Bad guys never win

Jean Beliveau

The bell rang and Tina rang as fast as she could to her locker, grabbed her coat and got on her bike. She could hear Barb and her friends whispering, “Hurry up, let’s get her.” They trailed behind on their bikes but fortunately Tina was taller than all of them, longer legs and bigger bike. She was a good 5 blocks ahead. Tina looked over her shoulder and knew she wouldn’t have to go in hiding, she’d lose them quick enough once she got to the foot bridge. None of them lived near there and they didn’t know all the shortcuts behind the church.

Safe, this time but what about all the other days. She’d have to tell someone sooner or later, she couldn’d stand this. For the past 5 weeks four of her peers at school had heard of a rumour spreading about her father. That was Barb with her big mouth and distorted stories. But the students believed and and Tina was so ashamed. Rumour was that her father was a “drunk and robber”. She looked at her nails in disgust. She had none left, she had started chewing the skin now she was so nervous. What could she do to stop those girls from chasing her and yelling, “Your daddy’s a drunk and a robber. You’re a loser , loser, loser!!”

She dug into her school back to get out a sheet her teacher gave all the student to have signed by parents. She didn’t remember what it was. She hadn’t been listening much, she was too distracted now. She was always daydreaming so she wouldn’t have to think all the time.

Later that night her mother gave her the signed permission slip, kissed her on the cheek and said, “Good luck, darling. I hope you win.” “Huh?” Tina looked perflexed.

“The permission if you are chosen to spend an afternoon with Jean Beliveau of Les Canadiens de Montréal and you get to meet the entire team.”  How could she not have heard this…OMG, Jean Beliveau was her hero!! He was the gentleman of all gentlemen in hockey!

The next day, the teacher announced that she had all the permission slips. The teacher was to choose one student and put it in fishbowl with the other classes of the school. They had to wait until the end of the day 10 mintues before the bell rang.

At the 3:30 p.m. there was an announcement on the speaker, “The runner ups have all been submitted…and the winner is…Tina Gagnon.” Tina could not believe it. She looked up at her teacher…her bullies gave her looks with daggers but the rest of the class clapped their hands. Tina`s cheeks turned red. Her teacher asked her and the 4 students who had been bullying her to stay in after the bell. OMG, now what, Tina thought. Her belly was churning and she thought she was going to throw up.

The classroom was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Mrs. Grant leaned on the front of her desk and looked at each child. Tina had no clue what was going on.

“I know you are wondering why I asked you all to stay. I received a disturbing phone call from the ticket master at the train station two weeks ago.” Tina gulped. This was her hiding place when the bullies caught up to her. She would stop at the train station that was half way home, run into the washroom and lock the door and pray and wait and pray for the bullies to get tired and leave. She had been doing this for a month now.

Mrs. continued. “Monsieur Castonguay said he was concerned about 4 girls who were chasing a certain student here and yelling curse names and chanting things about her father. Do you know anything about this, girls?” The four culprits lowered their heads in shame. Tina just managed to blush…it seemed the only thing she could manage at this point.

“After he called I asked a student from another class to follow Tina and see who was chasing her. You see monsieur knew Tina very well and asked her what the problem was but she refused to name her assailants. She even begged him not to tell her mother or the school. Now that is pretty darn brave and nice of her don`t you think? So my other student came back with a report after following Tina and her “chasers” for two weeks and gave me the names of each student.

Now, I know who you all are and you know what? I am not going to tell your parents THIS TIME. I chose Tina`s name to be put in the runner ups to see monsieur Jean Belliveau because she deserves this treat. And that will be a lesson to all of you, that being mean and vindictive to anyone NEVER pays. Have I been understood?”

All four heads bobbed eagerly and Tina was no longer blushing but had the most radiant smile as she puffed out her chest and stared at her teacher.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/29

Written for: Tale Weaver’s Prompt # 1 – Reality, Meet My Fiction  March 27, 2014 by

You are stunning!

I looked at the clock and noticed there was an hour left on my shift. It was a busy evening alright. But I like that because time passes quickly.  I had done two hours of Live Chat and I was now back on the phones after my dinner break. It is odd to call our breaks anything but “breaks” because we can have lunch at 2p.m. and dinner/supper at 10 p.m. depending on the shifts we work and how we have arranged to make sure the service is adequately covered.

The phone rang…

“Hello, you’ve reach a counsellor.”  I could hear faint sobbing, soft whimpering…

“Take your time, it’s okay; just take all the time you need…are you safe?”

I hear a weak “yes” and she tells me her story. She was just discharged from hospital for her eating disorder. She weighed well under 100 pounds…I winced at the thought of her wasting away and thanked the Great Spirit that she was, in fact, alive. “They fattened me up so much I can’t stand it!” she wailed.

The change for her was difficult to bear. She needed support in slowly accepting her “healthy” body.  We talked a bit about what she could do to distract her thoughts and then she shared some sad stories of her past. Such sadness I choose not to share here, but this is what I wanted to remember …  her fight to live even if for a brief dangerous time in her life and how she tried to become invisible…literally.

We explored her passions.  She was an artist and singer/song writer. I was blessed hearing her sing briefly and for a fleeting moment, I could hear her smile…what an angelic voice…such beauty, it managed to transcend through the wires of telecommunication.  She promised to try to focus on her beauty…voice, passions, art, inner and outer beauty and would call back if she felt overwhelmed.

When got I home late that night,  I could not help but imagine this beautiful person and wrote a brief message I imagined sending to her:

Image source: Thestir.cafemom.com

Do you know that you are stunning?

the last few years, I could barely see you

so frail were you, hugging seemed daunting

what if I’d crushed your bones,

you were really so very tiny;

I remember seeing you back then…

the wind was blowing and I could swear

it was pushing you farther from where

I was sitting on the park bench waiting

watching, silently observing you wasting

away and praying for a miracle.

 

That was a while ago my friend,

now the miracle did transcend

you are beautiful just as you are.

Pity you don’t yet see that far long

but hopefully in due time

with your gifts of beauty and song

you will sing the words that rhyme

and you will finally see

what’s so clear to me.

I pray someday your insight

will see your beauty transcend

as well as in the light

of day…blessings, my dear friend.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/14

 Inspired by my original post at StopTheStigma You’re Beautiful

Love is…

me as a child 

Children are unique
in their own special way
genuine, innocent
loving, rarely doubting yours,
assuming and expectant
walking with a purpose
head up high
asking “Why?”
saturate
interpret;

adults comment
may offend,
criticize with slight
or no intent
but cause them
still
discontent
makes them question
their self worth,
turns their life
from grief to mirth
roller coaster
rides begin
games are played
don’t always win,
grieving, growing
stumbling, laughing
learning rules
avoiding fools
mentors
make them wiser
hardships
make them stronger,
perhaps
they’ll find romance,
promise and commitment
never-ending love
soul mates are for life
two turn into one,
in the end,
procreate
having children…
cycle spins again
love ensues
power fuels
everlasting love.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/22

This week’s prompt is:   What Does Love Look Like?   Check out other creative offerings at    Dungeon Prompts – Season 2, Week 12: What Does Love Look Like?

Daisies

Photo shopped by Michelle Marie at Tell me About It
Photo shopped by Michelle Marie at Tell me About It

A daisy for my birthday

a bunch for an entire year

I’ m happy either way

this gift they gave me here,

colours popping I love you

whispering forget me not

I’m grateful for all they do

and so I’m saying Thank you!

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/21

Photo edited by Michelle Marie at Tell Me About It Thank you, Michelle Marie 😀

I was blessed with a lovely bouquet of flowers for my birthday last week from my daughter and grandson and a yummy brunch.

A Grandfather’s Last Letter To His Grandkids

Kindness Blog

When James K. Flanagan passed away on September 3, 2012, he left behind something absolutely amazing. Months before, he wrote a wise letter of advice to his five grandchildren, unbeknownst to them. With permission of his daughter, Rachel Creighton, the letter he left behind was posted online. This is that letter.

Even if you didn’t know James, his words are worth reading… they’re life lessons for all of us.

grandpa and granddaughter

Dear Ryan, Conor, Brendan, Charlie, and Mary Catherine,

My wise and thoughtful daughter Rachel urged me to write down some advice for you, the important things that I have learned about life. I am beginning this on 8 April 2012, the eve of my 72nd birthday.

1. Each one of you is a wonderful gift of God both to your family and to all the world. Remember it always, especially when the cold winds of doubt and discouragement fall upon your…

View original post 672 more words

Protector

boul St Laurent Montréal Street art, October 2013
boul St Laurent Montréal Street art, October 2013

I’m always there

when you least expect it

even where

you don’t see fit

I go places

leaving  traces…

I am the breeze

sending vibrations

unsettling, unease

demotivations…

whisper my faint sound

warning you when

danger is around

guarding,

protecting,

so you can perform

your gift

your art.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/20

 

Written for: Mindlovemisery Prompt 47 Street Art

 

Witness of their pain

Do you remember January 1st, 2000?  I remember looking up into the sky at those fireworks, at 00:01 standing on Front Street in Toronto.  Many people worldwide wondered if our computers would crash and what the future held for us. I knew I had a passion to reach out and help.  In July  I crossed a major threshold in my counselling career by joining Kids Help Phone.  This would be my career of the new millennium!  I’d won the Lottery!  

Who knew, crossing that line,  my life would change forever?  I had joined an agency that offers a unique service to youths in “their” mode of comfort, in their style, in their time, from the comfort of their own place.  I was hooked for good! 

Like so many people who work at Kids Help Phone, either behind the scenes fund raising, spending tireless hours promoting this unique service or the endless hours listening, counselling, responding to on-line messages or chatting on Live-Chat…I fell in love with this amazing family who cares about reaching out to youths across this vast country, reaching out to cities, towns and more isolated regions where help and hope are often scarce. 

The uniqueness is the availability, the free access and more notably the anonymity of this service.  Finally a safe place for youths to reach out and not feel judged; youths, who sometimes are sharing for the first time, exploring their options and feeling a sense of empowerment because THEY are in charge of their call.  Some youths may have been robbed of this privilege by abuse or neglect; here they are heard, respected and believed.  As a counsellor, I do feel privileged accompanying a youth on their journey. I take the lead from the expert…the youth on the other end of the line or the other side of the screen.   

Most youths who call are looking for some direction and may not know where to turn. Most do have good caring supports but don’t want to worry their family or friends.  And then there are some who don’t have this…

 

Witness 

Sometimes I hear

or read on-line

from far and near

their storyline

truths that need

and must be heard,

my role to heed

bear witness

to their pain.

I may appease

but must refrain

from judgement

and rather aim

solution focus

actively  listening;

compassion’s key

and soothes gently.

 

they won’t divulge

they want to spare

their loved ones

for whom they care

still…

they just want

to unburden

confidentially

and safely…

feeling unlaboured

a weight off

their shoulder…

sense of reprieve

in total anonymity!

they are relieved

and finally believed!

 

And so I listen…

 

I hold their stories

gently in my heart

listen with my soul

witness with my ears

their pain I hear

catch their tears

embrace with my mind

their stories

one of a kind…

always unique

in their distinct tale

of deception

and betrayal

of violent nature

appalling misuse

of human behaviour

alas!… child abuse.

 

Cheryl-Lynn, Counsellor – Witness 2014/03/11

Criticism (haibun)

“Hello, you’ve reached a counsellor. How can I help you tonight?” I waited.  I heard soft sobs; he spoke so fast, I could not decipher his story. “Are you safe right now?  Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am safe. I’m at home alone.  My parents are at my school meeting teachers. It’s the parent-teacher meeting tonight. They are going to kill me when they get home!” His voice reached a high note and he sounded more like a young, scared child…not his fifteen years.

He called out of helplessness…a last resort.  Wishing to protect his family as youths usually do, he needed to get this off his chest for the first time.  Tonight, he wept on the phone for the first time a practice he was accustomed doing privately … his nightly lullaby.

He was worried about his parents’ reaction on their return. He had an  82% average and usually he got 90+  He talked about his listlessness and difficulty concentrating lately, his insomnia, his depression…

“I can’t remember a night I have not cried myself to sleep since I was 11. My  parents say I exaggerate and that I’m just going through adolescence.”

We talked about  these “depressed” thoughts and I suggested a doctor could help to ensure he had a proper diagnosis and address his melancholy and  his insomnia;  I asked him to describe what  it was like for him to feel sad every day, how did he interact with friends, was he involved in sports.  He said he wore a mask at school.  He quickly added his parents were not abusive and  supportive. “They always tell me they love me and want me to go to them if I need help.” He broke down sobbing again.

I asked him what he was thinking…I wondered what triggered the sobs. He hesitated,  “Well, I know my parents mean well but they always criticize me and tell me it’s for my own good. But I am so tired of hearing them talk to me like that…it hurts so much.” He sobbed softly.

He told me what his parents often add to their supportive messages, my mouth dropped as I heard it, “We love you, we care, what are you STUPID?!”  I was silent.  I felt like I’d been kicked me in the belly. I could not imagine how hurtful it must feel hearing such  “criticism” day after day, for so many years.

We explored which trusted adult he could ask for support. Someone who  might be able to help his parents understand how he feels. He thought of a family friend, his father’s best friend.  I asked him if he would consider seeing his family doctor.  He seemed wary about seeing his doctor without his parents knowing even if he was permitted at his age but would consider emailing his father’s best friend after our phone call.

He sighed and said he was very tired now but would call us again. “It feels good finally getting this off my chest. Thank you.”

(Hiaku)

True criticism

appraise and appreciate

does NOT denigrate.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/17

Photo credits: Psychology and Astrology

Something about Criticism.

Seeking Paradise (haibun)

(haiku)

Seeking paradise

butterfly flutters

burgeoning blossom

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/16

It’s that time of year when I get the itch. You know it reminds me a bit of the 7 year itch ( but not the deception itch) it  has more to do with getting in touch with self, loving self and others as well.  Just weeks before springtime, you long for romance, being in someone’s arms…those warm sensual budding feelings are simmering, ready to burst. Itching to daydream, love, fall in love, feel loved…soft silky petals  of flora give that feeling as well as their scent … tantalizing and mesmerizing.

I am located in colder climates, so the flowers have not quite started budding, the trees are totally barren and as we look at snow here and there, I reminisce of what Mother Nature has in store for her humble human minions…soon.

 

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/16

 

The Cluttered Mind

Street Art, de Gaspé, Montréal, Qc. - Cheryl-Lynn
Street Art, de Gaspé, Montréal, Qc. – Cheryl-Lynn

Any clutter

causing turmoil,

attempt to toil

and scrub keenly

rinse liberally

wipe cleanly

look gingerly

It’s Spring!

Hurry!

 

Remove the mess

missing calmness

too much there

too little where

it really counts

{sigh!}

Futile movements

STOP!

Relax,

observe

sight see

in your chi!

Explore!

corners and  inspect

under crannies

introspect

scrutinize

reconnoiter

do not tolerate

things that loiter

fester and disintegrate

left with useless rubbish

causing souls to tarnish,

losing life’s clear luster;

 

Investigate

contemplate

meditate

navel-gazing

can be daunting

awful or amazing…

times even

hair-raising…

Feeling outrage!?

don’t dispirit

seek a sage,

catch the culprit

of doom

and gloom

and misery!

trash the felon

forever gone !

 

Now, there’s room

for finer things

like hope and love

long-lasting peace

tranquility

… and,

serenity.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/16

To read more about clearing the mind of clutter check out my blog at StopTheStigma and click here

Inspired: When The Student Is Ready by Dorothy Chiotti