Saturday, August 30, 2014

Domestic Abuse 100 Years Ago

Today for some strange reason, I was thinking about my grandmother who came to Canada in the early 1900's. Here  she was in a foreign country starting out her life as a new Canadian. She married at an early age and had  her children. Her husband was a peddler and they traveled  from town to town  trying to make a living. My grandfather was an  alcoholic and died at an early age leaving my  grandmother to raise and provide for their children.

In my grandmother's later years of  life, she recount how she was subjected to the beatings of her husband. Eighty-five years later she was finally  letting out her anger which I realize now she had  bottled up all that time. Today we could say that she was a victim of domestic abuse, but back a hundred years ago, nobody used that term. What went on between four walls was private and many women like  my grandmother did not know any differently. It was part of being a wife where they cooked, cleaned, raised the children and was there to provide to all  the needs of the husband no matter how she was treated .I can only think that  my grandmother must of  felt very  alone.

The secrets, the embarrassment. I do not think it is any different today. Years ago an abused women lived in silence.Who would of  believed her? If she had told anyone, they would  of responded to her by saying that the husband was just having a bad day or you should help your husband more.Women then did not have the capacity to leave their husbands. There weren't any shelters for women and children. Women were married for life no matter how they were treated. It was  part of being a wife. They accepted it.

Fast track 100 years plus later, we are still afraid to speak out. We are still living in silence and accepting the abuse.  But things have changed. Today we have  the capacity and the resources to get out of an abusive relationship. We are aware, we talk about domestic abuse, we have shelters to  house  women and children. We have groups that support victims of domestic violence. But women are still living in fear.

As we approach the 10 th anniversary of the  horrific  murder that took Kelly-Anne's, I ask each and everyone of you who may be in an abusive relationship to please get help. He is not going to change nor will you change him. A man that beats his wife is not  a man who loves his wife no matter how her comes around  the following day and tells her he loves her and that it won't happen again. It is not love ! We deserve  to be loved and we are all capable of having a  loving relationship with someone who genuinely loves us for who we are. It is possible. I live it each day of my life  so I know it exists.

I would like to remind you that  dialing 911 from your home phone will bring the police directly to  your house. You don't even have to say a word. I also understand that  in the USA one can text 911 and receive help. I do not  know if it works in Canada but I will find out and post once I get a confirmation.

Meanwhile, please break the silence on  domestic abuse.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Being Innovated

Our house has been for sale for two months short of a year. People visit and are never to been seen again. It really is frustrating. All we  want to do is sell and re locate in another  town where my  hubby works. We would be closer to Kim and her family too. There are so many houses and condos on the market, therefore it really is a buyer's market. We seem to have exhausted ourselves trying to find a suitable buyer.

Potential buyers seems to want everything  perfect.  I have researched  many any hour looking at various houses on the Internet. Black, red, grey, green walls and doors. Imagine the many coats of paint that would have to cover all those very colorful walls? People are so concerned about what they  don't have to do in a house. What house is walk in perfect? Unless you custom build your own house, you  will not find perfection anywhere.

This whole house thing brings me  asking myself...how would Kelly-Anne have dealt with this issue? What innovated idea would she have put together to sell her home? I am still looking for that answer. I know there is  a solution but just can't yet seem to put my finger on it.

Hopefully, Kelly-Anne will send me a message in her own angel way. Kelly-Anne was always solution orientated. So am I,, but this  house selling business has to be  one of the biggest obstacles and challenges I have ever had to deal with. I stress out while Jules takes in all in his stride. Wish I could be more like him.

Well tomorrow is another day......

Friday, August 22, 2014

Un Tuer si Proche

Yesterday, our house looked like a mini  film studio. The film crew from Pixcom were here to  film segments of the documentary entitled Un Tuer si Proche which is on Canal D. I was contacted by the researcher last month and accepted to allow Kelly-Anne's story to be portrayed on t.v.

Someone will play the part of Kelly-Anne and the  killer. It feels strange to know that someone will act as Kelly - Anne. Who will she be? I  don't know, but I  do hope I get to meet her in person. Will  she have the long curly hair, the so prefect legs, the green eyes and warm welcoming smile? I find this part of the entire film emotional. Yesterday, I did my best in French to answer the questions that were asked of me. It was tense, especially the very last question. I was asked  "What do I think of Martin Morin -Cousineau"....I won't tell you my answer. You will have to watch the show...a year from now and find out. But, I think you can figure out what I said.

Once the morning filming was completed, the crew headed out to film other people involved in the story. It is a big project and I  am happy that the French  population will get to know Kelly-Anne and her story. I always felt that there was not enough exposure within the French media about her case, so for this, I am now happy. If the film saves one life, then it was worth the time and effort by all participants.

Even ten years later, people still want know about Kelly-Anne. I am touched by that. She left us a legacy and a story that needs to be told.

I ask myself at times if I will ever  live my life in a more normal state. No cameras, no interviews, no public speaking, so presentations.  The reality is that this is my normal, the normal that I was led to live because of the event that changed my life forever. Being my daughter's voice.......

Facing the Devil - Update

Surprises seem to creep up on us, even when we think we have everything under control. I  am a firm believer in doing what I have to do now and not wait for the last minute.....in this  household we aren't last minute people.

I had collected my thoughts and wrote a three page letter to the parole board in preparation for the pending hearing. A couple of days later, I receive a telephone call from Correctional Services, victims dept. The lady on the other end of the line is someone I speak to  often. She proceeds to tell me that she received a copy of my letter. She then asks me if I know what day parole is. I said  yes and give her my response. She tells me that she thought I did not know what it was by the way  my letter was written and proceeds to explain to me that if the murderer is granted day parole, it means he lives in a halfway house all the time and  does not return to  the prison at the end of the day.

Well needless to say, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I cannot envision him on our streets....no way I responded. I proceed immediate to review and change my letter, which I was told later was fine. It was  sent to the prison for him to read. I though how interesting  that the murderer gets to read the letter before I am able to present it to the parole board commissioners. Reflecting on that thought made me realize that maybe I have been able to put a  bit of fear and doubt in him that under the circumstances of  his  track record the past 10 years, he really doesn't have a hope in hell to convince the  board to release him. But knowing him, he will waste the tax payers dollars and  all our time and effort just to piss us off by making  us go to prison for  the hearing. Gosh we have a crappy justice system.

Well the  letter is put to bed,  my file is up to date and ready. I am confident. I am strong and I will face the devil  with grace and courage. I have right on my side!

To be continued......

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Upcoming Events

This time of the year brings about the planning and preparation of the fall events remembering and honoring Kelly-Anne. Being the 10th anniversary of her death marks a sad milestone. Already  ten years and so much has happened during that time frame. I won't begin to list the changes, challenges, the high and low moments, the bittersweet joy and the many tears. There are too many and now it is time to look at today and what the near future will hold for us.

Wednesday, September 10th at the Loyola Campus of Concordia University at 7:00 p.m. The Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup Rugby game between Concordia and McGill Women. All proceeds at the door will go to Women Aware/Femms Avertis, a respected Montreal association helping women who are victims of domestic abuse.

Saturday, October 18th at the Dollard Des Ormeaux Aquatic Centre at 7:00 p.m. The Fonds Kelly-Anne Drummond annual cocktail  fundraiser will be held. This year marking the 10 anniversary of the  foundation.there will be a special drawing of two free tickets any where in the world where WetJet travels. Other activities are being planning for that evening. Kelly-Anne 's fund will help competitive life guards to travel to competitions and for training. Competitive life guarding is the  only sport that saves lives.

For more information regarding these events, please send me a message through this blog.

More to come....

Friday, July 25, 2014

Facing the Devil

Last week to my surprise, I received a letter from the  National Parole Board stating that Kelly-Anne's murder  is asking for  a hearing to ask for day parole. At first I thought it was a mistake...but no he is allowed  to make application for  day parole starting this October. Imagine 10 years  and he is now allowed to ask to out  for the day. I am told that he has to  submit a plan or project...well I  can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve.

He has met his match. I too am preparing a presentation to the board as to why he should not be  granted day parole.  I will be asking alot of  questions and will be expecting answers.

I still can't wrap  my head around the fact that he is entitled to apply after 10 years. It seems  like yesterday that Kell was taken from us.

I have written in the past about how the privacy laws  protect the offender from us knowing about  any medical situations they may have. Interestingly written on the letter in  bold font was that any information that I send to the parole board will be shared with the offender. Such double standards.

And for at  least the hundredth  time, I repeat, offenders have more rights than the victims.

Has he changed,what has he done on the inside to warrant day passes? How can I be sure he won't harm anyone or run away? Many questions and concerns are quickly be written on my scratch pad.
But what I really want to know is has he acknowledged the fact that he is the sole person responsible for Kelly-Anne's death ?  Will he show  remorse with  crocodile tears on the day of the hearing?

Your answer is as good as mine...to be continued.

The Bloke

I happen to fall on a piece of information that I  had never known  before about Kelly-Anne. Many years back while she was competing with her friends in her beloved  life guarding, she  named herself The Bloke. At that time there were very few Anglophones in the mileu of competitive life guarding. On her team of four, she was the only anglo. I thought  it interesting, because Kelly-Anne had the personality to laugh at herself.  Shouldn't we all be laughing at ourselves sometimes? I know I do.

Kelly-Anne strived to be bilingual and spoke the French language very well. I was very proud of her accomplishment. I feel Kell sent a very powerful message to many : that there is always room for two languages. Language barriers never stopped her from doing what she needed to do. I feel the same way. Speaking French for me is so important. I spend most of my working day speaking French and am proud that I can do so.

I believe that we all need to be more opened to learning languages and it is still mind boggling to me to know that there are  Anglophones who  have lived their entire life in  Quebec and cannot communicate in French.

But mostly,Kelly-Anne was  not afraid to intergrate into a field that was mostly made up of French speaking athletes. Good for  her...now if  only the rest of the world would try to work together............