It Could Happen To You…..

I tried to avoid the news online about the flooding in Houston, because the sight of flooding gives me anxiety….The photos I saw on my twitter feed were shocking, it pained me to see. I had a flash back of my apartment flooding last year, watching helplessly as water quickly spread thorough out the place….I didn’t know the water was THAT high! I pictured being in those people’s shoes, wading alongside my belongings as I leave my home and say goodbye to everything I own…

I have never experienced a hurricane, being that I’ve only lived in Ontario, Canada, watching hurricanes on the news looked unreal to me, like a movie. I remember learning about hurricanes in school, and the science behind them. The “eye” of the storm being calm, is a fact that I found interesting and disturbing. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to be in one. I was terrified based off of what I saw in the news coverage from other countries around the world. It looked as though the land would never be dry again, and re-building would take centuries…..

I’ve heard some say on social media and youtube, that the victims of the flood “knew” that  this could happen because of their location. I find it funny people say that, because we all live in places that are just as prone to natural disaster, i.e. a snow storm, ice storm, earthquake, or possibly a windstorm….Even if we live in areas that are considered “high-risk”, we don’t expect the WORST will happen. There are very beautiful condos by the waterfront  in Toronto that I’ve always dreamed of living in, flooding is the FURTHEST thought from my mind when I imagine living there…..

Regardless of how prepared you are, when the worst of the worst  does happen, it’s a slap in the face and a wake up call that it can happen to you too.

#PrayforHouston

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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Parents/No Parents…..

My friend brought a question to me the other day that had me contemplating the cards that I’ve been dealt in my life…….She had a very intense fight with her parents which left her feeling abandoned. She needed help, after a very traumatic event took place at her home, and they felt her request for support was too much too handle…. This wasn’t the first time that they reacted this way, but it was a wake up call, because she was terrified and her fears were treated as an inconvenience. The natural reaction would be to go to your parents, Right???  That’s what she said to me. I agreed. I would’ve did the same, if mine were available. That’s the truth.  After telling me all of this, she asked me, “What’s better, having NO parents, or parents that treat you like THIS???” I paused and pondered what she said…It truly touched me…..

I used to  imagine what life would’ve been like had my father been a consistent presence as a parent in our household. I wondered what life would’ve been like for all of us, had he made different choices back when we all resided in the same household…..My father was still alive, but he hadn’t been around since I was a little girl for reasons I’ve explained in previous blogs…After mom passed away, I felt parentless for the first time in my life…..

My friend’s question was a very valid one, because it forced me to look at how blessed I truly am at this point in my life. I made it to my adult years with at least one that always was there for me, regardless of the magnitude of the problem. Loyal to the tee, through all of her problems too…..I miss that. I miss her…..

I’m certain that I’d prefer NOT to have parents that are there, but aren’t there for me when I truly need them, as opposed to having none at all…..The grass is greener, she thinks I have it easier, but I always thought she had it easier.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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My Pre/Post Birthday Thoughts…..

As my birthday approaches, I’m reflecting on the year so far,  good and bad, ups and downs. I can honestly say that there’s been more UP’S and I’m happy to share that. I use birthdays as a measure of time for the year, instead of the “New Year” because it means surviving a full year of life and with the stresses of living in this society, I consider that an accomplishment in itself…..

It’s a few days since my birthday, and my birthday was especially different this year. I’ve never spent a birthday away from home, my place is still being repaired, and I’m far away from friends and family. I’m literally a block away from cows and farmland…..I have what I need, and enough to get by, yet I’m without my usual belongings. I couldn’t and didn’t take a fancy dress with me when I left, it wasn’t even a thought, or a priority. In case I was going out, I would’ve  liked to have had one…I tried to plan for my birthday, but I didn’t need to overthink or disappoint myself with high expectations, or have a bratty attitude. A couple of my relatives came to visit, it’s a long drive, and I appreciated that. I didn’t have a party-it-up birthday that is expected once you hit this age…..My father did his traditional phone call, and sent me a short “dad-like” message that was metaphorical, regarding my age  and “youthful” look…He was trying lol…..

Set-backs, like the flood, I now consider an inconvenience, instead a negative instance…..I’ve come a looooong way. Being placed in a few new/different environments so quickly, from a situation that was an still is out of my hands, has introduced me to a better way of life. What I thought was home, I see in a different light, and there was nothing wrong with that place, I adored it…..

I’ve been introduced to an improved environment, a town that’s alluring and calm, it’s helped to  inspire me and look forward. I’m anticipating what’s going to happen next, whenever the place is habitable again…Everything is going to be different, I have A LOT to catch up on…..My fears aren’t interrupting my peace, the way I used to let them, when an out of my hands situation happened in the past…..I’m Happy I made it to this Birthday, but I won’t tell you how old I am…lol…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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Memories of Remembrance Day…..

Back in primary school/junior high, Remembrance Day was treated with high importance and incorporated into the curriculum, and I’m Thankful for that. I asked questions  and participated in class discussions…I enjoyed learning about what the day represents and it put my mind in a different era a place and time. Had I been born in this skin, in that time, life would’ve been different of course, but I found a way to relate. That was my favourite part of learning in history class. Imagining what life would’ve been like, and watching the black and white footage documentary videos…My favourite era…It was distressing to find out the reason for the War… The soldiers and their families experiences hit close to home, and I couldn’t believe how young they were.I found it shocking that men that young were sent off to fight, leaving their families behind…..

For a class project, I created a mock diary written from the point of view of a young soldier. It required research and facts to be included and I put my all into it. Receiving a high grade wasn’t my only goal, I wanted to impress my teacher…I made sure it looked “vintage” with a “sepia” finish, I was satisfied with the finished product. I ended up getting a grade close to what I truly wanted, which was disappointing, however I loved my work. My teacher praised the quality. I took that diary very seriously, the character felt real to me…..That project was a pleasure to do.

I didn’t  wear a poppy every year, but as I grew into my adult years, I began to stop off when I see the veterans in the mall and stores. I stop off and donate, get my poppy, and make sure to Thank them. I feel it’s necessary to tell them that my generation learned about them in school…I have to tell them my age range, so they understand lol, and they show their appreciation by sharing with me their age too. I had a nice chat with a veteran at the gas station a few days a go, and he told me that there’s not that much of them left. People walking by were looking at us chatting, I could feel their curious gaze…I assume they were probably wondering, what are they discussing…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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It’s Okay if you Don’t Get It…..

Compromise and Understanding are important components of a healthy relationship, there’s no way to get around that. A small argument or disagreement is not worth dwelling on, and driving a wedge between people. I’ve talked about this topic before in other blogs, because it’s a topic that comes up a lot in my life. Because of my passionate, stubborn nature, I had to get to know myself, a different side of myself to figure out why it was so easy to walk away from people, especially those I love and care for. Ignore,  give the cold-shoulder, dismiss, give the silent treatment, used to be my coping mechanism for dealing with a person who just doesn’t “get it”. I felt as though I was doing the other person a favour, by simply leaving them alone…Why would I continue trying to force you to understand me, when clearly you don’t. That’s how I used to feel….

My friend told me she felt as though I was avoiding her, because I didn’t talk on the phone as much as I usually do in the week. We had a disagreement again recently regarding “parties” and “having fun” and I told her my priorities are different now, and I focus on what’s most important at this time. Certain things are not as important to me, and I’d rather not discuss it…..I’ve said it bluntly, explained it thoroughly, shown it though my actions, there’s nothing more I can do…..I may stay in my zone, and not say much, or as much as usual, but please don’t take it personally…..I’ve told her time and time again, it’s not a big deal to me to miss parties and gatherings. I can’t “hang out” with people, just to pass time, if we can’t relate on a basic human level….I do see life different since the flood situation, and I’m happy about the fact my priorities have changed again but for the better and that’s good enough for me….I don’t think she quite gets it, but she was trying to help, but I get it, and I Thanked her.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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That “Home” Feeling (Conclusion)…..

(Continuing……….)

From that point on we were homeless. We ended up moving  around from place to place, hotels, motels, and shelters for a looong time….It became normal and I forgot how life used to be. Being that my mother was always a quiet, poker-faced woman who rarely complained or talked a lot, I had no idea how serious our situation was, being young and innocent too…..

I have vivid memories about each place we stayed, schools I attended, fascinating/broken  people I met, and being exposed to shady characters, and the”dark side” of life….At one point, we were literally “on the run” with our father, and stayed at a beach side motels in Toronto…It was just life. I didn’t feel in danger, or afraid…I felt protected and safe. I was happy being with my mother, father and siblings…..I felt at home throughout those times and I have a warm feeling in my heart when I reminisce…..Those are the stories I used to love to talk with my siblings about…We had fun most of the time, and we found ways to entertain ourselves and made it a group effort. That was the beauty of it all…..

Those times are more precious than gold to me. I learned  and saw a lot, good and bad, but I can honestly say that I felt more at home then, than I do now in my current situation. The beauty of this town, the suburban comfort, the beauty and unique design of my surroundings, can not replace or fill the void of  feeling at home. I know for a fact that material items, a pretty picture, doesn’t do it for me. I wouldn’t understand how valuable it is to build a home for yourself, the physical and spiritual aspects of it all, if I didn’t have to grow these experiences….

We eventually left the last women’s shelter with our mother and my mother was able to move us into a townhouse in a town in the GTA. We moved into a house again, and I remember running around the fresh, new, carpeted place thinking…Okay this is HOME! Plus I had my own bedroom that I was going to be sharing with my twin sister…I felt a deep sense of pride…..We resided there from then on, no more homelessness…..

So now as my birthday approaches and I’m waiting patiently to find out the status of my place, living day to day out of rubbermaid bins, and luggage, I tell myself that I will be home soon…..I’ve seen the worst it could be, and I’ve fortunately never had to live on the streets. I’m warm and safe, and focusing on what I DO have but I can not fake the fact that I don’t feel at home in this large, lovely, vacant space…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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That “Home” Feeling (Continued)…..

…..After our house was raided I knew that life was never going to be the same, the scene I witnessed is ingrained in my memory as if it happened yesterday, but I’m going to save that story for another blog. The raid marked a turning point in my life…..I distinctly remember fleeing our home with my mother and siblings wondering, What’s going to happen next??? I was shaken up and shocked, yet calm and quiet. I was only five years old, too young to fathom what was supposed to happen next but I knew life as I knew it was NEVER going to be the same again…..

We ended up at my Auntie’s apartment, where we waited and waited…..I didn’t ask my mother anything…I glanced at the television and the evening news was on, then I saw my HOUSE! I saw my house and our neighbours house and front yard, to my dismay, I was speechless…..I just stared at the screen as the reporter spoke, words I understood, but didn’t know what it all meant….I thought to myself, I’m NEVER going to live there again, things are never going to be the same again…And I was right.

My toys, my bed, my room, I had to leave behind with no explanation…That’s just the way it was. I went with the flow, along with my  siblings. I wondered WHERE and HOW we were going to live. In a matter of a few hours my perception of home had changed.

From that point on we were homeless. We ended up moving  around from place to place, hotels, motels, and shelters for a long time….There’s waaaay more to the story, but I’ll continue in another blog….Stay tuned…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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