brought messages. Mainly a message that someone is going to die. My deceased uncle Allan was so terrified of Owls. He would want to shoot them if they came around the houses.

It is said that people can twist things to suit their needs. Like interpreting a dream after the fact. Like this dream means that My Son was told that my Mom was going to die and that he would follow. The two Owls symbolized death and there would a bigger or older person and a younger person, related to each other. That is why the smaller one was inside the bigger one. For some people it just a dream and that symbols could mean different things to different people. So it's not relevant. I am not sure if I really believe that dreams are not meaningful. I had a dream similar to my Sons. In this dream there were a number of Eagles standing around. The Eagles were as tall as people. I was with my Son. I had to run through Eagles to get something on the other side of them. My Son was to do the same, but he couldn't do it. I was suppose to let him do it, but I didn't, I tried to do it for him. He didn't complete his task. My Son is gone and he couldn't get away from his sadness and the demon. For me the dream has unanswered questions. Just like unanswered questions for his decision.

I remember when we were having the Wake for my Boy. A friend of mine (although we have been close for a few years), he came and told me he had a dream about my Boy. He said my Boy was suffering in a dark place and the devil was there. He told me he was going to go dream and to get my Boy from that place. My friend told me there were lots of people in there suffering. Lot of women were crying and suffering in that place. He said a lot of them were murdered and were some of the ladies that lived the street life. The Pinkerton trial was not on yet, but he had been arrested for murdering women. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pickton My friend said that some of these women were there. He told me the next day that the Creator had allowed him to bring back two people from that darkness. He wanted to bring more but he couldn't. One of the people brought back was my Boy and the other was my nephew, who had also taken his own life at 18 years old.

I am not sure what to think about that but if it is real to him, my friend, than it is something I will not question. He is a Healer and a Traditional Teacher. I was a helper for him in Ceremonies and I know that he does have Gifts. But with my Son though I do not want to think of him in as suffering. He suffered enough. My Mom was a Roman Catholic and she believed in Heaven. She used to say that there has to be a Heaven. Indians suffered enough here on Earth that there must be something for them to go to. As for the old dogma of people who take their own life and going to Hell, well let's just say that is sick to think like that. Who in the heck makes up these things?

I dream ever night and my dreams are very vivid. I read that it may because of the anti-depressants I take, but I can't be sure. There was a book I once saw and the title was 10,000 dreams interpreted. I guess anyone can interpret a dream but it doesn't necessarily mean it is true. ;-)I once heard that people dream in black and white but I don't believe that.
http://www.dreammoods.com/reference/faq.htm#blacknwhite

Sweet dreams ( I bet you saw that coming)

Oh I forgot to say about my friend the Traditional Healer, he is a porn buff. Loves the stuff. :-0

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who really "gets" you?

My wife says to me the other day, "we are really different people". My wife was referring to me writing a blog. She is very friendly, outgoing, makes friends easily but likes to maintain a private existence. She doesn't easily share about her issues or problems with others. She has friends she confides in but as a general rule doesn't volunteer information to strangers or acquaintances. Me, I talk about anything to anyone. Of course there are some boundaries I don't go beyond, but I still surprise myself at what will come out of my mouth. Like telling people about your planter wart that has been nagging you for years and then going on to show them what it looks like.

That's the trick isn't it? Embrace the differences and the similarities you share with each other. For me and my wife it's our differences and the same attitudes that bind us. We are the the type of people who have let others stay with us. Opened our home to visitors and friends. Hold feasts and bar-be-ques to share food and friendship with others. Held Give-away ceremonies to share with others. My wife dutifully donates blood while I cringe at the sight of needles. I once had blood test done at the hospital and I fainted. Not once but twice. When I came around from fainting the first time, the technician said "you went all white and fainted", at this time I looked at the blood vial and fainted again. The nurse put me in a bed. That's not my wife, she is a stone heart. Strange thing though, even with this fear of pain, I still went out and got a tattoo. I fainted.

I was raised with the fear of Devil's reach and to make sure I completed my Easter Duties (but have embraced Native Traditional Teachings) while my wife was raised with out the fear of Religious dogma. She laughs teasingly at some of my eccentricity and calls me a closet holy roller. I tell her things like don't let anyone touch you in your special spot (the place behind the lower neck, where people can put medicine on you). I just happen to be telling her to not let anyone touch her special spot as we were walking into the mall. I forgot to use my inside voice.

My wife get's that about me, I don't know how to use my inside voice. For the average person this could be embarrassing. My wife get's me and has accepted my little misses. However she still says "Sir! I don't know you", when I accidentally fart in public.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The things we hang on our car mirrors




I am a very noisy person. I am that guy that when I walk around a neighbourhood, I look at the open windows to see what colour the walls are painted, what hangs on the walls and what the furniture looks like. No, I don't go peek in the windows. The same thing goes for when I am driving around. I will look in your car. I will look at you and I will look to see what hangs on your mirror.

I think the thing hanging on your mirror is significant. It is magically, personal, a totem, a momento, an air freshner, and finally nothing. The thing in your mirror says a lot about you. Even the absence of the thing says something as well. You would think that someone who has nothing on their mirror would be bland, unimaginative, more selfish, uninterested and anal. I think that is not the case. I think they may view things differently. The car may not be an extension of their home, their life and the car is just a tool to be used. My Dad has no hangy thing on his mirror. It does not mean he has no personality or is devoid of interests. He's old.

I have had a number of different items hanging on the mirror. I miss the ones that have gone missing or I have given away. You get this hangy thing from different sources. It could be a bracelet your kid made or a necklace of your loved one. I see many little colours of people's country. That must be in their heart or a source of pride. I see the Rosary in cars. I see symbols of prayer flags from China. Saint Christopher used to ride in my car and my Mom's car all the time.

What hangs in my mirror is a small stone turtle given to me by Mom. I left it on my Boy's headstone for a long time. I also have a small Eagle feather given to me by an Elder when I was going through a very difficult time. There is a small medicine bundle on the mirror that I made for us. I put medicine in there that I felt would be good for us. I am not a Medicine person and have no knowledge of Medicine but I did what I felt was right. Just like my own personal bundle is what I think is right for me.

I remember this guy I know was talking about dream catchers, Sweet Grass that people hang on their mirrors. He said that his wife is Indian and she needs no reminders that she is Indian, she sees one every time she looks in the mirror. I thought about that and thought, holee. A real negative way to look at the mirror thingy. But good for her that she is very confident and strong in her heritage. I know growing up, many people would want to be anything but Indian.

The mirror thing is a representation of a part of you. It could also just be a mirror hanging. Not meant to signify anything. But I hope it is more than that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

law of attraction or we are what we profess

Oh boy do I ever have a headache. It's a bugger to be in a slump. Especially for years. You have those up moments. They even last a couple of weeks, but the down moments come on as well. Get up off your arse and just do it. Turn that frown upside down. Ah, those good sentiments and sayings that are meant to encourage us. I like that idea.

I was gassing my car up in the neighbouring Reserve and the lady at the counter asked me how I was doing. I sad poor as heck. She replied you are what you say. It was a joke and she was smiling. Adjust your attitude is the message. So I don't say I'm poor as heck any more.

Attitude adjustment is the key. We can get some help in that area with tools like 'The Secret'. http://www.thesecret.tv/ or films like 'what the bleep do we know' http://www.whatthebleep.com/. These are not really new ideas. The notion that we can change our luck is as old as the saying "God helps those who help themselves". We are so familiar with adjusting attitudes we even spoof the notion. You remember Stuart Smalley; "cause I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!" Attitude adjustment is a good idea and perhaps there is a lot of merit to it.

It's work I think. I think it's work to stay happy and positive. If it's work to stay positive and happy, is it as much work to stay negative and sad? If that is the case it should be a no brainer that we chose to stay positive.

I say with all sincerity that I could muster from my basement (sitting in the dark) have a great day and a great week. Turn that smile upside down. :-) :-(

Friday, September 4, 2009

Billy Crystal wants to turn his house into a casino and live tax free

I enjoy watching David Letterman. I know he was not as popular as Jay Leno, but I like his show more because he didn't suck up to people like Jay did. If there is a guest on the show I don't really find interesting I switch it off. Tonight Billy Crystal was the guest of Dave. I feel that Crystal had his day and is now stale as last weeks bread. Billy Crystal came on complaining about his summer and went on to explain his house repair problems. With his sthick, he made fun of Black people and Indians. He made some bad impressions of old south Black people ( hey boss the eatin's is good! bad boolo, bad boolo, no go boss) and made a joke about Indian casinos and living tax free. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPJzrxObL7Q

I am not overly sensitive but I am being educated on racism and how subtle it can be. How we can have gestures, images, sounds, that could be racist based. I like funny. I just didn't think he was funny. Maybe I am over-reacting to Crystal and I need to lighten up. Maybe his impression was not of old south Blacks or African Blacks. And the Indian thing, maybe everyone wants there to be a Indian burial ground on their land so they can have a casino and live tax free.

I guess I object to the tax free misnomer because Indians have paid taxes inpertuity by way of the deals they made with the government. In exchange the people get to enjoy the fruits of the land and all that comes with that.

Anywaaaaaaay, not trying to be a kill joy. Now if Jessica Biel was making those remarks I would have been saying hoohooeeeeee. :-0

Cheers until next time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I love Pauline Greenhill - and others

How is it we can say we love someone? Someone we really don't know? You see that in concerts and other functions. The artist at a music show will yell out to the audience, "I love You!" Is love used so much that it has become a cheap word. One that is so thrown around to anyone that it means so little.

Do you remember that first time you told someone you loved them? What kind of love was it? The love you feel toward your parents, your siblings, your girlfriend, boyfriend? Was it to a good good friend. Someone who you felt that there can be no better friend in the world? I can remember the first time ever that I told my Mom I loved her. It was in the moment of an emotional, physical and spiritual event. I had just finished piercing at a Sundance Ceremony and my Mom was in the circle watching. I hugged her and told her I loved her. Only twice have I ever told my Mom I loved her. The second time was when she lay in the hospital bed, 3 days before she passed on from cancer.

The reason this is something that I remember is because we never ever said we loved you to anyone in our family. Never mind hug or shake hands. It seems almost obscene or perverse to touch your family. I remember about 10 years ago, my Dad started to shake our hands at New Years. This was the first time I ever saw this gesture from my Dad. Dad is 78 years old now. Both my parents grew up in the residential school system, that was run by Catholic nuns and priests. Me, my brothers and sisters all went to school there as well. I am not sure why we didn't touch, hug or tell each we cared or loved one another. It's not like we're cold fish, as a matter of fact we are all very emotional people.

I remember when I first went with my wife to her Mom's house. Her Mom hugged her and kissed her. What the heck was up with that? I saw that on television but really didn't think people actually did that. Families I mean. I know you hugged strangers and shook hands with strangers and acquaintances all the time. Going to A.A. meetings or Talking Circles you hugged and shook hands with people all the time. I know it's weird we can show closeness to people who mean little to us, but our closest family members we are afraid to utter the three little words. I am very fond of my wife's family. They are some of the best people I have ever met. I don't feel comfortable hugging them either. I guess intimacy is the key. Not intimacy in the bedroom meaning, but intimacy like you know them when they cry, laugh, are happy, are sad, are grieving and are just living. It's that intimacy that makes hugging inappropriate for me.

I try to make sure my kids know that I love them. I don't say it enough but I try to make it evident in how I treat them. I guess that was what worked for my parents. But I want my kids to hear it. It was strange to say it out loud to my kids, but I do it. I still have apprehension so I say "You love your Dad?" to the kids. This way it gets them to say it, and it's like I'm talking about a third person. I tell my wife I love her. When I tell my wife I love her, I use the word in many different ways. Many times she is my hero and my conscience. So I love her in that manner. Other times she is my best friend and other times my wife and the Mom of my baby.

Now getting to Pauline. Yes I do love Pauline. Not in the most intimate way, or even in a meaningful way, but in the way that I am in her debt and I am grateful that I got to meet her. She was very important to me with my education. She is a Professor and she was kind to me when I was in school. So I love her in that way, she was kind to me :-). She is one of those people, a Woman that you will remember always. She is funny smart and not very snobby (for a Professor) in the world of academia. So I love you Professor (That's Professor Greenhill, and not Ms as I had first called her).  Love is such a complicated word that it means so much and can mean so little.But hey coming from a guy that didn't hear that as a kid, its cool and groovy thing to say. 

A story from home: Swimming was part of our lives every summer. When we were kids we swam in the ditch. When we learned to actually swim we swam at the point on the river. When we could drive we went to the beach. My brother-in-law Smiley and I took kids to the beach. One of his nieces was out in the water about waste level. She was about 5 years old. We took lots of kids from our families to swim. Smiley and I were talking and watching this little kid. She kept getting out of the water and kept diving back in. I was thinking "holy, that kid sure can swim". Smiley later told me he was thinking along those lines as well. I think it was my daughter that yelled at me that the little girl was drowning. I guess she was trying to gain her balance and kept falling forward. We didn't tell her Mom that we almost let her baby drown, until years, lots of years, later.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gone in a minute, how fragile life is

On the weekend this 17 year old boy was killed up in Nelson House Reserve. This boy was not a gang member and he didn't like violence. He stood up against violence in the way he knew how. He participated in the Canadian Cancer Society fund raising runs. He was once featured in a newspaper story for his stand against being bullied. He also participated in a community running group that was dedicated against violence. I never knew this boy. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/violent-gangs-infest-slain-teens-reserve-56535047.html

His story is one that reminds us that there are horrors in life. But what are we to do? Wait for something to happen? Brace for the inevitable? I don't know. Today at the park I took my two year old granddaughter. There is a play structure there. She fell over six feet onto her head and face. I was too slow and not watching as closely as I should. I took it for granted that nothing would happen. I saw her smash her head on the ground. I was freaked out, scared, angry, sad and sort of shocked. I picked her up and held onto her. She was shocked. Too shocked to cry. I brought her home right away. She didn't seem hurt. I had awful thoughts all the way home and still feel uncomfortable. I feel overwhelmed by the idea that she could have been seriously hurt.

Freak accidents, disease, violence is something that we hope never falls onto our loved ones. But as we see in life there are no guarantees. I guess the only thing we can do is try to keep the odds in our favour. We make sure to have our kids in the car seat. We make sure to feed them nourishing food. We keep them in school and in sports. We try to be role models for them. All the while hoping it doesn't happen to us. After all it is suppose to happen to someone else.

With Reserve life and inner city life, it's hard to put the odds in your favour. That boy was trying, but even then...no guarantees.

And then something happens like this:

"A child is in hospital in guarded condition after apparently being assaulted and left near a Winnipeg playground.

The Winnipeg Police Service's child abuse unit is investigating and a female has been taken into custody for questioning.

According to police, officers were called to the corner of Tyndall Avenue and Chudley Street, next to Shaughnessy Park, at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police released little information about the incident, other than to say the victim is believed to be younger than two years old.

Tyler Bilsborrow spoke to CBC News after providing police with information as a witness. He was having a cigarette outside his home on Chudley Street when he heard screams and went to look. He saw a woman he described as in her 20s slamming something against the sidewalk.

In the dark, Bilsborrow thought the small thing being beaten was a cat. When he approached the woman, she dropped the child and ran off.

'You couldn't really tell [the child's gender] because there was so much blood.'—Tyler Bilsborrow"

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2009/09/01/mb-child-assault-winnipeg.html#socialcomments