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Grateful for the commitment of others

This week was enriched with several opportunities blessed with the presence of young people. First and foremost, the continued hockey life we live. Grateful for the commitment of the coaches and the ability to observe the growth in the athletes as the team becomes stronger as a team both on and off the ice.

 Friday, the 3rd Annual Courage to Stand Run took place at Kivi Park with over 400 students participating. Cst. Nihad Hasanefendic offered up the idea initially and through his leadership the run has grown. Over the years he has invited a number of community partners to join, so from community streets to the beauty of Kivi Park. Thanks to Melissa Sheridan and her team. This year added components –Zumba warm up and large group activities to close the event that support the message to have the courage to stand to eliminate incidents of bullying. Thanks to Mary Jago and her team.

This week also reminded me that life is precious and vulnerable as many of us celebrated the life of an amazing woman, Cst. Linda Burns. So many memories of Linda’s tenacity, brilliance, commitment, and knowledge to make the difference in the lives of so many come to mind. She became an advocate and/or ally to ensure lives changed for the better. She was loving, caring mother and grandmother with a sweet tooth. Linda is an earth angel that has transitioned to one of heaven’s finest.

A comment from a new mother when she began raising her first child struck me as a truism, she said while watching her child play she witnessed her heart walk outside of her. What an apt description of the role children play in our lives, they become our hearts. We have an opportunity to witness firsthand the physical appearance of love, which enhances the feeling of love. Every once in a while, a reminder unfolds to keep us grounded to continue to pursue our commitment to raising of the children entrusted to us and recognize they are well on their way to being responsible.

Friday, I changed my pickup plans for Leila at school and quite understandably, she didn’t receive the information. Once I realized she was no longer at school, I headed to her destination at the same time William and Leila were headed to the same place on a different route.

When I arrived at William’s the babysitter answered the door and informed me neither Leila or William were at home. Heart rate goes up, eyes widen, and interrogation begins – completely forget Leila and William are quite capable of making it home on their own. Back to the school I head just in case I miss them on the way, no sign of them. Anxiety rises. A number of staff members are brainstorming, assisting in any way possible, and reminding me this is out of Leila’s character to leave if she knew she was to stay.

Phone call to William’s informs us the kids are home. They are safe; they are where they are supposed to be, so I can focus on my anxiety created by an imaginative mind. Back to William’s, now fear has changed to anger. Did you know they actually took a longer way home, a safer route, hence why I couldn’t see them? Hmmm, responsible behaviour. Leila didn’t know I was coming early and informed me if she knew, her words “I would never leave, if I knew.” Hmmm, responsible behaviour.

What did I learn, trust that Leila and her friends are responsible, growing up, and can make the safe decisions? If I had, patience would prevail; the idea the message didn’t reach Leila would cross my mind and make more sense than her being in an unsafe situation. Imagine a car travels faster than children walking, especially if they take a less direct route. Imagine.

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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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