P.S. Please monitor what your kids are saying on Social Media. The signs of troubled kids are ALWAYS there. We just have to see them, and understand them for what they are. Cries for help.
Back into Kim's Korner and follow the adventures of a single mom, her two active boys and yes, the pets too! Tornados, road trips, car accidents, a phone call from a hockey legend, makeup mayhem, kid gourmet, temporary canine insanity, and ... those pre-puberty questions from my pre-teen! YIKES! You never know what you'll find in the Korner!
Adam and I made soft banana ice cream over the weekend.
I realized the other day that although I may ask questions of my kids, after all these years, I still don't always ask the RIGHT questions.
A few weeks ago, Adam said he was going to 'The Radar' with friends.
All summer, the kids have been swimming in various lakes and for whatever reason, I had assumed The Radar was another place to swim.
We're going to Laurie.
We're going to Oakfield.
We're going to 'Dub J'.
We're going to The Radar.
The Radar, just like one of the other swimming holes.
I did a quick Q & A when I got the call, saying they were going.
Q: 'Where's the Radar?'
A: 'In Beaverbank.'
Q: 'Who's all going?'
A: 'Names Names Names.'
Q: 'How are you getting there?'
A: 'Johnny's driving.' (Johnny being his older brother's friend)
'OK, well be careful and have fun.'
I KNEW I had heard of The Radar, I just couldn't remember in exactly what context.
Because The Radar was still bouncing around in my head a few nights later, with the little nagging doubt, I brought it up to Adam and asked, 'Is the Radar a place to swim?'
He looked at me surprised and said, 'No.'
'Then what is it', I asked.
And that's when he said, 'It's a bunch of big old empty buildings that people go to explore and hang out'.
And he showed me a few pictures on his phone.
And then it hit me!
THE FREAKIN' RADAR!!!!!
Everyone reacts differently to losing a child.
The grieving process is as unique as each person going through it.
There is no specific time to 'get over it'. There is no right time to 'move on'.
Yet those with the best intentions will often encourage a grieving parent to do just that.
Stop doing that, by the way. It doesn't help.
There is one hope, however, that all grieving parents share. None want their child to ever be forgotten.
Yesterday the boys and I were honoured to participate in a journey to remember two kids, gone way too soon, when we took a road trip to Peggy's Cove to scatter CJ, and remember Rehtaeh.
Four years ago, CJ Twomey took his life.
His mother, and my friend, Hallie, still feels a sense of responsibility for CJ's death.
Despite the fact she KNOWS that her words or actions alone leading up to the moment of his death, were NOT what made him make that fateful choice, she's his mom.
She can't separate that logic from emotion. I most likely couldn't either.
CJ was cremated. And the longer he sat in an urn in Hallie's house, the more she felt she needed to DO something for him.
One thing that Hallie did to process her feelings of grief, and more importantly, to keep his memory alive, was to send him on amazing journeys, to some of the most beautiful places in the world, through family, friends and strangers who want desperately to help ease her pain.
She created the Facebook page, Scattering CJ, having no idea it would grow to explode into what it has become today.
From the Scattering CJ page, Hallie's own words ...
"SCATTERING CJ is my attempt to give my son SOMETHING. It’s a mission to show my son – my crazy, life of the party, lover of people, smile so wide it entered a room before he did son – some of the world that he never got to see. It’s an effort to allow my child to forever rest in locations hand picked by caring friends, family and strangers alike.
It’s simply a chance to put my faith in mankind (a faith that has completely disappeared since witnessing my son end his life) and ask that others help me complete CJ’s final journey."
Despite the fact I knew there were literally thousands of people asking for the privilege to take him to the most beautiful corners of the earth, or exciting events, (or ... ahem ... on space shuttles), I asked Hallie if the boys and I could be part of CJ's journey.
Since I personally think one of the most beautiful places in Nova Scotia is Peggy's Cove, we offered to take him there.
And she graciously agreed. And in February, CJ arrived at our house.
We didn't make the road trip to Peggy's Cove right away.
It wasn't the right time of year. Not for what we were going to be doing.
I was waiting for the 'right' day.
Not too hot. Not too cold. Not too windy. And not raining.
Yesterday (Saturday, Aug 09, 2014) was perfect. Yesterday was the day.
We took CJ to Peggy's Cove in something I consider very special. The box that Alec made me for my birthday.
Hallie still holds CJ very close to her mom heart, so I wanted him to be close to mine.
There's a blogger out there who has started a revolution.
A 'wrong text' revolution, so to speak. And it's gaining momentum, for all the right reasons.
Some of you may already be familiar with Single Dad Laughing.
If not, I'm sure many of you know who I mean when I say, 'the guy who wrote the post ... The 16 Ways I Blew My Marriage'.
Yeah. He's that guy.
A couple of weeks ago, he tried an experiment.
He sent the same uplifting and encouraging text message to 217 numbers.
217 WRONG numbers.
The responses he got in return ranged from the typical, 'wrong number', to more interesting and personal ones.
Many were funny. Some kind of, angry. Some ... sad.
Personally, I think it's a great, 'pay it forward' idea.
And as long as you keep it within your area, it's FREE to potentially make some random stranger smile, or even better, make them feel special when they really needed it.
Having said that, it's also a great way to attract the rude responses and stalkers.
Seriously! There are people out there just sitting on the phone, waiting for something like this, who will insist that you DID intentionally send the message to THEM, and they will be arriving for dinner by 7pm, so 'Be ready. And don't wear green.'
But that's the chance he took, and what he got in return were some very funny and in some cases, honest replies.
And then he did it, AGAIN. He sent another 306 NEW wrong numbers.
And again, he received among the 'wrong number' replies, many people who were really happy to read his message.
Wrong number or not.
What has surprised me, is the fact his readers are now doing it also.
Many people are sending inspirational text messages to random wrong numbers, in the hopes of brightening someone's day.
That, my friends, is pretty cool.
I'm really not sure WHY he tried this experiment.
I don't know if he anticipated that his audience would take it upon themselves to dare to do the same.
But as I read his second posting on this topic tonight, I realized very quickly ...
He's started the wrong text revolution!
His readers have seen the good that can come from this random act of texting kindness, and are standing behind him, arms raised, cell phones in hand, rays of sunshine beaming ...
It is NOT OK to take 'drunk' as a 'yes' for sex. Anything other than a 'yes' or 'take me now!' ... is a 'NO!'