Inclusion

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Todays world, we have come so far it seems, but perhaps maybe we have not… if you look at history not that long ago in terms of years (less than 100) where many people were not included. 1920 was when women were granted the right to vote in the USA, and not until 1940 in Quebec(Canada) with other provinces allowing between 1916-1922. not until 1947 were Native Americans given the right to vote, in 1952 people of Asian decent are finally allowed to vote and 1964 is when African Americans are finally allowed to vote. But not without repercussions.

https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2016/us-elections-2016-who-can vote/indhttps://interactiveex.html

In 1961 the state of Illinois was the first to decriminalize Homosexuality, yes you read that right, it was a crime to be what you were born. Just like people of a color other than white were discriminated against simply because of that skin color, but people born LGBTQ were criminals? Until 1973 Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.  In 1982 – only 35 years ago the state of Wisconsin becomes the first to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 1998 Mathew Sheperd was found tied to a fence and beaten, he later died because of the injuries. in 2000 Vermont becomes the first state to  legalize civil unions between same sex couples. In 2016 a federal court announced you cannot ‘ban’ same sex marriages.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/19/us/lgbt-rights-milestones-fast-facts/

In 1989 a convention at the United nations discussed and approved the rights of a child and came into effect in 1990.

These rights include protection (e.g., from abuse, exploitation and harmful substances),  provision (e.g., for education, health care and an adequate standard of living,  participation (e.g., listening to children’s views and respecting their evolving capacities) and specific protections and provisions for vulnerable populations such as Aboriginal children and children with disabilities. So up until 27 years ago you could beat a child, not feed a child, not educate a child etc. Does not seem like that long ago to me, that the most vulnerable were not even protected from ill treatment.

 

Children in India only achieved these rights in 1992, the right to Survival – to life, health, nutrition, name, nationality and the right to development – to education, care, leisure, recreation, cultural activities.

http://www.unicef.ca/en/policy-advocacy-for-children/about-the-convention-on-the-rights-of-the-child

The convention was ratified in the year 2000 to include the ban of selling a child and child sex trafficking.

https://www.unicef-irc.org/portfolios/crc.html

What is my point in pointing all these facts on discrimination?

In todays society (2017) people that consider themselves a part of the LGBTQ community are still being mistreated, children in third world countries are still being mistreated, people of color are still being mistreated, so do these ‘rules’ change anything? YES, they prove that those who discriminate are wrong. It gives a voice to those that are ill treated.

We are all humans, we all make mistakes, but one of the most important lessons in life is to learn and grow from those mistakes. To me inclusion should not be a topic we discuss or argue about anymore. To me it is innate that we are different and it is our differences that make us all unique and an asset to each other and the world, as the famous Barbara Streisand once said- What a boring world it would be if we were all the same.

barbara streisand

 

 

I am writing this short post on inclusion because of not only what is going on in the US and around the world but because in my own back yard our community has opposing groups toward the teaching of sexual education, specifically allowing the mention of the LGBTQ community in those conversations. I find this a shame, why are we still making these regular people feel like they are not included in the world, like they do not exist?

Why are there still people that think you can catch gay? That telling kids the truth of  some people around them, that that will make them or turn them into something they are not? In turn letting those that do feel that way accepted and not different. But lastly if accepting LGBTQ community and talking about it in school, normalizing it saved one child or teen from committing suicide would that not be the reason alone to be inclusive.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

 

 

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Come Rest In My Heart

Beautiful poem from a fellow blogger.

sweetdevil69

Looking into your dreary eyes
I feel you bleed, from inside.
By life’s treachery you’ve been victimized
You silently scream you’re traumatized.

Your hopes crumble to the floor
Broken & dead, amidst life’s ruthless roar.
You’re lifeless, behind a locked door
Hiding pain, with sadness your heart soars.

Your soul is tortured & torn apart
Haunted by nightmares, of the past.
But please don’t cry alone in the dark
Come dear, come rest in my heart.

Alone you fought & bled for years
To your teary tales, I lend my ears.
Give my eyes, with your burning tears
& tell me, all your ominous fears.

While you’re depressed, plagued by stress
On my chest, put your miseries to rest
Share the deep seas, of your sorrow
Because, your sorrow, I intend to borrow.

If the night is depressingly long
I’ll hold your hand, from dusk till dawn.
Please don’t cry…

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Standard First Aid- A must for ALL

I spent last weekend doing a 16 hr SFA Course (the highest level of first aid) through the Canadian Lifesaving Society. It was very educational, as to what steps are needed to do in an emergency, how to help others in various situations.

A study done in2012  by the Red Cross states that not enough people are trained in first aid and in the event of an emergency, 2 out of 3 people would not know what to do.

http://www.redcross.ca/about-us/newsroom/news-releases/archives/2012/number-of-canadians-trained-in-first-aid-at-dangerous-low,-suggests-new-poll

I took my 1rst first aid course- it was emergency 1rst aid + Child & infant CPR, in 2010 when my first child was in preschool, a year and a bit later I used it on my 3rd child who had stopped breathing. I have volunteered in preschools and elementary with the confidence that I can help.

I worked this past year at the Langley Forest School not realizing or acknowledging that my first aid had expired, but that in itself is reckless. This SFA course taught not only CPR and how to use a AED but also basic bandaging, slings and wraps, as well as, what to do for shock or choking, burns and heat stroke/exhaustion.

With what is going on around the world today we need as many helpers as we can get. Every second matters when someone has lost consciousness or has stopped breathing, the faster someone initiates EMS and starts CPR is crucial in not only saving a life but preventing  further brain damage.

The hardest part of this course was performing CPR on a baby dummy, I fought back tears those few hours we worked on them. The painful thought only  blink away in my not so distant memory. However, had I not performed CPR on my angel, we would have lost her, in that moment, on my living room floor, not a week later in hospital due to other unknown factors.

I would encourage as many people as possible, not only ones that must for a job to get certified. I told my kids when they are old enough they will all have to take the course.

I have copied some useful links below.

Thanks for Reading,

Namaste

Sheri

http://www.lifesavingsociety.com/first-aid/standard-first-aid.aspx

http://www.emergencyfirstresponse.com/5-reasons-why-basic-first-aid-knowledge-is-essential/

http://www.c2cfirstaidaquatics.com/4-reasons-you-need-first-aid-and-cpr-training/

 

 

A helpful quote with thoughts after Lily’s death.

Popped up in my memories on FB. Four years ago feels like a lifetime. I have transformed many times since. But the pain is still fresh when I re read the moments that are now a lost memory that have since been locked away.

Dealing with My Grief

 A quote I read that I felt made sense when nothing else did….

“Grief is a daily challenge to your assumptions about the world. It demands that you accept that loss is a part of our lives. Going through grief demands that you abandon the notion that you must always feel good…You are forced to accept loss not just intellectually, but with every aspect of your person, your identity.”
-Sameet M.Kumar ~grieving mindfully~
May 2012 –

 

May 04th 2012

My pain is real and I ache for you, I try to be strong, but wanting you back replaces all the logic in my mind, the nights are hard because of the silence, the days are long because of your absence.’ I am having a rough morning, the actual physical pain in my chest is immense, I can’t sleep anymore, I try and I just lay there thinking, I…

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How Was Your Summer?

My heart goes to the kids described in this blog post, I have an enormous amount of respect for our teachers and the compassion they show. I wish there was more we could all do as a society to help those less fortunate than us. 💚😢

Spoon Vision

 

o-BORED-CHILDREN-facebook

 

Dear teacher,
On the first day of school,
When you ask me how my summer was,
You’re assuming that it was good.
You’re assuming it was
something remarkable,
Something incredible,
Something shareable,
Something fun.

And maybe it was.

Maybe I went to Six Flags.
And maybe I flew in an airplane.
And maybe I went on vacation to the beach
with my mom and my dad and my sister
(but we left our dog at home,
so my Uncle Dennis came over every day)
Maybe I participated in the summer
reading program at the metro library,
and I read four books above my grade level.
And maybe I got to spend a lot of time with
my mom because she is a teacher like you.
Maybe, just maybe, I had a pass to the pool.
Or maybe I interned at the zoo.
Or maybe I went to STEM…

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Instant memories

A flash of  light, lightning in the sky taking you back to a time you forgot, the whiff of a scent instantly transferring you to a moment lost, a picture, a cloud, a breezing wind, a fallen tree random memories show you in an instant. Be they happy or sad they come with no invitation just a reminder tugging at a memory in our subconscious.

Like when I saw a 92′ Mustang yesterday and it reminded me of a childhood friend that was beaten to death in 2002. Or every time I pass an ambulance I think of the time my daughter was taken away for the last time in one. Or when my 4 year old lays on my chest, I am reminded of a favorite memory of mine, when my first born was 2 years old and I was pregnant with my second and he would lay on me as we both napped, I remember thinking it would be the last time it would be just he and I. When I see a lily flower or a rainbow, my daughter pops back in an instant, with a pang in my heart and a glaze in my eye. A lake brings me back to my childhood summers, carefree and swimming.

Every time I eat spaghetti or need to sew something I am reminded of my Nonna that passed away the same year my daughter died, who taught me to sew and fed me the most delicious of Italian cooking. The thought of fishing reminds me of my Nonno who joined her this year. Every time I hear the hideous word cancer, I think of the dozen or so family and friends that have died from various types of that disgusting disease in the last ten years. Or hear of another celebrity that takes their life, via suicide or overdose, I am reminded of the few lost souls of my past that have suffered the same fate. There was three of them, all boys 2 overdosed, 1 suicide, all within a few years of each other.

Thoughts can be so random, but the ones that creep up on you in an instant because of something you see or hear truly amaze me, in that our brains keep everything we have seen, heard or felt, unless shock or trauma have hidden them, but there are still those unfavorable memories we wish we could release from the time capsules in our head. Others we wish we could relive and savor forever.

The smell of a flower, or soup; the look of a stranger or rhyme in a song all triggering instant memories.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

Guilty as Self-Charged

Will CarryOn

The self-talk that comes along with pregnancy after loss takes me down many dark avenues. Wait, who am I kidding? The self-talk that comes along with life after loss has messed with me immensely. Within the confines of my own mind, I’m the doubter, the fighter, the accused, the dreamer, the fraud, the pleader, the failure, and the cheerleader to name a few. I had talked previously about the external guilt I feel along with this pregnancy, but on some levels, that has nothing on the internal guilt.

This internal guilt has lived within me from my first loss in May 2008. It’s the “I know I don’t have control over what’s happening, but could I have done something differently or better to save my babies?” thoughts that replay in my mind. Thoughts that got louder with each loss. That same guilt plays into the sense that while I realize that…

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Life is short, turn up the music

hope you

I love having dance parties with my kids, more so my daughter because she too loves to dance too, its harder to get my boys even the biggest (dad) one to dance, whenever music is on I move and cannot help it, my subconscious reminds me of my love of movement, it reminds me how I for…. 4 years? From 17 to 21 spent three nights a week a dance club; loved EVERY minute of it. I was in a dance contest with Sir Mix-A-Lot at an iconic bar( to the locals of Delta BC) called Cheers (demolished in 2016 after 40 years) and yes who could shake it the best, it’s a little harder for a skinny white girl with no butt, but I won anyways 😉 or at least I remember being one of the last ones on stage. I danced many a nights and problems away. But then I had kids, at twenty five, thrown into solitary confinement.

I grieved my old life like you wouldn’t believe, don’t get me wrong I cherished my new world of diapers and unconditional love from this thing I grew and needed me to feed it. But It was a drastic change; freedom to isolation, so sudden. You go from doing whatever you want to doing almost nothing when you want to. We had no close family, or local family to be correct. I remember the first time I went out with a group of moms, seven years after my first was born, yes it took me that long, and maybe why I was a little bitter. I remember not knowing how to move, or talk or act even. I, who normally was a quick witted person (at least eight years before pregnancy I was) had nothing to say or if I did it came out not making much sense.

I remember trying to awkwardly dance and feeling so stupid. I went home and cried. I cried for the me that I had lost; the one who used to dance and have fun. Fast forward to eleven years after my first born, somewhat comfortable being a stay at home mom, although I never thought I would be, I always thought I would go back to work, I worked usually six days a week for years before having kids, I loved picking up shifts and making money, I loved socializing. But when you don’t have other childcare and have to pay more than half of what you make for it you may as well stay home. And dance anyway.

I do enjoy being with my kids more than I ever thought I would, I learned an incredible amount from them mostly how to let go because things are constantly changing and the bonus is the dance parties with my girl. Its like they say or I think there is a saying like this, – life throws obstacles at you but you have to dance anyways. That’s a saying right? So go and turn up the music and forget the rest because life is too short.

I hope you dance today.

Thanks for reading

Sheri

dance

Father’s Day and Baby Loss

Father’s Day and Baby Loss

By Tara Shafer

If women feel alone in grief following the loss of a pregnancy or infant, the solitude of the father is both palpable and largely unacknowledged.  “Helping Men with the Trauma of Miscarriage,” published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training in 2010, Mark Kiselica, Ph.D, and Martha Rinehart, PhD examined the issue of men following baby loss and concluded that the fathers’ grief was often dismissed by others. In “Psychological Impact of Stillbirth on Fathers in the Subsequent Pregnancy and Puerperium,” researchers found that following a stillbirth, men had elevated rates of anxiety and were at heightened risk for PTSD, in much the same way as their female counterparts.  Many fathers report wishing that they had had more and better access to care.

Speaking in broad generalities, there are a number of factors that may influence how men seek support in grief and which conspire against them. In a medical setting, for example, the health care is administered to the woman, reinforcing the outmoded notion that men are necessarily peripheral to pregnancy. Instead they are relegated to the distancing effect of phones, forced to make arrangements, and “be supportive.”

But wait. Men are now expected to be far more involved in the day-to-day of childrearing. The expectation that Dad will be absent from the delivery room, opting instead to hand out cigars in the waiting room like Don Draper, now seems patently ridiculous.  The role of fathers has shifted over time. This raises the question: why not allow men emotional space in pregnancy, as well as companion grief in loss?  While there is no one way to experience loss, and the spectrum of grief is complex, these men would do well to receive support as they navigate and define their own experience.  It is a mistake to paint the masculine experience of loss with one broad stroke.  This costs more than we know.

The assumption that men are peripheral to pregnancy may unravel rapidly, especially in situations of loss. We have all heard it said that a woman becomes a mother when she discovers she is pregnant and a man becomes a father when he holds his baby.  I am not convinced that either one of these sayings is really all that true, but if it is said enough times one grows complacent and believes some version of this.

Until.  In an instant everything is gone.

Writes Return To Zero writer/director Sean Hanish, whose son was stillborn in 2005,  “As a husband, a partner, a man you are a passenger on the pregnancy express. You can look out the window and watch the scenery go by, her belly grow, her skin glow, and if you’re lucky, catch your baby’s elbow as it presses against her belly like the dorsal fin of some alien sea creature making it more real for you. But you’re not the engineer. When the crash comes you are struggling with your own emotions, grief and loss, desolation and depression, and watching as your wife, your partner, your life jumps the tracks. Twisting metal tumbling out of control in slow motion. Prepare for impact.”

I am reminded of a day several weeks or months after our loss when Gavin came home. He remarked that a lot of people were asking how I was.  We always took this beautiful gesture of concern in the spirit it was given and were, in fact, deeply appreciative of these questions. But we did laugh ruefully (and just a little) at how frequently Gavin was inadvertently left out of the equation, the expressions of concern.

On our website, Reconceiving Loss (www.reconceivingloss.com (link is external)) we collect the stories of loss for the Return To Zero Project. This archive reflects, in part, the lonely experience of men. Artist Louis Hemmings created a video, Goodbye, Au Revoir, Slan that shows the loss of his daughter decades ago through the eyes of his young son. Other fathers have lent their experience to the archive and their words reveal a well of sadness and loss.

As we approach Father’s Day, I call on women and men to support Baby Loss Dads (or dads who have lost babies). We can begin by acknowledging their grief and understanding its nuance. We can remember to ask how they are, not just about their wives or their partners. We can engage them in a dialogue that begins to bear out the idea that we want to know how they are, how it feels to them to be missing something so central. We can acknowledge the role of fathers in childrearing as post-traditional by re-enforcing that they share the loss. This is the dialogue that creates healthier, happier families. And for the future of the men that we love, this is what will be required.

Tara Shafer is the co-founder of Reconceiving Loss (link is external), a site for bereaved families facing baby loss offering premium access to informational webinars, self care videos and much more. She is a contributing blogger for Psychology Today, BabyCenter, the Huffington Post and Still Standing. Her work has appeared in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. Tara has been an international human rights and refugee advocate and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University.