Friday, July 30, 2010

Dear Diary: I don't know what to say

The details of Tim McLean's death are something no one likes to remember; stabbed to death, beheaded, eyes eaten, limbs cut off... it was a gruesome sight for the passengers of a Greyhound Bus two years ago on July 31.

When I first spoke to Carol last year she told me in graphic detail what happened to Tim aboard that bus.

“Mr. Li taunted (passengers and police) with my son’s head and dropped it in the stairwell (of the bus.) He continued to ravage my son’s body, removing all of his internal organs. When he finally did escape out of the bus window, he had my son’s nose, tongue and ear in a baggie in his pocket.

“Some internal organs were thrown onto the front dash of the bus, he was in the process of trying to remove one of his feet.

“He ate his eyes, and he ate at least one third of his heart muscle as well as other tissue. Mr. Li was observed during this attack cannibalizing my son, and smelling and licking his fingers.

“There were body parts in bags in four to six different locations in the bus. There was a gaping hole where his heart was ripped out. He was pulp. His body was pulp.”

I couldn't believe she could be as frank about the death of her son as she was, or that she could describe it in the detail that she did. I had a tough time taking notes and hearing it, yet there she was, discussing her son's murder with a calm I could never imagine.

I asked her how she could get through it, be as strong as she was and talk about it the way she did. She wasn't detached from this event, by any means, but she said she had to make people aware of what happened to Tim because it was the gruesome nature of the crime that kept it in people's minds.

Sadly, I don't see as many people caring as they first did when Tim's murder hit the headlines. At first, people seemed outraged and determined to have justice carried out. There were about 1,000 people in a Facebook group called RIP Tim McLean that I joined the day after his murder. It quickly grew to over 33,000 people but has since dropped to just over 26,000 people.

As a mother, I have empathized since day one with Carol. I could never imagine being in her position. So I reached out the only way I knew how; through the magazine. I wanted to give her an ongoing voice anytime she needed it and I have since had the pleasure of meeting her. She is warm, genuine, funny and the strongest woman I have ever met.

I will continue to shove these images down the throats of our readers, Twitter followers and Facebook fans until the day comes that the NCR law is changed.

Vince Li's fate is sealed. He will be released and he will never have a criminal record for what he did. He will most likely disappear into a neighbourhood that you live in.

But the fate of future offenders who think they can get off with the BULLSHIT NCR verdict is in your hands. Don't let yet another offender get away with this. Sign Carol's petition to change the NCR Law.

"Be the change you want to see in the world" Ghandi
Today, news broke that a security plan was unveiled so that Vince Li could get some fresh air and sunshine during walks around the Selkirk facility where he is being held.
There will be two "special constables" escorting Li however there is no fence.
It sure was nice of them to drop this little tid bit of information almost two years to the DAY that Li killed Tim... you know, seeing as Tim will never see the light of day again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Diary, Shut Up & Eat

Yah, that's right. I said Shut Up. But before you get your granny panties all twisted, I was referring to Kathy Buckworth's new book Shut Up & Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children & Chardonnay.

Now anyone who KNOWS me, knows that if it has booze in the title, I'm checkin' it out!

Better than reading it though, will be schmoozin' and boozin' with the writer herself at MOM's 1st Dip & Sip: An Evening with Kathy Buckworth at the Melting Pot in Edmonton on Tuesday, July 20. Kathy will be in town promoting the book and I managed to snag her for a few hours for a meet & greet.

This event should be a GREAT one and I'm really looking forward to meeting her in person. We are kindreds, I'm sure. We both love our blackberries more than we love our children, and we love wine! I wanna be her when I grow up!

Pics and deets to come, following the event.

PS as of RIGHT now there are a handful of tickets ($25 ea.) left. If you want one, email me. For more info on the event, go to our website.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dear Diary: Stand By Me

The Junior High Lockers
There are moments in our lives that catapult us to another level, and when we look back on those moments, we see the significance they played in the path that we chose.

When I was 12 years old, one of the biggest moments in my life started at Parkdale... an inner city Elementary and Junior High School in Edmonton.

If I close my eyes, I can remember the first day. I had recently moved from a more upscale neighbourhood on the south side but had spent the majority of my childhood in the inner city and looked forward to my return with both anxiety and anticipation.

The Main Stairwell

I wondered if the first boy I had ever kissed when I was six years old would still be at Parkdale. He wasn't.
I wondered if anyone would remember me. They didn't.
But it was at Parkdale that I found the five friends who were instrumental in surviving junior high (and home life in general).

We celebrated birthdays and studied together. We shared dreams of going to university and travelling, we giggled about boys, and we kept each other protected from the lifestyles that any one of us could have easily slipped in to.

Parkdale wasn't just a school for me, it was a safe haven from the bullshit that was happening at home. At school, I had my friends. And at that moment in my life, it seemed like they were all that I needed.

It happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of our lives,
like bus boys in a restaurant - Gordie LaChance, Stand By Me

The Phoenix, Parkdale's logo

Our friendships were based on a lot of things, mainly our love of movies and I remember seeing Stand By Me in the summer of Grade 8, and feeling like I was watching us up on that screen. Of course, I was Gordie, for no other reason than he grew up to be a writer which I was planning on doing.

By the end of that movie, when he talks about the friends he had when he was 12, I knew it was a foreshadow to my own life.

I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone? Gordie LaChance, Stand By Me

The Girls (I took the picture)

We all went our separate ways in high school, and even though we tried to get together throughout the years, the last time we were all together was at that grad.

Walking through the halls of Parkdale reminded me of a moment in my life that I will never get back. The friendships I had there were the only things I had to cling to in an otherwise forgettable part of my life.

Yesterday, after 98 years of scholastic history, Parkdale's doors were closed forever.

Another building from my past is shut down but the moments I was at Parkdale led me to the path that I am on right now.

And for the record, I never did have any friends like the ones I had when I was 12.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A day for all the Big Daddys...

My new Twitter BFF Tanis Miller aka @Redneckmommy celebrates the week before Father's Day by calling it "Weiner Week."

Since she's much more clever than I am, I'm just gonna steal that for the focus of this blog and not try to come up with anything relating to dick, pecker, wang, johnson, shaft, schlong, package, woody, skin flute or joystick.

Nope, not gonna try.

Instead, I'm gonna steal my favourite lines from movies and songs about all things PENIS in order to pay tribute to my second favourite gender: MEN.

Lady gaga said: Let's have some fun, this beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick

Chuck Berry said: My ding a ling, my ding a ling, I want you to play with my ding a ling.”

AC/DC yells: Oh I've got big balls. And they're such big balls. Dirty big balls
I've got the biggest... balls of them all!

Happy Father's Day to Big Daddy, the biggest dick of them all!!

Mickey Avalon taunted: My dick need no introduction. Your dick don't even function

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dear Diary: Vince Li is bad for my blood pressure

I don't usually go up against the Big Boys because, let's face it, I'm small potatoes in the media stew but today, I must, must, MUST voice another rant about Vince Li, the Canadian "Criminal justice' system and the jackasses who make poor decisions.

Paula Simons is a columnist for the Edmonton Journal and a woman whom I respect. I truly do. But her column today in defence of Vince Li's "rights" has me up at 7 am on a Saturday morning pre-coffee, mind you), ready to kick someones ass.

The minute I saw that the recommendation at Li's annual review was for "day passes" (wrongly reported by a, which has been conveniently removed...they aren't the only media outlets to get their facts wrong, CTV Winnipeg screwed up, too, by saying the ruling doesn't specifically say Li must be escorted by staff when clearly, it does) I flipped. I literally blogged within minutes of seeing that story and texted Carol deDelley, Tim McLean's mom, to see if she saw that story. She told me she had just left the review and that the recommendation was for 15 minute escorted walks around the grounds of the facility.

After my initial rant, I thought, OK, maybe that's not so bad. Sunshine, he'll be escorted, it's only 15 minutes a day...

And then I thought about Tim and the amount of sunshine HE gets right now.

Yah. No.

This is directly from the Review Board's order:

THEREFORE, pursuant to Section 672.54(c) of the Criminal Code of Canada, the Review Board orders that Vince Weiguang Li is to be detained in custody in a hospital, subject to the following conditions:

1. That he reside on the locked forensic ward at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, Selkirk, Manitoba;

2. That upon the recommendations of the treatment team, the person in charge of the hospital may grant staff supervised hospital grounds pass privileges, subject to the following provisions:

i) passes start at fifteen minutes and increase incrementally to a maximum of one hour, twice daily;

ii) the treatment team is of the opinion that his condition is stable and that it would be appropriate and safe for him to leave the locked ward;

iii) while he is away from the locked ward on any supervised hospital grounds passes, he is to be escorted at all times on a two-to-one basis by two staff members who are equipped with either a two-way radio or a cell phone;

iv) security staff at the hospital are informed when each grounds pass is to occur;

3. That if he is required to leave the hospital grounds for any reason, he is to be escorted at all times by a peace officer;

4. That he present himself before the Review Board as directed by the Chairperson thereof;

5. That he keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

Paula makes some valid points in her column, some compassionate points, even:

Imagine life if you could never go outside, never see the sky or touch the grass. Imagine if you had to spend every waking and sleeping moment locked inside a noisy psychiatric ward, breathing dank hospital smells, looking at bleak hospital walls. Such cruel and unusual punishment would drive a sane man mad.

But he's NOT SANE, PAULA!!! He's schizophrenic. He has been for a long time and contrary to what Paula writes, he WAS a diagnosed and treated Schizo who refused help and did not take his medications. (Don't get all up in my shit, here either about having no compassion for the crazy people, because I come from a family of schizos and clinically depressed people, so yah, I get it).

Li isn't a prisoner. He's a patient. And medically speaking, his doctors believe it would be good for his mental and physical health to take a 15-minute walk outside, under strict guard, twice a day. If we want to lessen the danger Li poses to the public, if we want him to get better, maybe their advice is worth heeding.

My question is this: Why the hell should ANYONE give a rat's ass about Li and his rights? Paula says that if we don't the our own rights are at stake.

Fuck. She makes a valid point.

But this is where the LAW NEEDS TO CHANGE.

The problem with Canada's judicial system stems RIGHT BACK to the bullshit law we call The Not Criminally Responsible Law" (NCR). It's the law hardly ANYONE in Canada knew about until this case made headlines around the world. It's the law that Tim's mom, Carol, is fighting to change.

Carol says the average release date for an NCR "patient?" "criminal??" "fuckstick" whatever, (my words, not Carol's FYI) is on average, 3-5 years.

He's been a patient at the Selkirk facility for two years.

"He'll be out. And at that point, you'd better be scared."

Paula's beef with this issue is that the province stepped in and said 'Oh hell NO!" (or something like that) to have Li walk around outside, until security measures are in place.

"There's nothing in the Criminal Code that would permit the attorney general to set aside an order of the board," says Winnipeg lawyer John Stefaniuk, chair of the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board.

But Swan's press secretary, Joelle Saltel-Allard, says the minister acted within his authority because he didn't overrule anything.

"This is not overruling a decision," she says. "The decision will be implemented, but not until additional security measures have been put in place to ensure public safety."

Of course, we need to protect people from Li and protect him from himself. But fear and loathing shouldn't trump common sense, basic humanity or judicial independence. Politicians can't run roughshod over legal rulings they don't like because of a public backlash or single out a patient for arbitrary treatment because his act made the goriest headlines.

I wonder if the powers that be are REALLY concerned about public safety or Vince Li? Most people are outraged with the NCR verdict that Li received and haven't forgotten what he did to Tim. Li was never placed in General Population because they were concerned for his safety. So to have him "escorted" by two PEACE OFFICERS (aka not a real cops) whilst he enjoys fresh air and sunshine, seems to me like they are protecting HIM from anyone who may want to protest, or even exact some sort of vigilante justice.

This case pissed a LOT of people off.

The details are gory, disgusting and sound like something out of a horror movie. But don't tell me that Li had no intentions of killing someone. He boarded that Greyhound with a HUNTING KNIFE then, when it was convenient, told people God made him do it.

Yah, sounds crazy to me.

Bottom line is, Li is still hallucinating. He's still crazy. He should be locked in a facility that has the appropriate security and treatment measures in place.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

30 Lashes for MOM

I've recently discovered my inner girly-girl and have been indulging in some rather unusual (for me, anyway) beauty treatments.

Allow me to explain: I'm not high-maintenance. Yes, I dye my hair (I'm just blonde at heart), yes I like makeup and yes, I get fake nails every once in a while. However, I'm not that MOM who has to put on a full face of makeup and wear heels to Wal-Mart (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not me).

But lately I've been more comfortable in sweats and T-shirts (probably a direct result of my depression and indifference to my appearance) so I have had to make an effort to reclaim my fabulous old self; to look as good on the outside as I feel on the inside.

Since my eyes are my best facial feature, I decided to bring as much attention to them as possible and what a better way to do it than lash extentions! Because, let's face it, I couldn't apply false lashes if someone held my wine bottle for ransom.

In Edmonton, the choices are far and few between for good lash services so I had to look high and low until I came across Bizou Lash Studio. Always one to research online, I checked out the website only to find it was "in progress." *Note to any and all business owners: Have your damn website up and working so that potential clients can research your products prior to booking a service.

However, I did find their Facebook fan page and found a enough information for me to book a session.

I have sparse, short blonde lashes and I know that it makes it extremely difficult to adhere extentions to. In fact, I had them done at a "salon" in Spruce Grove and they fell out less than three days later. $70 and no lashes later, I was not a happy girl.

But the professionalism at Bizou blew me away. They start with a consultation, asking colour, length and style of lashes that you want/need.

The process takes about an hour and once the lashes are applied, they send you home with a sheet of instructions on care for your new FABULASHes!!

I loved these lashes. For $90, you get a full set of lashes that lasts about three weeks. I lost a few over the course of three weeks but nothing that made me think I looked (eye)bald.

Fills at Bizou are about $40-60 and well worth it.

The downside: You can not walk in off the street if you're wandering along Whyte Ave. and decide you want lashes. This is currently a "by-appointment-only" studio.

Parking on Whyte Ave is ridiculous so be prepared to pay and walk unless you luck out and find a meter outside the Studio but even then it's only 2 hour parking.

A few weeks after my fabulous experience at Bizou (when I missed my fill appointment) I found a place in the west end that offers Lash Extentions for $55!

What a BARGAIN! Because I've seen places that charge upwards of $150 for a set!

My first thought on lash extentions is "WHY are they more expensive than a full set of nails?" They take about the same amount of time to apply and they last for about the same amount of time.

The tech at Bizou said she thinks it's due to the cost of the products.

So when I found this sweet little deal at Lovella salon, I booked myself an appointment. There was no consultation, no cheat sheet for care and no fancy schmancy schitck. But there is a a Facebook page complete with information about the salon and the other services they offer.

The tech was efficient, I was able to bring my 4-year-old daughter who watched Treehouse and coloured while I got my lashes applied, and found quite the little gem of a salon in the westend.

My lashes are not as full as they were at Bizou but they still look nice. I would equate this experience to the same you would get at a walk-in nail clinic except the atmosphere is much nicer and more appealing. The salon is open 7 days a week, there's ample free parking and walk-ins are welcome.

I will update you as to how well/long they last in about three weeks.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dear Diary: Day passes for Tim McLean's killer is a real possibility

Why is it that news of Vince Li's psychiatrist suggesting DAY PASSES for the monster quietly hit the online media without any awareness leading up to this asshole's review board hearing???
Something smells of a cover up here.

HOW can it be less than two years since Li viciously murdered, beheaded and cannibalized Tim McLean on a Greyhound Bus, be even considered for day passes into society. You know what? They`re giving him day passes ONLY on the grounds that he has two `special`constables with him.

Why? For Li's protection? So that when he's spotted in public someone doesn't take a shot at killing the monster that Li clearly is??
Align Center
I mean, why else would they assign bodyguards? Because that's what those constables will be. If Li is fit for a day pass, he must be fine right?

According to news reports, "Li's treating psychiatrist says Li continues to suffer hallucinations, but at a reduced intensity and frequency than at the time Tim McLean was killed."

So why would someone who has a Li's history be allowed to visit the local Dairy Queen if he's still hallucinating?

I have an idea, let the dumbass who thinks Li's "fine" go and stay with him and HIS family for the day... then we'll see just how willing this doctor is to let Li go.

WHY haven't the RCMP ever commented on that fateful bus ride, specifically about why the officers sat there for 5 hours watching Li do what he did to Tim's body.

WHY was there such a rush to get this case to trial? Why was the first review for Li less than a YEAR that he was found Not Criminally Responsible??

And now, day passes for this killer are being suggested. Less than TWO YEARS since he killed Tim. Less than TWO YEARS since he ate Tim's body parts. Less than TWO YEARS since he taunted RCMP and Greyhound passengers with Tim's head.


I didn't even know Tim but the thought of Li being released into the general public, even with bodyguards aka "constables" is more than enough to make me shake with anger.

The Not Criminally Responsible law MUST CHANGE. The only reason most Canadians know about this law is because of Tim's murder and since THAT happened, I've heard of a couple other NCR verdicts including the Merritt, BC dad Allan Schoenborn who killed his three kids.

It's time to fight.

To fight to change a system that is clearly flawed. To fight for a young man who could've been YOUR son. To fight alongside a MOM who needs all the support she can get. To fight so that a criminal like Vince Li is branded as such and never allowed freedom again.

-Tamara Plant

** UPDATE** I just spoke with Carol deDelley, Tim's mom, who said she was at the annual review for Vince Li where this all took place. She says, "Daypasses were not on the table today. They (psychiatrists) were asking for supervised time outside on the grounds where there is no fence."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Diary: I Don't Get Sex...

And the City, that is.

That movie. Carrie, Samantha, uhm... and the other two characters...

I'm not one of the millions of women who will be flocking to that flick this weekend because, quite frankly, I don't give a damn.

No, I haven't seen the TV show and yes, I'm judging it based on what I see in the commercials. But I'm also judging it based on all of the hype that I see on Twitter. The majority of women on Twitter have feverishly been shopping for outfits to wear to this movie, literally for MONTHS.


What is the fascination with this movie? Are women living vicariously through the characters??

I know the premise of the show revolves around fiercely independent women who are living in New York City. There are shoes (specifically Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos), sex (Carrie ends up marrying her bootycall, Mr. Big) and honest discussions between girlfriends that you've probably had WITH your own girlfriends or, at the very least, wanted to.

You see, for me, this show was no 'eye-opener'. I've always been open and honest about sex; nothing was ever taboo for me. I was honest about having one-night stands, I enabled my friends to truly be themselves and do things they normally would never do because
'good girls' don't (insert anything taboo here) and I wasn't shocked at the words 'masturbation,' 'vibrators' or 'orgasms.'
I don't giggle at stuff like that because I've never been embarrassed about sex.
So you would think that I would like this show but the truth is, it sort of annoys me. That whole "rah rah I've got a hoo-haw" girl power shit grates on my nerves.

Women "lunching" just to gossip or dish on the latest divorce/orgasm/shopping experience they've had is not my cuppa coffee.

Sex and the City represents all things stereotypical about women

Each character, from what little research I have done, I admit, seems boxed (pun intented).

There's Samantha, the pervy, try-sexual, uninhibited friend who oozes SEX and enjoys it for what it is... just sex. She will educate and enlighten you on all things you want to know about sex but are too afraid to ask. Perpetually single, will she ever truly commit and find a "happily ever-after??"

There's Carrie. She shops, she's living the dream as a sex/relationship columnist in New York City and she drinks Cosmos. She's searching for the elusive Mr. Right whom she finds in the form of Mr. Big. They have sex, they break up. He gets married. They have sex. Marriage breaks up. They break up. They have sex. They get married. Stop the roller coaster, I'm gonna puke.

There's Charlotte. She's sweet, demure, classier than her friends by a LONG shot and she is the good girl our mother's all wanted us to be. Happily married, white picket fence, kids. Yup. One-dimensional.

And finally, Miranda. She's the tough-as-nails, jaded yet loyal friend who becomes a single mom. She balances it all because THAT'S WHO SHE IS. Independent. Strong. Ferocious! Who needs a man? She relies more on personality that sex appeal because, let's face it, she has none.

From what I'm seeing on Twitter, women are 60-40 in support of this movie.

shannondagnone says: It's appealing because it's fantasy. Fabulous clothes, gorgeous men. It's the life most of us will never live. Vicariousness!

ParentClub says: so not obsessed. Couldn't care less. Carrie who?!

sandyel says: because it's fun. It is one of my fave tv series. #SATC

RecycleNazi says: i dont know. i watched an episode here and there, and the movie, and just like the housewives of OC, liked it, possibly something to do with seeing snotty bitches talk about getting screwed over by men, or shitting their pants (yah, that happened in the movie, laughed my ass off) I think its like a stepping stone to normalcy for the really plastic bitches. for me, its sort of the opposite. I can pretend I am fancy.

And finally, one of my twitter BFFs whom I LOVE LOVE LOVE in spite of her kooky love for SATC, CocktailDeeva says: It's witty, well written, women can relate..FABULOUS Fashion, Hot Men & Killer Cocktails...

She also gives fantastic reasons why women LOVE this movie and are obsessed (check it out here)

So, even though I don't get it and probably never will, I'd like to share with you what I told another Twitter BFF CLBuchananPhoto last night (who saw the premier and loved it) ... Opinions are like assholes, and since I've got both and this is my blog, I can express mine.

Feel free to express yours in the comment section.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

You know what really cheers me up?

Singing. Loudly. Poorly. And thinking I'm doing a duet with the artist, because in actuallity I am!

Take for example, one of my all time favourites Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks. Why do I love this country song? Because it tells the story of a guy who is rockin out in a fancy place and stays true to his roots...

Well I guess I was wrong I just don't belong

Yeah, but I've been there before...

Just wait till I finish this glass

You Oughtta Know!

This anthem for every girl was a staple in my playlist for the ealry part of my 20s, not because I hated guys but KNEW what Alanis was talking about. And now, when I hear that song, I remember feeling empowered because she expressed what I felt:

"And every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it. Well CAN YOU FEEL IT!?"

If You Could Only See by Tonic

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dear Diary: 8 Songs to Help Reclaim Your MOJO

Music can set the tone of my day.

Quite often, I'll listen to Magic 99 in the morning because they play mellow, jazzy tunes that tend to keep me calm during the morning rush. Plus, I really just love the old school music they play like Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

When I need to FOCUS on work, I'm a fan of Enya. Her soothing sounds are wonderful white noise that don't distract from the tasks I must accomplish while on the computer. I'm not one of those people who can write and listen to music that I can sing along to, my brain doesn't work that way.

But when I want to get PUMPED up or am doing something physical, I crank the tunes to rock music. Anything by the Offspring, Meatloaf, Aerosmith ... as long as it gets my adrenaline pumpin, I play it!

If I'm in a BLAH mood, I try to play songs from back in the days when I would hit the clubs. You know... Salt & Peppa, 112, Blackstreet, Biggie, Monica, Alliyah, The Outhere Brothers (Don't stop movin baby, dontcha know you drive me crazy... WIGGLE WIGGLE!!) ... lots of sassy R&B. It's music that brings me back to a simpler time in my life where my biggest problem was deciding what outfit to wear to the clubs.

If I'm feeling FEISTY and wanna kick someone's ass, I play Eminem (he's very angry and has some amazing music!!) or Trapt ("Back off, I'll take you on!!! Headstrong, I'll take on ANYONE! I know that you are WRONG and this is NOT where you belong!") or Last Resort by Papa Roach, which was featured in Jet Li's The One.

And, of course, there are the rare moments I feel all MUSHY and girly so I play the sappy love songs like "Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd or "Too Drunk to Fuck" by Buckcherry.

What? Those aren't romantic?? Aw COME ON! They are so.

Anyway, because I feel like sharing today, I'm posting my TOP 8 songs for getting your MoJo back! Songs that make you feel like life is pretty fucking good!!

And there you have it.

Enjoy! And feel free to post YOUR favourite songs.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This Mother's Day, Forget About it...

Mother's Day is just another day.

It's like the highly-commercial Valentine's Day; an over-rated holiday that reaches in your wallet and steals your money all in a pathetic attempt to prove your love for ONE DAY OF THE YEAR.

To all the mom's out there who need validation from this dumbass holiday, let me offer some advice - find something else to focus on.

If your family chooses to recognize your contribution one day a year, you have bigger concerns in your family dynamic. We all get caught up in our own little bubbles of everyday drama but if I've learned anything this year, it's to appreciate the people in your life who matter, EVERY DAY.

See it for what it is

Mother's Day is really just another Sunday. Sure, it's a good excuse to get together for a family dinner but should you really concern yourself with being pampered or receiving a "special" gift because you're a MOM?

Why should your husband give you a gift on Mother's Day? You're not his mother. Do you think you deserve it because you go all out for him on Father's Day? Think again, Princess. That's all you. He doesn't ask you to do it and he probably won't cry in his coffee because you don't do didn't get him the BBQ set he always dreamed of.

What's that? You went through the pain of child birth so you "deserve" to sit on your throne and have him rub your feet? You do so much all year, that one day out of the 365, you should be rewarded for your efforts? Why? So you can bitch and complain the rest of the year about how tough you have it?

Get. Over. Yourself.

Yup, being a MOM is tough, no doubt about it. But most of you chose to have kids. You knew what you were getting into when you stopped taking the pill or "forgot" to use the condom.

These commercialized holidays are stupid. Completely. And utterly stupid. Does having a store-bought card from your one-year-old really mean that much to you? Is your self-worth as a MOM found at the bottom of a drug-store bottle of perfume that your pre-teen picked out because he couldn't buy you wine?

Yes, I know you do so much for your family and you deserve to be recognized. You cook, clean, play referee, chauffeur, plan, work, organize, bank, shop, create ... the list goes on and on.

Personally, I've never liked to share. Not my toys, not my wine and certainly not my "special occasions." So why would I share Mother's Day with the rest of the world when I can have my very own special holiday that focuses on all things ME. Oh wait. I do. It's called my birthday.

I don't care if you choose to have your hubby go out and buy you a diamond ring for Mother's Day. Just don't expect any special treatment here... We'll find another way to celebrate all you fabulous bitches!

As always... Cheers!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dear Diary: Another day, another appeal for the Cromdale

It's been a really strange and difficult year for me.

I don't normally think about, or dwell on, anything from my past but the whole "Will They, Won't They" demolish the Cromdale Hotel, has ripped open scars and brought back memories that I thought were gone forever.

When I wrote the first blog about the Cromdale, it was late at night and I was in a bit of a shock by even seeing it's name in the news.

But the more often I see it mentioned in the news, the more my blood boils because it is still standing.

It reminds me of the way Stephen King used his character Ben Mears to describe the Marsten House in his novel (and my vampire story) Salems' Lot.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear diary: First the Cromdale, now the York?

I have to say, I have two memories of the York Hotel: the first, my "Step dad" was pissed because my mom wasn't home so he packed me and my younger brother up, called his brother to pick us up and drove to the York. Rich (my baby bro) and I waited in the passenger seat while he went into the York to grab my mom.

What I saw was him dragging my mom out of the York Hotel by her hair. She screamed. He punched her in the face. We watched in horror as as beat her while dragging her to the truck. All the while, his brother watched, sitting idly by.

It was my first lesson in relationships.

Before all of that happened, he tried to teach me Flashcards. I was 6-years-old and more concerned about being a social butterfly in a school made up of future convicts, than to worry about learning the multiplication tables. I stared at the Flash Cards. I felt stupid and weak and insignificant.

But then his attention turned to the whereabouts of my mom, and he took his hatred and violence out on her.

She made it to the truck with only a bloody lip and an eye that was swelling. But he beat her so badly that her head bashed against the truck window, with each blow.

My brother, who was only 2 or 3, sat in between me and "his" brother. I shielded my baby bro from any harm. But when we got home, I remember - vividly - the beating.

And the screams.

And the blood.

And the knife that held that door shut from the hatred and the violence that was separated only by a weak door.

He beat her.

And she screamed.

And bled.

And yelled for us.

I remember being more afraid for my mom, than for myself.

And I remember that being my first memory of the York Hotel.

Shortly after, we moved from that house on 82st and 112 avenue. And shortly after, it was condemned. And demolished. And so was the house after. And the house after. And so on.

The inner city was never kind to us. It killed my family in so many ways. But I remember the bad parts. And the few that were decent.

The "drag" in Edmonton, is better off with out the Cecil, the Cromdale, the York and any of the other scumbag hotels.But you know what? It didn't beat me.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dear Diary, My Dick is Bigger Than Yours, Margaret!

Some women annoy me (OK most women do because of their catty bullshit but in this instance, I'm using the example of one woman in particular).

Globe & Mail columnist Margaret Wente wrote a column called "Why Are Bloggers Male?"

Now, normally I don't bother reading such esteemed journalism as that which comes from the G&M but I saw a tweet from Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons so I checked it out... and here's what I saw:
"Blah Blah Blah, women are far too superior than men to bother with blogs Blah Blah Blah men are stupid and women are smart."

OK, she was much more eloquent but that was the gist of it.

She hit a gender-war nerve when she penned this column and I have to say, it pisses me off. I blog. Not often, but I do and more so for the sake of venting than pretending I have any real writing ability (because let's face it most people who blog aren't necessarily "real writers").

Back in the day, when I was a struggling young sports scribe, I penned a column called "In Your Face" for a local sports rag called Edmonton Sports Scene. I was brash, sassy and arrogant, and had there been such a thing as a blog I damn well would've had one, too.

I'm a bad ass blogger

Now that I have my own magazine, I choose to use my blog to reach out to the other bad ass moms (and some dads, apparently) who can relate to my everyday life.

Margaret says she doesn't blog because, "The answer is pretty much the same as why I don't get a souped-up snowmobile and drive it straight up a mountain at 120 kilometres an hour into a well-known avalanche zone. It's more of a guy thing."

Notice how her link goes to a story about the three men who died in a BC Avalanche? Tacky as shit. Truly, show some motherlovin' respect for the families of those men.

She goes on to quote her equally-sexist friend as a source because, you know, she's obviously an expert: “Do you think men are more opinionated than women are?” I asked my friend Sarah the other day. (Sarah is 24, and several of her male friends have started blogs.) “No,” she said. “They just don't feel the need to think before they open their mouths.”

And so opens the can of sexist worms.

Well guess what, Margaret? Nine times out of 10 I don't think before I talk. It's called having an attitude and I'm OK with it. And you know what else, Margaret, nine times out of 10, I don't give a shit what other people think about what I say OR if it comes across as offensive or vulgar because, Margaret, nine times out of 10, I say what most other people don't have the balls to say.

So there.

"Perhaps you've noticed that most of the comments on these websites are not terribly sophisticated. They contain a large insult quotient, even when they come from people with advanced degrees. They remind me of nothing so much as a bunch of 12-year-olds holding peeing contests in the snow.

"Women never held peeing contests. Perhaps that helps explain why women tend to be more restrained and less concerned with public displays of prowess. We are just as interested in listening as in talking, and more interested in relationships than scoring points. We also tend to lack the public confidence that comes so easily to many men."

Guess what, Margaret? I'm pissin' all over the gawdamn snow because that's how I roll. It's women who think like YOU that give the rest of us a bad name. Go make some tea and crumpets and write about something you might actually know about.

Like knitting. Because that's what women are suppose to do, right?

Humbly and graciously yours,
Tamara Plant
Bad Ass Publisher and Potty-mouthed Blogger

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dear Diary: What if?

My email has been down for the last week, effectively chopping off my arms of communication to the outside world. I live, you see, for the internet connection my BB, Kumar (named after the raunchy and inappropriate character from Harold & Kumar movies) gives me. I go to the bathroom with Kumar, I have coffee with Kumar and I sleep with Kumar. I'm not even joking, I hold him until we both fall asleep (it makes it easier to horizontal tweet at 2 a.m. Don't judge!) So when I wasn't getting any emails on Kumar, I got the shakes. So bad, that I dropped him and then swore at him. #BBparentfail

Being violently disconnected from the internet seems like the universe's way of telling me I may just rely a little too much on my beloved Kumar. But, I don't care.

Before I adopted Kumar, I was literally stuck to my damn computer, anxiously awaiting emails, FB updates and more recently Twitter @ replies.

So it got me thinking... what if Kumar could no longer do ANY of those things and even WORSE what if my crappy satellite internet was disabled. (It's happened, don't laugh...).

Well, if I knew prior to this catastrophic event, I might drink myself into a catastrophic oblivion. Or something like that.

But if I had one last chance to post a tweet, a blog or a FB update it might go something like this...

Heh hem.

Dear Diary,
Power outages can suck it. If you haven't heard from me by tomorrow, I want you to send help in the form of Scotch, Tequila or Wine.

That is all.

PS Always remember that Life as a MOM doesn't mean life as a WOMAN has to end!

**note this post is in reference to a contest to Mable's Labels for my chance to win a trip to Blogher '10. Go Team MOM!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Diary, Peter Puck posted a particulary pinheaded comment

I moderate the comments I get on this blog and I do it for a reason. Some people are too stupid to breathe let alone post intelligent comments so I choose not to waste your time with publishing them.

However yesterday, I got a comment from someone calling himself Peter Pocklington and it made me go, "WTF?"

First, why would the Puckster bother himself with reading my blog, and second, the comments he made seemed a teensy bit scathing in regards to my Cromdale post.

Unedited (but not published to the blog) I give you old Peter's comments:

The Cromdale, back in the day, 1980's and 1990's was a great place to get drunk for cheap, see drug addicted crack strippers, and to pick up sleazy native and white chicks. But now it is an eyesore that for some reason the owners want to try and trick the City into purchasing just to get rid of it.It looks like the Cromdale may not be torn down anytime soon(see below for March 2, 2010 article).

This place is even world infamous for being a cesspool of scum and villainy:

I am wondering why the original author of Mom Magazine who wrote the article "Edmonton's Notorious Cromdale slated for demolition" does not write another article on the Cromdale. Does she still want the Cromdale torn down or does she want the Cromdale to stay? Also has she ever partied in the Cromdale?

OK, "Peter", you sound more like Peter Griffin than Peter Pocklington with the comment "sleazy native and white chicks."

Second, that post was a snapshot of my childhood, nothing else. The Cromdale is nothing more to me than a tangible memory of a truly fucked up childhood and when I heard about the demolition, it forced me to recall certain memories I had stuffed away in the darkest parts of my soul.

If the city of Edmonton chooses to leave that structure, they are hindering any progress that area has of erasing what is wrong with that community; drugs, hookers, pimps, and petty criminals.

Lastly, asking me a dumb question like "have I ever partied at the Cromdale" shows just how truly ignorant you are. If you had READ that post, you would see that I had a drink on my 18th birthday with my mom at the Cromdale. One drink. It was a "bonding moment" because I desperately wanted to connect with her on some level. It didn't work.

Honey, I've always been too good to associate with the likes of the scum who hung out at the Cromdale, my own family included. My arrogance, confidence, intelligence and plain sense of right and wrong got me where I am today which is as FAR away from the Cromdale as possible.

Do I want to see it go? Absolutely.

Do I moderate my blog because of dumbass comments like those?
Without a doubt.

Edmonton will be better off when the Cromdale is nothing more than a bad memory.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy International Women's Day!

Some days, I find it harder than others to get out of bed and do anything. Today was one of those days.

After being away from all things "MOM" for the last four months, I'm really finding it tough to get back into any sort of routine. I know I can't hide under the covers from the rest of the world forever so after convincing myself to drag my ass outta bed, I flipped through Twitter and saw that it was International Women's Day!

What a better day than today to reclaim my life! I've been so lucky to have met some amazing women over the past few years (OMG is it almost 3 years!?!), and I always feel better when I can celebrate the successes of other women, so now I am going to tell you about a few of them.

Karissa Sparling, Primerica
Karissa is a co-owner of Dragon Lilies, a children's and maternity clothing store in Spruce Grove, AB. She was one of the first supporters of MOM Magazine and has since become a true friend. I have watched her overcome adversity in her professional life and change careers (she's now with Primerica), all the while searching for her inner-zen. Watching her grow professionally and spiritually has been enlightening and inspiring because she forces me to find my own inner spirituality and become the best woman I can be. She comes across as an incredibly strong, focused and confident woman, and watching her in action is awe-inspiring. I'd never tell her that because then she'd be all, "That's right, bitches, I am not someone you want to mess with," and I'd have to be all, "Oh puh-leeze, you Robert Pattison groupie!" so instead, I quietly admire her strength and continue to be open to her ramblings of Louise Hay.

Christie Shultz, Entrepreneurial Moms International
I met Christie last year when she had just launched EMI. I wondered how she planned to take a MOM's networking group to an international level and was instantly in awe of her vision and trail she planned to blaze with her ideas. In such a short period of time, she has launched chapters of EMI in Ottawa, Austin and pending chapters in Edmonton and Vancouver. She did all this while pregnant with her third child and didn't let a little thing like childbirth stop her from continuing her work. She's spunky, sassy and has a 1,000 watt smile that lights up any room! Her charm makes you want to do anything you can to be in her presence and her business acumen is deadly accurate.

Erin Rosar, The Wine Girl
Who wouldn't love a girl who knows all there is to know about wine but isn't a snob about it!? Erin was one of the original columnists for MOM when we launched and we've watched her take her amazing knowledge of wine and turn it into a bubbly empire! Aside from teaching wine courses and being a presenter at another of our favourite women's initiative The Pajama Party, Erin launched Wine in the Kitchen, and her all-inclusive website features her very own WG TV episodes, tips and tricks, recipes, and so much more. We love Erin for being accessible, fun and putting the fun back in wine!

Kari Dunlop, The Business of Bliss
I met Kari about an hour before I met Christie Schultz, and she told me about the fabulous event she was planning which would showcase amazing presenters and bring together women who were passionate about their professional lives. She had already secured Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell for the event, which impressed me even more! I watched as she grew this nugget of an idea into a full-blown kick ass event that featured the likes of organization guru Peter Walsh, "O" columnist Martha Beck, kickass zen chick and business fire starter Danielle LaPorte, and the not-so-secret love of my life, fashion trail blazer Ben Barry. Kari is living proof that if you have a dream and a vision, you have the power to make it happen. She's beyond inspiring and I only hope she puts together another event for everyone who missed out on the Business of Bliss!

My reasons are purely selfish for this blog, even though they might seem altruistic. I feel better about myself when I am doing something to honour other women, and these women have inspired me, rekindled my entrepreneurial passion, reignited my dreams and have, whether they know it or not, given me support and comfort when I've needed it.

Happy International Women's Day to ALL of you! I feel so much better after writing this and I hope you can celebrate the women who have inspired YOU!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dear Diary, they're together again

I knew my grandfather was going to die, it was inevitable.

Still, the last few days, I've felt like such a coward because I couldn't bring myself to go back to the hospice. Seeing him clinging to life and not being able to talk was heartbreaking. What was worse, was when he would grasp for my hand, squeeze it and look at me while he cried. He was so scared of dying and I hated seeing him like that.

So I came home on Monday after spending the night at the hospice. I stayed home all day Tuesday. And finally, after berating myself, I went to see him yesterday morning. He knew I was there because as soon as I walked in and cheerfully said, "Hi granpa!" he looked at me and winked. He held my hand for a bit and I talked about nothing significant.

About an hour later, I left. I believed I would get a phone call letting me know that he passed but, like every other night since he was admitted to the hospice, I didn't get that call.

So, this morning, I had my coffee, put on some makeup and took Lola with me to the hospice. I figured she could wait in the sunroom and play while I talked to my grandfather.

When I got to his room, he was staring at the ceiling. I cheerfully said, "Hi granpa! It's me!! Tamara!" But there was no reaction. I waited to see if he was breathing and sure enough, there was a faint breath.

I said, "Lola's here today but she's playing outside of your room."

It was so quiet. I listened again and watched to see if he would take a breath.

He did.

"Hey, granpa, Team Canada won last night!!"

He just stared at the ceiling and I waited for him to take a breath.
"Wait right here, granpa, I'm going to find your nurse."
Wait right here, yes, I am a dumbass.

The first nurse I saw was filling out charts. When I asked if she was my grandfather's nurse she said no and to ask at the desk. Honestly I wasn't sure what I was going to ask but I knew that I needed to talk to someone.

The only nurse at the desk wasn't my grandfather's nurse but she asked what was wrong and I told her that my grandfather's breathing was so quiet and that he was so different from yesterday.

She came to the room with me and watched my grandfather for a minute.

"He's taking his last breaths," she said. I looked at her.

"So that's it?" I asked. "It's a matter of hours now?"

She looked at me with compassion and said, "No. Sooner."

My grandfather closed his mouth and then gasped.

The nurse, Wilma, came around to where I was sitting and rubbed my back. "That may have been his last breath," she said.

I took my grandfather's hand and said, "I'm here, granpa. You're not alone."

And then he took another breath. It was quiet again and I wondered if that was it. But he took another one.

"I have to call my husband," I told Wilma.

When Ron picked up the phone at his office, I couldn't even talk. I just cried. He asked if my grandfather had passed.

"No, he's taking his last breaths. I need you to come here and get Lola."

I went back into the room and sat with my grandfather. He took another breath. Then another. In spite of myself, I chuckled and said, "Fuck, you're stubborn." Wilma smiled and said she had to go and get a stethoscope.
I watched as my granpa took another breath. He quietly took another breath. Then another.

I watched to see if he would take another one. But he didn't.

Wilma came back and asked if he had taken another breath.


She listened for a heart beat and, for one brief moment I wanted this to all be a bad dream, but there was nothing, and it wasn't.

"Dammit, grandpa I wore makeup today!" I said, as my tears and mascara made me look like a chubby Marilyn Manson.

I held his hand for a minute longer but I couldn't sit there with his body.

I went to the sunroom where Lauryn was playing and held her.

A few minutes later, Ron walked in and held me tightly.

A part of me is relieved that he's not suffering any longer but the selfish part of me wants my grandfather back. But at least he died knowing Team Canada was kickin' ass at the Olympics.

I believe my grandfather waited for me to come back to the hospice today so he wouldn't die alone. My grandfather and I were always close, ever since I was born. In fact, the old boy named me. Yup, my grandfather has always been there for me and, when he needed it the most, I was there for him.

My grandparents are together again and I take comfort in knowing that they are reunited.

Wherever he is, he's probably having a drink and would be telling me to quit crying and to have a drink with him. So, grandpa, cheers! I love you, Stinker! Give my grandma a big hug for me.

P.S. I still hate the Calgary Flames.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dear Diary, Things went down hill so fast

It was just Thursday that the old boy was transferred to the Hospice and today, I'm waiting for him to die.
Yesterday, I went there after my in-laws picked up the kids for the weekend, and brought a bunch of stuff from his house to make him feel more at home. When I walked in, his son and cousin were sitting there (it's a long story) so I made myself busy putting up the painting of my grandma and a few other pictures he really enjoyed.

That's when his son told me how bad things were.

My granfather had been delirious all day. He was talking to people who had died and trying to fight someone. At one point, he was talking like he was back in the army.

People do strange things when they're about to die and I guess my grandfather is no different.

He looked at me briefly but wasn't sure who I was. I knew then, that he was gone. The grandpa I knew, wasn't coming back.

He's been unconscious since then. I've sat and held his hand, telling him that he needs to go now.

"There's nothing else for you to do now," I said. "Grandma's waiting for you. You have lots of people who are waiting so you won't be alone, I promise. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. You've done so much for me and I want to thank you. So just be at peace and know that granma will be happy to see you."

It wasn't as tough as I thought it would be to say goodbye. Maybe it's because he's still hanging on, I don't know. The doctor expected him to go last night but when I got back to the Hospice at 6 am, he was still fighting.

I expected nothing less.

I sat with him most of the time, holding his hand and chatting about ridiculous things. At one point, the doctor came in and when I tried to move my hand, he wouldn't let it go. I smiled, and knew that he knew I was there.

It's been such a long, weary couple of months but I honestly didn't expect to walk into the Hospice yesterday and not be able to talk to him. I guess a part of me always thought he was still invincible. Maybe a part of me wanted to believe, for just one moment, that I would have some profound last conversation with him.

Guess not.

I believe I will just reflect on the time I had with him and appreciate it for what it was. No one can take those memories from me and no one can claim them as their own. For a while, we lived in our own little bubble, his was filled with denial and mine was filled with love.

Either way, he's on his way to see my grandma this weekend. I hope he remembers to tell her I said, "Hi," for me when he sees her.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dear Diary, I feel like I'm living the final chapter

My grandfather moved into the Hospice today. The hospice, you know, is basically where people go to die comfortably.

He's so weak now. He weighs 123 pounds and is starting to have some confusion about certain things. For example, the other day he called me my mother's name. Grrr... of all things! Had he not looked so damn helpless I might have taken that pillow... :D just kidding!! Gotta keep things light!!

Anyhoo, yah, I wasn't thrilled. Especially when he said it a second time.

But then he has moments of extreme clarity and he tries to joke around. Sadly, he's so quiet and frail that you have to ask him to repeat what he says, and then he just gets mad. I laugh when he does that because if I don't, I'll cry.

Last week, he made me take him outside for a cigarette, and the damn wind was as bitter and cold as Kate Gosselin's sex life (hahahah, see? laughing is good!). Anyway, after freezing his scrawny, old man ass of for a damn cancer stick, he said, "Go get me a touque." Because, you know, I'm the touque fairy.

I humoured the old boy and decided that if was a touque he wanted, it was a badass touque he was getting!

Oddly enough, he LOVED the touque!

I can't imagine the pain he's in. I don't remember my grandma suffering this badly. In fact, she died at home in my granpa's arms. (Did I tell this story? I can't remember... forgive me if I'm rambling or repeating myself).

Anyway, my granma died of lung cancer 17 years ago, almost a year to the day she was diagnosed. They were living in Kuwait at the time and she came back home for treatments at the Cross Cancer Institute. A couple of weeks before she died, my grandfather came back for a visit and the night before he was suppose to leave, she died in his arms.

He was devastated. Rightfully so because my granma was the only thing holding my excuse for a family together. She was so amazingly beautiful, funny, sassy and smart. He adored her.

I even remember the last time I saw my grandma; she came to the studio apartment we had shared before she moved back to the acreage in Spruce Grove that my grandparents owned, and one of the last things she told me was that she wanted me to be happy.

Fast forward 17 years, and now it's my grandfather's turn to go.
Watching someone you love, die, sucks. Plain and simple.

My grandfather is physically a shell of his former self. To see the man I grew up thinking was the toughest sunuvabitch that ever lived, now be physically unable to do anything for himself and have to swallow his pride, is heartbreaking.

I know they're going to make him comfortable at the hospice. I know the environment is much more caring and private but I also know that this will be the place where he dies.

Thanks again for the kind comments here on my blahg and on Twitter. Your support means more than you know and often brightens my day.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dear Diary, I think I'll be OK

My granpa has officially given up. He told me so, yesterday.

He knows there is nothing that can be done and he is ready to just close his eyes and be together again with my grandma.

The nurses pulled me aside yesterday and said he officially had the doctor sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) and that he had lost his fight.

I wasn't surprised.

I went in and watched him snooze. I took his hand and whispered, "The nurses said you are giving up. Have you lost your fight, granpa?"

He opened his eyes and said, "Yah." And then he closed them again.

I'm not gonna lie, I shed a few tears because I was sad to hear him so depressed and weak. But, I quickly composed myself and started talking about my day.

"You can't sleep your day away," I said. "Wake up and talk to me."

"I don't know what to say, Tamara. I just don't know what to say."

He closed his eyes and was quiet for a while, when I said, "You want a drink, granpa? I'll sneak you in some rye."

His eyes POPPED open, I'm not even kidding I laughed out loud. "Really? You will?"

I giggled and said, "Yes, the nurse actually told me you can have a drink."

When the nurses told me about the DNR, they also told me that he was declining rapidly because he wasn't eating or drinking and he refused his IV so he was close to dehydration. I joked that if there was rye in his water, he'd drink it and the nurse said that they would be more than happy to get an order for a cocktail for the old boy.

Honestly, I was a little surprised but she said that in his case, where he's dying and there's not much time left, they make exceptions.

So, when I told him the good news, it added at least a couple of days to his life because I told him he couldn't have any until today.

"Gawddamit, Tamara!" he said, shaking his head.

"See," I pointed out, "you've still got some fight left in you!"

He laughed and nodded.

This whole process has been long, and I am weary. Emotionally, physically and mentally, I am drained. But I've come to terms with everything and accepted the way it is. I will miss him dearly but at least I know we're both going to be OK. He'll go to my grandma and I'll still have my memories.

Until then, we still have each other.