Strong. Beautiful. Community.

My phone exploded with messages from friends and family telling me of the horror. I had barely been at work an hour when the texting began.

Slowly a first. A then a flood of concern and inquiry.

“Is everyone at Home alright?” They asked.

“I think so. Why? What’s happened?” I had no idea.

“Turn on the TV!” They replied.

I found the remote.

It didn’t take long.

It was everywhere.

A lone gunman had walked down a stretch of street as familiar to me as the back of my hand and opened fire.

An 18-year-old girl. Dead. Executed when she tripped and fell while trying to run away.

A 10-year-old girl. Dead. Succumbed to her injuries later in hospital.

Just like that. Bang. Bang.

Two precious lives taken.

And the ripple of shock was immeasurable.

My breath stopped.

My stomach clenched.

I felt ill.

And then I cried.

The brutality was so cruel. The meanness so deliberate. The loss so unnecessary.

This, not only in the city I was born, but in the neighborhood I’ve called Home for more than 40 years. On a festive and familiar stretch of street I’ve lived on and laughed on and cried on and loved on since an age I can’t remember.

The Danforth of Greek Town.

A street I’ve walked countless times with family and friends, and my own precious child. Moments and memories treasured and immortalized in the very pavement now stained with the blood of this unprecedented, senseless killing.

He just walked. Stopped. Turned. And without warning, shot into the face of innocence. Over and over. Killing the peaceful trust of my community. My neighborhood. My family.

No one will ever be the same.

He’s dead, this nameless shooter. This bastard who felt it his right to destroy and take the lives of others. His lifeless body found in some back alley. Self-inflicted or maybe the police? Who knows? Who cares? Doesn’t really matter. Even if he had lived, he took something that could never be given back with an unsatisfactory explanation.

Though were I Her mother, I’d want one.

These acts of rage and hatred and cowardice are becoming far too random and are happening far too often. We are so much better than this! I don’t understand what is happening anymore in this world, or why. And I’m so saddened and incredibly fucking pissed off that this is something the children of today have to understand, accept and survive.

This kind of shit is their future.

It’s so unfair.

So fucking unfair.

I’m going to visit Toronto tomorrow. A trip planned before this awfulness occurred. And I will visit my Danforth community and pay somber homage to the loss and shattered lives so deeply affected by this senseless killing and terrorization. I will see familiar faces in pain and they’ll all ask, “Why did this happen?” And I will wonder, just like them, at the needless cruelty of people.

I will walk that stretch of familiar street with a very sad and very heavy heart, and it will hurt my soul to see and feel the pain of confusion and disbelief and anger I know I will find in the aftermath of such inexplicable madness. But I will leave as much love and healing energy behind as I possibly can in the hopes that it will help the familiar and unfamiliar faces of the people and the place I lovingly, happily and faithfully call Home.

Toronto’s Danforth.

Strong. Beautiful. Community.

We will survive.

❤️

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Time Lessons

She promised she would never leave. But she did. I’m sure she’s forgotten and expects to be forgiven the breaking of her word.

She said she couldn’t imagine life without me in it. Clearly, she didn’t realize imagination is limitless.

She said we’d be friends. I see no evidence of that. She never calls, or writes or texts hello. No check-in. No “how are you?”. No interest.

Time is a valuable teacher. Often a harsh bearer of reality checks. But given enough of them, one can’t help but heed the lessons, desired or not.

The lens thru which I saw her, felt her, knew her and loved her, has fractured by the passage of time and the neglect in her deliberate silence.

My perception of what was is changing in the spectacularly enlightened kaleidoscope of spiritual growth and the slow rivers of acceptance that wash me clean of the shame and blame.

Life moves on with only a whispering reminder that our moments together are so thin and fragile and will never be here again. I only wish we all knew and understood and treasured them as such. Perhaps then, there would be nothing to forgive.

My lesson this time? Cuz there’s always a lesson.

Cherish all of my moments and remember, love is precious. Listen to the whispers of Life.

I get it now.

Wisdom in a forgotten birthday wish.

Loss

It’s been a while. I know. Life has gotten simpler and yet much more complex. My priorities are changing, and mostly now, by my design. And I am finally beginning to fully embrace the intellection of loss.

A walk gently into the night is not exactly how I would describe this figuring out. This understanding. This learning to live with the acceptance of such a painful truth. But life has offered me no recourse. So here I am. Accepting.

People leave.

They leave. And it hurts. A lot.

By abandonment.

Or death.

And honestly, having experienced both on such fundamentally profound levels, I’m really not sure which is more painful.

There are so many things I don’t understand when it comes to love and loving. Perhaps I never will. But I do know that my heart is not the kind of heart that loves and forgets. Once touched by a sweet gentleness, a genuine kindness, or a passionate kiss that bruised my lips, the memory imprints and lingers. Forever.

Mine will always be a heart devastated by loss. Friends. Family. Lovers. Even gone, they still remain. Anchored to my soul, woven into the fabric of our connection, ever deep in my thoughts, always lingering, intricate to each beat and each breath of my life.

Yes. I love deep.

And it breaks me.

Often.

Yet still, my hope lives. Between the beats. And clings to the last breath of unspent love.

But people leave.

They leave. And it hurts. A lot.

By abandonment.

Or death.

And honestly, I’m really not sure which is more painful.

All I know is that each time it happens

It’s so heart-wrenchingly sad

To feel the lingering loss

In the goodbye.