In honour of our everyday dad

There are two types of fathers. The birth dad, and the everyday dad. Sometimes the same person fills both roles. Sometimes, life doesn’t work out that way. Maybe the birth father wanted to be the everyday dad, but for whatever reason – duty to another family, work, prison, or in our case, death – he can’t. The birth dad is a biological fact. But the everyday dad, for the most part, is a choice. The everyday dad chooses to take an active role in the rearing of his child: adopted, assumed, or biological....more

A DAY ON - Martin Luther King Jr. day, Errol Barrow day, and a call to action for Idle No More

 What do Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., past-Prime Minister of Barbados Errol Barrow, and Idle No More have in common? They are all representative of activist movements that changed the course of history, and all have scheduled days of recognition coming up this week....more

HAS HELPING OTHERS HELPED ME?

Since the New Year, I have become actively involved in a project for Uganda.  Our current goal is to secure permanent land for the children of RUHU (Rising Up Hope, Uganda) orphanage so they are never evicted from another home again.When my friend, Jamie Macari, told me his story about living in Uganda for 9 months where he met Patrick, a local Ugandan who had been rescuing kids from the slums of Kampala since he was 20, I was compelled to become a part of their cause....more

HAPPY THOUGHT #41: Clean drinking water for 75 families! (Ugandan Water Project)

Ever get thirsty?  I do, and I have access to clean drinking water at multiple access points throughout my day.  Having traveled to Africa, I can somewhat imagine what it would be like to live in a hot country without clean drinking water at my disposal.  I also realize how disappointed I feel when I’m on a road trip with my daughter and she gets thirsty but I have no water in the car to give her.  I know it’s not comparable, but on a minor scale, it helps me understand....more

The tricky business of a WORK/LIFE balance

Two months ago I went back to work after a 4 month leave of absence.  While on leave, I could go to the gym with my daughter, and because she had spent most of the day with me, she willingly let me go for an hour so I could workout.  She, in the meantime, had a fun time exploring the YMCA kids programs, or playing with stickers and reading books in the ...more

“IT’S ALWAYS DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN” The Dark Knight

Five years ago this week my grandfather passed away.  A few days later my husband attempted suicide for the first time in our marriage.Three years later, this same week, my only sister-in-law died in her sleep.  She was 29.  It startled and disturbed me, and I feared the worst for my husband who was already heading into a mental episode....more

"BREATHE OUT WHEN YOU COME TOGETHER, in when you come apart." - Donna Perk

I lay on the floor, toes pointed towards the door, arms stretched out in the opposite direction, fingers reaching towards the other end of the room, a free weight in my hands.I lift my legs off the floor pulling the free weight towards the ceiling with my arms, making the two meet in the air....more

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: Focusing on the good

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." ~William Arthur WardIt doesn't take much for me to rise above; a little encouragement, a little grace, a strong hug.It doesn't take much for me to get knocked down either; running myself ragged, negative interactions, unforeseen mishaps.  When I'm in this place, I need to meditate on the good.  Thankfully, I don't need to look far into my past, or present, to find something to be grateful for....more

THE POWER OF RISING ABOVE - A father breaks the silence of his son's suicide

Stigmas can hold many people in bondage.  Out of fear, when someone dies by suicide, I have witnessed first hand, individuals who hold that information closely to them, praying no one will ask them how the person died, or find out it was by suicide.  Why?  Fear.  There is fear of being judged, fear of being ridiculed, and protection for the individual that was loved, not wanting that person to be made less than they were due to one decision they made during their deepest, darkest moment in life....more
 @victorias_view Thank you Victoria.  I think you said this so well, and it's powerful to be in ...more

YMCA STRONG KIDS: building resilience in the young

 “Don’t worry.  Kids are resilient.”  This is a concept I hear often.  It may be true.  They are malleable.  They are also moldable.  Now is the time to strengthen our kids, to build them up so when the battles of life appear, their ship won’t break apart in the storm....more