If you haven’t already heard about this story or seen the YouTube video, WestJet recently made magic happen by working with Santa to make Christmas wishes come true. They gave children the fuel to keep their little hearts glowing with the belief that good ole’ St. Nick does exist.
I can only imagine the amount of racing cars, anxious WestJet shoppers, confused sales associates, excited planners and hard work that made this all happen.
Some will call it a marketing ploy, others will say that WestJet really cares. In my eyes, regardless of the intention (which btw I do believe is genuine), the state of the world today has me welcoming this act of kindness. We can all use Christmas Cheer.
For many, this season is a sad time of year or a time they may reflect on with another year passing and thoughts of ‘what have I really accomplished’.
I feel it’s a time to celebrate and appreciate all that I’ve been blessed with and a time to thank God for allowing me to see another year and hear stories such as this.
Though I don’t know anyone on that flight, I want to thank WestJet for bringing joy to the hearts on the flight and those touched just by hearing the kindness of your actions.
I heard the sad news that anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician, Nelson Mandela passed away today. He was 95.
I was 15 when I first heard the name Nelson Mandela. A reporter on the TV announced “Nelson Mandela has been released from prison”. I remember the day vividly as this was also the first time I had ever seen my father cry. My heart sank because I had never seen him shed a tear for anything so I couldn’t understand what just move him to tears.
When I asked him what was wrong my father simply said…’You’re too young to understand’ and wiped away a single tear.
I continued to watch the news that evening to learn why my father had been so touched by this story. My Dad would have been 28 when Mandela was put into prison so he remembered when they ignorantly stripped Mandela of his freedom. Fast forward to twenty-seven years later where my father was watching the same man who stood up for his beliefs, a man who looked much older and leaner, who had been battered and abused to say the least, was now walking out to his freedom.
It was on that day that I took it upon myself to learn about Mr. Mandela and it opened my eyes to his journey.
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years of his life in conditions that would be deemed inhumane today. He spent 27 years of his life imprisoned for standing up for his people and for what he believed was morally right. Twenty-seven years of not knowing if he would have to spend twenty-seven more years imprisoned.
This man is a true hero and legend because with all he went through, he remained determined and was resilient. Though I’m certain there were many dark days where he questioned ‘why’, he never let the walls of injustice imprison his mind or soul.
Shortly after his release, I had the privilege to hear Mandela speak at Queen’s Park in Toronto. I was still too young to fullly comprehend all that this man had done for humanity but in my heart, I knew that I had to witness this man’s greatness for myself. It’s a moment that will stay with me for life.
Though it is always a sad day to hear when anyone dies, we must rejoice that this man existed and that are able to talk about his legacy and all that he has done for countless people around the world.
Mr. Mandela, this is for you.
Cries of pain from a nation unheard…rise up
Fear that hope is lost…rise up
Life for freedom..rise up
Freedom for life…rise up
Hope that is fearless…rise up
Cries of joy heard from a nation…rise up
#RIP Nelson Mandela.
Here’s the full speech. Nelson Mandela delivered this speech at the Nelson Mandela: An International tribute to Free South Africa concert on 16/4/1990, at Wembley stadium, two months after his release from prison on 11/2/1990. http://youtu.be/jpw8AU3wMsM (speech starts at 5:36)
My boyfriend (a-hem…though he doesn’t know it) Idris Elba brings light to Nelson Mandela’s struggle in “#Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. I’M looking forward to seeing it and honouring Nelson Mandela’s life!
The baseball season started a few months ago and with a solid team of players, there was a lot of pressure on our Boys of Summer!
I heard comments from people already convinced things weren’t looking good for the Toronto Blue Jays because they weren’t winning games from the start.
Well, today made it their 11th straight win and I know there are many more to come.
I’ve been watching the full games when I can or on the #Jaysin30 recap version (on SN1 – RogersTV) and I love how these men have developed a genuine bond!
I’m looking forward to taking in a couple of games this season! I have a good feeling about this…I know the Jays are going to win the World Series!! As the only non-US franchise to appear in a World series (winning in both 1992 & 1993), it only makes sense that they do it again!
Got Blue Jays?!
At the plate with his bat, he steadies himself, waiting for the right hit.
On the mound, with a nod, he winds his arm to throw the game’s first pitch.
The ball speeds by with sonic force and leaves a trail of smoke behind.
The umpire catches it and yells out “Ball” the batter sees what the pitcher has in mind.
The game is intense. Everyone’s on edge. Our Boys in Blue are in the lead.
It’s no surprise they do it again, they’re on their way to the World Series!
As you can tell from my blog, I love to write! (nowadays, it’s when I can find the time to do so). Many of my writings on this blog are poems. I’ve always had a fascination with reading too and I’m glad to say that I still have a passion for both outlets.
As a teen, I had countless books of poetry but after the years rolled by and a major move, I’m still searching for those writings. I keep hope alive that I will find them. My first blog entry was for a friend who is an amazing artist and who was showcasing some of his work at an art show. As part of the criteria, each entry had to reflect and include a write-up answering the question “What is Hip Hop?”. Based on his artwork, I wrote the following:
What is Hip Hop?
Hip Hop is a feeling, an emotion, an experience and is slowly becoming a distant memory. Deep thoughts have been replaced by deep pockets. Tight rhymes and hard beats have been traded for diamond encrusted grillz and life-sized platinum pendants. Meaningful lyrics have been sold for meaningless words. Tattoo Hip Hop on your heart, not on your arm. Redefine Hip Hop.
I like to think this was pretty good (pat, pat, pat).
This Sunday, I have the privilege and I’m really looking forward to attending an event called “The Last Poet Standing” where 16 poets go head to head in a boxing ring all striving to be crowned the 2013 Last Poet Standing.
Toronto‘s own Mr. Dwayne Morgan will be hosting this event. You need to check out his website at www.dwaynemorgan.ca for more details on this and his other upcoming events as well as what he’s been up to over his career. It’s quite obvious that he’s a busy man on a mission to entertain us and showcase great talent!
See you on Sunday!
The Last Poet Standing
Sunday, February 24th
The Great Hall
$20 in advance/$25 door
I hope everyone has had the opportunity to see the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s new campaign. ‘Make Health Last’. It’s such a positive outlook and spin on their previous campaign, ‘Make Death Wait’. It’s amazing how changing two words can evoke a sense of optimism.
We all know the reality of life is death. Just as the sun rises, it sets. Though the thought of making death wait was effective, it sent a message of fear. As humans, we naturally respond to positive or negative accordingly and are often unaware of how certain words can effect our outlook.
I commend this organization for putting a spin on reality. Though many people suffer with countless illnesses and yes, some are beyond anyone’s control, there are a number of us who do have a choice on how we will live our life. If our lives were worth money, would we spend it all at once? Would we give it away without thought? Would we share it with the ones we love? The truth is our lives are worth more than money. It’s a wealth that is priceless.
I’ve been blessed with parents who are active and healthy as they advance in years however I have watched other family members and friends suffer to the bitter end. Only after reflection did we see that some cases would have been preventable while others could have been in the best of health at one point in their life but somehow succumbed to illnesses or circumstances beyond their control.
For those who are listening and are able to make a change, my message is for us all to be aware and to share the importance of taking care of your health. Our bodies are well-built machines that we often take for granted and were intended to heal itself of ailments and injury without any effort on our part. We blink and breath without a second thought. We walk and run, even when we’re tired. We can choose to live our lives to the fullest.
Tommy and Kelly were visiting Italy for the first time. They had just been married the day before and decided to go on a cruise for their honeymoon. Italy was one of the many stops. The love birds were thrilled to be there with each other. Tommy’s family emigrated from Italy so in a way he felt like he was going home. They were enjoying every minute together however, unbeknownst to either of them, they were being watched. Every step they made was being closely monitored by an old cherub looking man.
The man blended with the throng of people so they never once noticed that they had been followed every step from when they boarded the plane in Toronto. The man appeared to be traveling solo just taking in the sites as with everyone else. Tommy had no clue what was ahead of him.
Tommy wasn’t one for site seeing and would have gladly stayed on the cruise ship at every port but Kelly was the total opposite. She wanted to experience every moment in each city they visited. Though Tommy tried to convince his wife they should just relax on the ship, he couldn’t resist Kelly when she pleaded with a look of desire in her eyes. He would do anything to make his new wife happy. The other ports they stopped at were short visits but the stopover in Italy would be for the entire day. Tommy had to admit, he was excited to see the sights that his grandfather spoke of with such passion.
When the ship docked, Kelly was one of the first in line getting ready to depart. She held Tommy’s hand tight and tugged him. Though Tommy was physically stronger than her, her adrenaline was pumping and he actually tipped forward from her pull. She was thrilled to be there with him. Her family was from Switzerland, but she was elated to know her husband would be visiting the homeland of his family, now her family too.
As the two of them walked down the platform, the suspicious old man was only a short distance behind. Kelly was taking pictures of anything and everything. The monuments, the restaurants, the locals, anything she could capture in her lens. The old man also held a camera snapping pictures; the only difference was every photo he took was of this young couple.
They stopped for lunch at a cozy café. The two settled down and ordered. As they shared a bottle of Cabernet waiting for their meals, Tommy took a moment to relax. With his sunglasses on, Tommy tilted his head back and closed his eyes to take in the sun’s rays. Suddenly, there was a commotion in the distance; naturally Tommy opened his eyes only to see the same old man who had been following them was calling after a police officer. He was pointing at the couple saying “That’s them. They’re right there”. Tommy and Kelly both looked around to see who the old man was point at. There was no one around but them. Again the man insisted, “That’s them, you can’t let them get away”.
The police officer was getting annoyed with this little man and due to the language barrier; he didn’t fully understand what the old man was telling him. Tommy looked around and wondered what was going on. Someone passing by felt compassion for the old man and could see that the officer was about to walk away. The passerby asked the man what was happening and he told him. The couple couldn’t hear what was being said as the man was now speaking at a normal level making his words murmurs. The person he was speaking with looked over to the couple and said “Are you sure?” and the old man replied, “Yes, I saw them do it”. Clearly confused, Tommy rose out of his seat to find out what was going on. The passerby translated what the old man had said to the officer and he headed in the couple’s direction with his hand hovering over his gun. Tommy was now concerned and approached slowly.
The officer walked towards Tommy and with a broken English accent and said “You, stop. Walk no more”. Tommy stared stunned. Uncertain of what was going on, the old man started again “Don’t let him get away; he’s the one who took it, him and his wife”.
Tommy was now getting nervous. Though this was his family’s country, he didn’t know anyone in there. The officer was steps away from him and inquired “Where are you from?” Tommy replied “Toronto”. The Officer looked at him with uncertain eyes. Tommy replied “Canada”. The officer said to Tommy “You come with me”. Kelly watched in the distance with a lump in her throat. She had no clue what was going on but knew something wasn’t right. She stood up and rushed over to Tommy’s side. The officer saw her coming, and said “Stop. Walk no more”. Kelly couldn’t help it, her husband was in trouble and she had no clue why. She continued to rush to be beside him.
The officer grabbed his radio and called for back-up. Though neither of them spoke Italian, they both knew that him using his radio wasn’t a good sign. When the officer was distracted with calling for back-up, Tommy and Kelly both looked at each other and instantly knew they needed to head for the boat so they could get help. They eyed each other and nodded slightly. Then they bolted!!!
The officer yelled “Stopped” and chased after them. Tommy looked back and saw the officer was close behind them and then he caught a glimpse of the old man watching with a smirk on his face. Tommy knew there was no time to find out who he was or what really just happened. They just needed to get back to the safety of the ship.
Though he was blowing his whistle, the crowded streets slowed the officer down. Tommy pulled Kelly to an alley way and they both raced up the cobblestones. Kelly glanced back quickly, the officer was no longer behind them. They were halfway up when Tommy tripped on his flip-flop. Kelly looked back and saw he had stopped. They looked up and down the street and saw no sign of the officer but knew that him and his back up wouldn’t be far behind. Kelly stood beside Tommy with tears in her eyes. They were tears of fear and uncertainty. Tommy knew what she was feeling as he was experiencing the same emotions. He pulled her close to him and the two of them embraced consoling each other.