Thursday, October 23, 2014

Letters To Heaven: 1 year

Dear Emmitt,

It's been one year. My heart doesn't hurt any less my dear boy. Sometimes I fear it hurts more. I know many feel I should be "over this" by now. That it shouldn't hurt this bad because I didn't know you long. That somehow 50hrs of knowledge, the fact that I never held you, means I couldn't possibly love you with the fierce mamma bear passion I have for your brothers and sister. That only leads into the next thing; the guilt.

You were to be approximately 15weeks, 3days that day in the ER. At least 3 missed periods. A nagging feeling in my gut told me to test. I didn't. But you see Daddy had surgery two years prior. My blessing, logically you shouldn't have been. Yet, the feelings continued. I told myself I hit menopause, that I was just being broody. The heartburn and the cravings for chocolate covered raisings, ham subs and an insane amount of green grapes, were just my normal struggle with food. The inability to lose weight, even with the help of a trainer was because I ate too much junk.

Despite my instinct, with each month that passed, I still put off testing. I drank, I ate things with aspartame, and I ate deli meat. I cleaned the cat litter twice a day, and worked out hard. The list of all the things I never did before, I was doing then. It doesn't matter how many people tell me it wasn't my fault, or how many times, I still blame myself. It's why I can't stay mad at God. Why as hard as I want to blame the omnipotent higher being even today, nothing inside me feels even an ounce of that for Him. As for me? Me....

There are a millions reasons/excuses I didn't listen to my instincts. The bottomline is I failed you. Yes, parents fail their children all the time in one way or another. But my failure killed you. I don't know if I can ever forgive myself for that.

In the last year I've tried to heal. To deal with your passing. I cried a lot. Focused on your siblings. Threw myself into working out, work and cleaning. I even started writing you a song. Did you know I haven't written in years? I thought my poetry and songs were crap, so I threw them all out over 10yrs ago. Yours was my first attempt since. I haven't been able to finish it though. I will one day. I promise I'll sing so loud you'll hear it in Heaven.

There's a boy here. You would've been three months apart. Just like your sister and one of his sisters. I think you would have been good friends. I got to hold him a little while ago. I'll be honest, my broken heart wished I was holding you.

I went through so much anger after losing you. The thoughts that raced through my mind were so irrational. There's another angel baby in Heaven, I hope you have the chance to know her. Her mom helped me so much. I could tell her each dark thought and she helped me feel normal.

I hope you get to know all the angel babies of the women who walked with me in my grief this year.

Dear angel of mine, many may not think I'm thakful for your siblings still with me, because my mourning for you is so strong. But, I am so thankful because I imagine all their best qualities, the compassion, jokes, smiles, stubbornness, would have been all rolled up into you.

My dearest Emmitt, I know I'll meet you one day. I'll get to hold you and see if you look as I imagine. But some days, Heaven seems so far away, and dealing with your loss literally knocks me to my knees. And I'm simply not ready to deal with all that pain.

Always in my heart,


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Civic Elections: Post Election

It just happened and I'm deflated.

All the results are in. I'll be honest that while I'm on the #justnotjudy band wagon, I'm terrified Brian Bowmans "City tax" is going to cripple us. I do hope that he's going to bring business back to Winnipeg. The amount of job loss in the last two years alone is astounding. People in positions earning $50,000-$90,000 range per year are losing their jobs at an alarming rate as big companies are pulling out because it's cheaper to do business in other Provinces. There is some left, but far and few between, most of these are being replaced by McJobs. Great for teens and 20 somethings who need experience or something to get them through school, crap for people who have mortgages and families or just want to enjoy a decent lifestyle. I hope he knows what he's doing for Rapid Transit, as I'm pretty sure he has no clue which end is up, just like everyone else up to this point.

Then there is the Ward Candidates. Old Kildonan needed some serious change. When I saw Devi Sharma put in her campaign that she was going to put in a sidewalk up Donan if she got re-elected, I wanted to vomit. The last four years were all the reasons why she couldn't put a sidewalk in. She is taking us for fools. Promise what they want and they'll vote for me. Well, that's what happened. If she couldn't do it in the first four years, what makes one think she can do it in these next four? She put money into the Mynarski ward for Kildnonan Park and another ward for the Punjabi Cultural Center. She has not brought any new business to our ward. Our ward has become synonomous with a garbage dump. Many can't sell their homes because of it. Her neglect has brought property values down. But, she did get one thing right, she catered to those directly around her. That's the only way she could have beat out Donovan Martin, and Suzanne Hrynyk.

I've got four more years of this, if we choose to stay, although with property value declining I might not have a choice. I do know where her ward office is, maybe I might stage a sit in and make her keep the promise of putting in a sidewalk up Donan.

In the end, I voted. I'm glad there was such a high turnout. I hope for Old Kildonan's sake Devi doesn't continue to only do good for those directly beside her and others outside our ward.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Early Morning Mind Wanderers

I'm taken





sometimes trampled

I'm fighting



tool boxes


occassional self-talk

Floating on a river

often tired

easy to give in

give up

turn around

to drown

Yet I keep moving




depends on the time of day

Just know

 my story isn't done yet.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Early Morning Mind Wanderers

It creeps in

slithering, sliding

wrapping it's tendrils

my hair stands on end

my body chills

the presence is

strong and suffocating

it's a memory

that's nothing more than a silhouette

a black form that dominates

nights are filled with terror

my mind wants me to break free

to remember

to heal

I'm too afraid

I pull it in

push it down

I squeeze my eyes tight

I say my prayers

an anxiety filled sleep

leads to anxiety filled days

really bad times

standing over me

 calls me by my name

I answer, "yes?"

then reality slams me

I bolt upright

in a cold sweat

the cycle repeats

until it's down so far

I can breathe again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

All Is Not O.K. In Old Kildonan pt.3: Civic Election Edition

Candidate # 3 Suzanne Hrynyk

- Can be contacted by phone, email, twitter and Facebook
- She has a website
- She is a school trustee, and does not live in our ward.
- If she hasn't lived in our ward, she's already miles behind on what we want and need in order to be the vibrant area that's been hidden under four years of poor management.
- She will move into our ward once elected, and a New Democrat.
- I have put up with Selinger's horrible spending habits of my hard earned money. I don't want someone with the same mission plan representing my ward.
- She is backed by the Labour Board.
- "We're the ones who make the policy for the governement to follow" - Winnipeg Labour Council President David Sauer at the 2011 NDP Convection (from the comment section of the article) I personally cannot trust that she won't be another "yes woman" for someone else's agenda. I think we've had more than enough of that in the last four years.
- Hrynyk also appears to already have transparency and accountability issues of her own in the position she's in. I concur with the author, Dan Lett, when he writes, "Hrynyk's disregard for the principles of transparency and accountibility should certainly be taken into consideration by voters thinking about supporting her for city council. She is not only ignorant of the law but also clueless about the importance of keeping the public informed of the transactions and debates of a public body".

Old Kildonan, I have lived with you for the last five years. I am fighting your same fight. I believe the communities that make up this ward can be vibrant and beautiful if we are active and vigilant. So I'm putting my voice here. Raising up my voice, and bringing the candidates to your social media outlets. I can't, and won't tell you how to vote. But I wanted to do my best to bring the candidates into one place with easier access for comparison. The links provide you with articles so you can compare it to your own experiences, and make your own informed decisions. Please though, whatever you choose, vote. No change has ever happened from sitting passively while life rushes on by.

***Cast your vote! Make your voice heard!***
***Be your change October 22, 2014***

All Is Not O.K. In Old Kildonan pt.2: Civic Election Edition

Candidate #2 Donovan Martin

- Invites us to come shake hands with him.
- He can be contacted by phone, email, twitter and Facebook.
- When contacted, he returns the call or email/message.
- He has an extensive, and easily navigated website:
- His website tells us in detail who Donovan Martin is.
- How we can be volunteers for his campaign.
- Has a blog
- It details Old Kildonan, gives us the history, and talks about the infrastructure
- He shares his platform for all of us; Youth, Seniors, Families and Businesses
- Shares photos and video
- A section called Voter's Pledge, which not only calls us to pledge our vote before the polls, but also gives info on:
- Voter identification, voter eligibility, voting by mail, voter's notice, voting locations, how to mark the ballot, contact page, and a place to donate to his campaign
- Donovan is living in the ward.
- He is actively engaged in his community, and the ward as a whole.
- He is absolutely approachable and friendly, on and off the campaign trail
- I've had personal interactions with Donovan Martin over the last four years through mini soccer. In the last season one of my children expressed wanting to try something else, and Donovan was helpful with several options.
- In 2011 many parents complained about having to travel far out of the area for games. (Most of ours were a good 20 minute drive away) In 2012, our concerns were actively addressed and we have enjoyed the last three years playing close to home.
- He is a coach

Next up....

Candidate #3 Susan Hyrnyk

***Cast your vote! Make your voice heard!***
***Be your change October 22, 2014***

All Is Not O.K. In Old Kildonan: Civic Election Edition

If the last four years of Sam Katz and his 15 ward counsilors that make up the Winnipeg City Council have taught us anything, they've taught us that it's time for big changes in Winnipeg. While we can't change the whole city, we do have the ability to make small changes in our own ward. These small changes have a tendency to lead to bigger changes. Remember that squeaky wheel?

So let's look at our ward candidates Old Kildonan, because let's face it, our ward councilor sits on city council. We need a good ward councilor. A good ward councilor will be an active participant in our ward, not just the portion of the community he/she resides in. A good ward councilor will also listen to us and conscientiously be our voice, not just push through his/her own agenda.

Candidate #1 Devi Sharma

- She can be contacted by phone and email. No other social media interactions. That's right folks, no Facebook, twitter, or a website.
- Personal experience and community member voices on a community Facebook board have shown she doesn't respond to either emails or phone calls.
- She will show up to things if there is media.
- She takes a great photo.
- She has areas of conflict of interest. Her intern Sid Koshul worked for Devi from May 2011- Aug 2012. In June of 2012-Sept 2012 that same intern worked for Shindico. A 2-3 month overlap.
- Shindico has been involved in very publicized and scrutinized deals with Mayor Sam Katz.
- 13 months later (November 2013), Sharma is voted in as the first woman to be the Council Speaker, despite her inexperience, including never chairing a committee and only on the council for 3 years.
- Council member Orlikow let it be known publicly that council was pressured by Mayor Sam Katz to vote in Devi as Speaker, beating out the "obvious choice", a council veteran, Dan Vandal.
- While its common for ward councillors to spend some of their allotted $100,000 per year (not including money left over from previous years), Devi gave $50,000 to the Punjab Community Center, not in her ward. And yet she continues to ignore people in her ward over safety issues, and says there is no money to put in a sidewalk along Donan so that elementary school children on the south side of Murray can get to school safely. Unless she raises our taxes further, of course.
- Devi is putting an indoor splash pad at Seven Oaks Community Pool that will only be available to those willing to pay. It is also located in the area in which she immediately lives. It wasn't a need in the area, it was a want that could have waited, while very real safety issues in her ward could have been taken seriously and addressed.
- As a community member of her ward, I hear the common theme is her placation, her usual rhetoric, or complete un-involvement altogether.
- In July, Devi was one of 6 councilors opposing the effort to examine suspicions of criminal wrongoing. She sat back as Councilor Swandal wanted to "shut [this] down", referring to Havixbeck as a "this" and a "that". Reducing her to a mere object. Devi did nothing but admonish Havixbeck and made a comment about her "reading from a script". (Most people have "scripts"/notes when they are addressing a matter in which they want to ensure all points are hit) Devi allowed the blatant disrespect of a fellow woman and councilor, absolutely reprehensible. (Article and video)
- Her "frugal" spending that was touted in a 2011 article has also taken an upswing along with the vote to "boost" ward budgets. Costs have gone up (check out how much she is now spending on her SECOND ward office, that's our tax dollars hard at work), and many of us over the winter complained about decrease of proper services to our ward, i.e. proper snow removal and street sanding.
- She is seeking re-election at the very last second. Many unconfirmed rumours of reason for wanting to be re-elected. None of them positive.
- My own experiences with Devi Sharma have echoed community voices, that she is all talk and no action, unless it's on her personal agenda. She attempted to tell me that our ward needs a "strong voice" and she is it, when she approached me at the community hall meeting September 10, 2014 at the Red River Community Center. I didn't mince words when I stated her actions spoke much louder than her words. I did forget to ask her if her child was able to walk safely to and from school, as she told me her assistant would "deal with" me and walked away. I have yet heard only silence. Like my previous attempt at email contact, the crickets in the wild life preserve behind my home are louder.

Next up....

Candidate #2 Donovan Martin

***Cast your vote! Make your voice heard!***
*** October 22, 2014***

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