Lost in the Story


Lost in the story

Of people long ago

In a century that’s past,

And the hardships they knew

Characters come to life

and seem so real

Yet, I know, it’s only history

Stuck in the past

not in a negative way

Just walking in their footsteps

Our ancestors, dear

those who came before us

And paved the way

I treasure their lessons

And freedoms, hard won

I’m lost in the story,

And the story’s not done

I will keep all their lessons

And pass them along

Wisdom and courage

And faith ever strong

I’m lost in the story

Allow me to linger

I’m lost in the story

And here I will stay

All of this


All of this I commit to you

This fumbling, bumbling human error

Ah, but is it a mistake?

A flaw in the grand design,

Wires crossed and misshapen

Tangled beyond repair?

Yet here I stand before you

Covered in my scars

Blemishes abound

All of this, I commit to you

And you gently take in hand

All of life beneath

the swollen stars

That tumble through the night

And separate the strands

Upon the weary lands

Sick and poor

Wearied to the bone

You lift us to your heart

And gently breathe new life

Into what was thought

forever gone

Mercy rides again

upon its fiercest steed

Filling and completing

Replenishing each need

In fits and starts

to begin anew;

Wounds healed, bodies strengthened

And all of this I commit to you

All of this

The Tyranny of Positivity


Negative Nellies – that’s the term people use to describe those embroiled in negative emotion. But is that fair? Are we judging people before we know what life is like for them? For example, my husband is very sick. Lately he has been battling a cough that makes it next to impossible for him to sleep at night, and consequently, me as well. He has a slew of health issues and is on several medications, which makes taking something for the cough problematic. Medications can interact with one another to make a bad situation even worse. It’s hard not to be negative when you’re sick and not getting the rest you need to recuperate.

And for me, lack of sleep combined with worry has made battling my negative demons even more of a challenge. Sometimes the societal demands to be positive when just putting one foot in front of another seems like a herculean task. Speaking for myself, it feels cruel. I am tired! So, can we cut one another a break? We don’t know what is going on in the lives of others. Can we set aside the judge’s robes and the demand for positivity?

Yes, positive emotions are easier to live with and a positive attitude is preferable to a negative one. Yet, we are all only human. Sometimes life is hard. Placing demands on people to be positive when we don’t know their situation or what issues they may be struggling with, is, frankly, inhumane in my view. Kindness and compassion will go a lot further to help people become more positive than the judgment and labeling of them as ‘negative nellies’.

Let’s be a little more gentle with ourselves, and with one another.

Why I believe in human rights


Several years ago, I was studying journalism and as part of the program we students were tasked with creating and writing a blog – of which this is a continuation. I had decided to make the nucleus of my blog human rights. My instructor wanted to know why I chose that as the key reference point for my blog.

Now, I have never traveled outside of Canada. The knowledge I have gleaned about human rights and the abuse of same has totally come from books and newspaper stories and from people I have met. I grew up in rural Newfoundland, on Canada’s east coast, not a locale well known for human rights activity. However, I was also raised Roman Catholic and the emphasis on brotherly, sisterly love and the ‘golden rule’ was often preached at the school I attended as a child. Added to that was my mother’s faith and belief in the equality of people everywhere – regardless of skin color, religion, or nationality. I took these messages to heart.

When I was eleven years old the family moved to Ontario. I experienced “culture shock”, if you can call it that. I was horribly homesick. I missed my classmates, the sisters who taught me at my old school, and the ocean that cradled our island home and the trees that surrounded it. Added to these challenges was the horrid bullying that made going to school a miserable experience for me. Yet, I am thankful for it because I learned what it feels like to be judged on where you’re from and to be stigmatized and labeled. It made me passionate about speaking out for others who may be experiencing unjust behaviors based on the color of their skin, religious belief, or their nationality.

I also remember watching the television commercials that showed images of starving children and the abject poverty so many were living in, when I was just a child myself. It ripped my heart to pieces to think of children living in squalor and hunger.

I believe passionately in human rights; in the just distribution of wealth; that every person deserves dignity; that we are indeed sisters and brothers of millions of different mothers and fathers, but one human family nonetheless.

I am grateful to live in Fort McMurray, a city populated by peoples from all over the world. I may not have it in my power to change the world. But I hope I do all I can to make my little corner of the world a happier, better place for my neighbours, family, and friends. For “there, but for the grace of God, go I’.

Lessons in the Deluge


“Out of massive suffering emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Khalil Gibran

When I was a little girl we lived in rural Newfoundland. In the back of the field beautiful sunflowers grew tall and I loved them. So, this spring I decided to plant sunflowers of two different heights in the corner of the back yard. The seed packets read that some will grow to be as tall as 3.5 metres (approximately 9 feet) and the others would grow about 2 feet tall. I had this vision of how the flowers would look with the high board fence behind them as I planted them. Unfortunately, mother nature delivered a punishing rain on the weekend and the deluge caused flooding in parts of town. In my garden some of my sunflowers took a beating and are now bent over as if the weight of the rain was too much to bear. I spent the past hour propping them up and tying them off with fishing line in an effort to support them.

I cannot help but think how people are like that. Some people grow stronger when tested by life. Others need supports until they can gain their feet and their strength. We are, each of us, individuals. Some of us are much more resilient than others. I hope that there are helpers for those that need it. I hope that whether we are the ones reaching out, or the ones offering assistance, that we each find the strength we need, whatever life may dole out.

“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” – Ernest Hemingway