HOPE! A Soul’s Forest Fire

FM houseHope … a trek across the nation.

Maritimes behind them … leaving their struggles behind.

We arrived … at Manhattan … but it’s not New York … it’s the name of the building.

Building smells … sewer smell often permeates the apartment.

Thin walls … shift workers … noises at all hour of the day.

Stressed family … crying children … neighbours threatening to call Child Services.

Hope … a brand new apartment building … on the edge of construction.

Neighbourhoods under construction viewed from the balcony of my new home.

Cement floors  … no furniture … uneasy sleep

… but the community cares … gift baskets … donated furniture … feelings of belonging in our new home.

Canada Day Parades … community pride … we are part of the community

Hot tempers … health issues … domestic dispute … policemen visit.

Hope … a brand new rented townhouse … 1st to live there … our place …

1st shower … leaking pipes … a building check missed … signs of rapid building in our community.

Daughter struggling … cruel kids … fearing that what they do not understand … tourettes … but kids don’t care.

Determination … resilient … very proud … my daughter is recognized and awarded by her school for her struggles.  Our family love of the community grows.

Family vacations … REAL family vacations!   Another trek … Jasper … Banff … Canmore … Calgary … Drumheller … Edmonton … then back up highway 63.

Hope … qualify for subsidy to buy a new house.  Surreal … I’m making over 100K … but money means nothing in this northern community.

Viewing … inspections … family approves … we moved in in April 2009.  A feeling of establishment in our forested community.

Another big family vacation … back to the Maritimes … for the 1st time since we left in 2007.

Family reunions … some good … some not …

It’s fall!  Girl Guides!  Daughter ostracized … leaders show no understanding of my daughter’s tourettes.

Pain … anger … a loss of faith.  People you’d  work with at the city decide your daughter’s fate.

Hope … the Aurora Choir!  My daughter sings with so many other girl and boys from the community.

The Olympic Flame … will visit our community before it reaches the west coast of BC.

Special preparations … excited choir … but not for my daughter … one leader and children’s parents decide to kick my daughter out of the choir … mere days before the Olympic Flame arrives in our community.

sadness creeps in … the community … does it really care?  More loss in faith ….

Hope … private singing lessons for my daughter to amend and fix the actions of those who did not understand.

The Olympic GAMES!   I’m watching Canada playing hockey in BC.

Tempers flare … loud voices … a trio of policemen arrive and stare …

A flinch … handcuffs on … pleas of understanding fail to reach the ears of a trio of policemen who don’t care.

Jail … my daughter is in jail!  All due to an innocent flail.

Pacing … pacing … outside of the jail … policemen hold my daughter in the bowels of the municipal building that I go to every working day.

Heart breaking … my mind turns … faith lost in the community … my soul … has a new hollow feeling about a community that took my family in.

Hope … My community … I still have my community at work that will help mend my damaged soul.

Elected officials plot … plan … to bring a hatchet man in … as they promise their staff that everything is OK with a sinister grin.

FEAR!  Patronizing talk … meetings of “father knows best” … rumours and tales abound of managers leaving … let go … with a muzzle like they were somehow the hound.

Clinging … desperate … trying to hang on as toxic waters swirled and drowned.

Hope … I tell my staff … no need to fear … only managers are being jeered.

Head hurts … always hurt … as my management team puts me in my place … preparing for my date with fate.

DESPAIR!  Lost my job … to my manager who wanted my job.  Lost of trust and faith … my soul scorched and writhing in agony.

Unemployment … PTSD … years looking for full time work … Diabetes 2 … and a heart attack too.  My long journey continues to heal my scorched soul.

I had a heart attack in late April … it runs in my family.  But as I watch the news about the Fort McMurray forest fire … I can’t help but feel my connection to that community.  Fort McMurray have resilient people.  I see people I used to work with on TV … people I worked with in meetings.  My heart suffered a hit … it changed me … made me think from a different new perspective.    I guess … more forgiving … more open … more honest.   Fort McMurray also took a hit … they are in the process of healing after the heart of city was threatened by a beast of a forest fire.  I’m hoping … going forward … that Fort McMurray will remember what made them great before, during, and inevitably after the fire.  This forest fire is a renewal for Fort McMurray … hopefully for a kinder community for families who are hoping for a better future there.

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