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I try to forget that it’s Remembrance Day.

On November 11th, every year after 1993, I do my best to forget that it’s Remembrance Day.  It may not seem appreciative, it may be politically incorrect, but it’s what I do to try to cope.  My sister was killed on Remembrance Day in 1993.  She was twelve, I was sixteen.  And in that instant the meaning of the day changed for me.

It was seventeen years ago now.   After that many years, it’s easy to get through the day to day.  After that many years her not being a part of my life is normal.

But on Remembrance Day it’s a whole different story.

One day a year those feelings become fresh, become new, and I experience the loss all over again.  One day a year I remember the annoying kid who drove me up the wall, yet who, at the same time, I loved totally and completely.  One day a year I remember my sister who never got to grow up.

I am so appreciative of all those men, women, and canines who have given so completely of themselves to ensure our freedom and safety. I am so grateful of the sacrifices made in the past, the sacrifices currently being made, and the sacrifices that will be made in the future.  So many amazing individuals giving of themselves in a way most of us can barely comprehend.  For the greater good – an idea, a concept that for so many has very little real and concrete meaning – but for our veterans and soldiers means everything.  Thank you!  To all of you!

Canadians have done amazing things worldwide, I am proud of our peacekeeping efforts.  We are a nation that believes in equality and in inalienable human rights, and our troops have given of themselves to ensure those rights for all people.  So please do not think that my attempts to forget, and ignore the date have anything to do with what Remembrance Day is supposed to be about.  It’s just that, for me and for my family, it is about remembering something entirely different.

It’s about my sister, Regan.

It’s about having someone you love ripped away from you.  It’s about all the things she had yet to do, and had yet to become, all the things she had hoped for.  It’s about the small moments we remember and that we now cling to… because they are all that’s left.

She was only twelve, and now she’s gone.

I will be glad when it’s November 12th, and we’ll have made it through another Remembrance Day.  Because, for a family to move on from something like this, you need to forget.  To cope, to survive, sometimes you just need to forget.

 

A life gone in an instant…

Earlier today I took a really cute little snapshot with my BlackBerry.  The wee girlie took Clifford (her stuffy version of him anyway) to school with her.  They are doing an entire month dedicated to the big red dog, and Emilie Elizabeth is one of her favourite literary characters.  Lily-Ann looked absolutely adorable in her red jacket with her navy blue jumper and tights, carrying Clifford…  bright blue sky behind her.

It was such a pretty moment, so adorable, so sweet.  It was what I’d planned on sharing.  But plans change.

Today my little sister’s bus driver ran over an 11 year old boy – while my sister and several other special needs adults were on the bus.  The boy died at the scene.  In an instant a young life was brutally cut short, an entire family is now left to mourn.  School children watched, as did my sister and her co-workers.  Lives forever altered in a moment as brief as any other.  That fast, and everything changes.

Please, tonight, hold your children close.  Tell them how much they mean to you, and how much better your life is because of them.  Read them a story, sing them a song, do a craft together…  just be with them.  Be present for them.  Be actively involved in as many parts of their lives as you can be.  Because all it takes is a moment to have it all ripped away.

My heart is with the family of that boy, and all those (including my sister) who’s lives have been affected by his tragic death.  Tonight an entire city mourns.

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