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On losing good friends and more

On May 13, the 3rd Annual 100 Strong was held. Once again I am thrilled with the residences of the City of Greater Sudbury. The end total is yet to be calculated, however I would confidently say we have raised over $30,000 in the first three years. For three years Rich Griffin has volunteered as the Emcee of the event and this month our community mourned his loss. The day I learned along with many others tears were shed and my heart became heavy. Leila needed to know why TiTi was sad and she knew Rich. Again I am struck by the wisdom of children. She reminded me people do die and it is okay to be sad.

Rich is not the only reason my heart was heavy. Bob Vitali and Mort Glanville – also strong, caring, loving, kind men also left to join the angels. Allan Johnson remains in a coma. Asking why? Why ask? In Leila’s simple comment, the circle of life is as it is. Families are grieving because a husband, father, son, relative, friend, colleague is no longer sharing daily living. They are reminding me – love fiercely, forgive daily, live passionately, give generously, and find compassion. Thank you all for touching my life.

This week saw the Chief’s Youth Advisory Council become one of the first recipients of the Dr. Edward J. Conroy Community Leadership Awards. To see a group of young people grow over the years, witness their brilliance blossom, and then see the community recognize them is a very sweet moment. This year will be a difficult one for me as a number of them are moving on to the next phase of their lives. I guess I can liken it to a graduation. Grateful for the years of experience and confident that as they move on to the next step whoever is blessed with them in their lives will be better just as I am.

Leila and TiTi continue to share life actively. Leila shares in many of the events I attend, so, I guess it is only fair that I fully participate in her world. Leila takes swimming lessons and guess who signed up to attend at the same time. TiTi. Well, as much as I completely loved the experience – so far I have managed to make 2 lessons – work commitments on Wednesdays were a conflict. However, I will sign up again with her in the fall. We are both doing basketball on Saturday. Okay, she is actually doing basketball and I am following her group around. Still I am present and am remembering my love of this game. Leila is now a proud owner of a baseball glove and ball. I get to teach her how to throw the ball. Reminds me of my time with my Dad when I was a kid and he taught me. Grateful Leila keeps me young and involved.



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About The Author

Anna Barsanti is a retired educator who is sharing the experiences of raising her niece.

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