Category: Personal

Things I Love About October

October

It’s October 1st and I can’t believe how much October love I’ve seen today. Autumn is by far my favourite season and September and October are by far my favourite months. Here are some of the things I love about October:

  • Leaves changing colour: When I lived in Australia, I didn’t get to see the same colour change in the leaves in the Autumn (plus, October isn’t Autumn in Oz). I love the colours of autumn, especially the oranges and reds of October.
  • Cooler temperatures: I love sweater and scarf weather, and while I’m not a huge fan of the frigid winter temperatures, I love the cooler, cozier weather of October.
  • Saturday trips to the country: Nothing beats a trip to the farm markets, apple orchards or pumpkin patches in October. I love buying harvest produce, going apple picking or choosing the perfect pumpkin. As a kid, my parents would take us out for walks in the fields, tractor rides and to play in hay bale mazes. Not going to lie, I still love doing all of those things.
  • Thanksgiving: Canadian Thanksgiving falls in October. It’s one of my favourite holidays, because it’s not as chaotic as Christmas, not as busy as Easter and is the first long weekend after things go ‘back to normal’ after summer. When my brothers and I were in college and uni, it was also the first weekend when we’d all be home from school. Oh, and there’s always pie.
  • Halloween: I love the fun of Halloween; decorating, carving pumpkins, going to Halloween parties and handing out candy to trick-o-treaters. Not to mention scary movie marathons and the Simpsons’ Tree House of Horror specials.

Do you love October? What are your favourite things about this time of year?

Remembering a friend on WSPD

Green balloon

In high school, I didn’t have a specific clique that I belonged to. I was on the athletic council, had geek friends, art kid friends, drama and music friends. But I felt most at home with the outcasts.  The group of friends that were self-proclaimed misfits, the ones that didn’t really fit into any of the stereotypical boxes our high school hierarchy tried to fit them into.

These people were odd, but they were genuine, kind, smart and creative. There was always someone around to talk to, and we had gotten pretty good at being supportive, while trying to leave out any form of judgement. It was easy to just be yourself around them and that was a safe, comforting thing when someone was fighting through the ups and downs of high school.

Today, I’m thinking about one of my friends from this group in particular. He was thin and lanky in high school. I remember noticing him because I thought his taste in music was odd. Techno. Techno of all kinds, but he had a certain love for French techno. He always wore these huge headphones and was happy to share them with anyone that would give his favourite music a try. He was a fringe art kid in high school. Creative, artistic and he had an excellent eye for photography. His sense of humour offbeat, he was a bit goofy.  He was a kind soul, even though people weren’t always kind to him, because he was different.

I last saw him in person a few years ago at a friend’s wedding.  Still thin and lanky, but it suited him. He looked comfortable in his skin. He seemed happy and was just as kind and genuine as I’d remembered.

A few weeks ago, when I read the message that he’d gone missing, I felt an ache in my heart. When I heard he’d passed away, my heart broke.

It was once again a reminder that so many people suffer in silence.  Even if someone seems happy and comfortable and settled, that doesn’t mean they’re not suffering. It doesn’t mean that they’re okay.

My heart breaks that someone who seemed so happy and was kind and such a great friend was hurting so intensely. That he felt he had no one to go to, that he felt it wasn’t going to get better.

I wish I’d told him that it does get better, that he is loved and even if he didn’t believe it, there were people who would’ve dropped anything to help him fight. I  would’ve, even though we hadn’t been as close as we used to be. That no matter what, he was never alone.

I tried writing about this sooner, but to be honest, the emotions were too raw. I needed some time to get my head around it. To work through the guilt and anger and frustration that the world has once again lost a beautiful human being to the epidemic that is depression and suicide.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is never easy to talk about, there is still a huge stigma attached to it. But the World Health Organization says that more than 800,000 people commit suicide each year. That’s about one person every 40 seconds. It’s an epidemic. So we need to keep talking about it.

 

 Suicide Prevention Resources:

Canadian Association for the Prevention of Suicide
National Council for Suicide Prevention
The Trevor Project
International Association for Suicide Prevention

 
photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc

Siblings

Siblings

Yesterday I went out to get bagels at my favourite bagel shop.  There used to be a lot more of them around, they are a franchise.  But they never had the franchisey feel.  Growing up, on Sunday mornings, usually after church, we would go to our local bagel place and we’d either eat in or get a dozen takeaway ones for Sunday brunch.  Our local one closed years ago and the closest one to my house is actually in another town.  But the nostalgia has me heading out there every so often for bagels. (more…)