I don’t know about the rest of you Bitches, but I am starting to feel really worn down. Parenting in the era of Covid is fucking exhausting, and levels up every skill and tool we have to keep our offspring happy, healthy, entertained, occupied, and most of all, safe. There was a glimmer of hope […]
Last Christmas was my first one without my mom. Not exactly a milestone me or anyone else wants to reach. The weeks leading up to the holiday season were mixed with sadness, grief, a desire to keep it as normal as possible and the hope that I could feel like she was remembered.
I try to make a conscious effort each year to do at least some of my shopping locally. Toy stores, artisan sales, and local shops are all on my list of places to visit. Part of that is to support the small businesses financially instead of making the rich richer, but a big part of it is personal connection.
That had never been as apparent to me as last year.
There is a wonderful little family owned shop here called Toad Hall Toys. It has been open since I was a kid. I remember going there when my brother was all about becoming a magician and needed new supplies and tricks. I’d tag along to browse and they always had the neatest things that you couldn’t find anywhere else.
Fast forward to last December. I had just finished helping my Dad go through the house I grew up in. Packing, donating, deciding what memorable things to keep for myself as I went through a lifetime of memories and my entire childhood in the span of a few weeks. It was emotionally draining. When going through the dining room hutch, I came across a Christmas candle set that my mom would always light on Christmas Eve when we got home from church. It’s a simple little metal charm set, where you light the candles and the heat from the flames make the hanging angels spin and cast shadows on the ceiling. Every Christmas of my childhood is for some reason represented by that set.
When I found it in the hutch, it was missing pieces. I was so sad. Of all the things that had huge sentimental value to me, that dumb candle set was of the highest regard. Putting it in the trash just felt like the proverbial nail in the coffin.
And then I went to Toad Hall Toys.
As I browsed things for the kids and made my way to the lineup at the cash register, I passed a shelf that contained a box of the exact candle charms that I had mourned a week earlier. In the same original box design from fifty years go that my moms set was in. For TEN DOLLARS. There was only one set there. I stood there and felt a huge wave of emotion run over me. Whatever your belief system is, I do believe that those we have loved and lost find ways to reach out to us once they are gone, and this moment sent chills down my spine.
I picked up the box, and waited my turn to pay.
When I got to the counter, the older lady who owned the store started to ring up my items, and commented on the candle set. I told her about my mom, and the house, and the candles and started to cry. It was such a moment full of grief and sadness, but also a weird release.
And you know what she did? She took my hand, and cried with me. In the middle of her store. On a Saturday afternoon in the heat of the Christmas shopping season. She took the time to see me, and understand why it was such an impactful moment. Her reaction validated me and made a difference for me.
I will never forget it. I will forever support this business, because of that small moment and what she did for me that day.
And that, folks, is why small businesses are important. Yes, economics, yes community.
But in a world where human connection and empathy and understanding seems to be on the endangered species list, people like her help us feel connected to each other.
Now, more than ever, those connections are invaluable.
Dear Mr.Pallister, I’m sure this is not the first letter you have received, or will ignore over the course of the last few months. I admittedly have not been a fan of you or your government since I made the mistake of supporting you in your first term. This disastrous response regarding Covid is on a whole new level though. From the arrogance of a barely noticeable blip that was our “First Wave” that had more to do with luck and travel lockdowns than your planning ability, to the crisis we as a province are currently facing, we, the people of this province are infuriated with what is happening. The hypocrisy of “tough talk” that happens in press conferences that clearly only applies to those you think are beneath you, while you allow hundreds of people to gather and protest the very orders you are signing without any real consequences is so clearly preferential treatment of voters that make up your base- is it no coincidence that Steinbach happens to be Minister Goerzten’s riding? The pandering of a lousy two hundred dollar cheque to seniors while those who are self employed or work in the arts- a sector completely decimated by this pandemic- continue to go unacknowledged by you at all? The constant attention to your austerity agenda and deflecting all our pleas for help to the Federal government. WE ARE YOUR PEOPLE. It is your responsibility to help us. The disregard for the recommendations and cries for help from the doctors and nurses. Ignoring the teachers and the parents when they yelled and begged for options, resources and empathy. The slap in the faces to every educator in this province as you ask them to work ten times as hard, and meanwhile fight with them in COURT to make sure their wages remain frozen. The withholding of Federal funding specifically earmarked for Covid. The misrepresentation of facts. The promise from your Health Minister that “we’ve got this” as elderly people died alone and unnoticed in their beds. You have dropped every ball that was bounced to you. You have arrogantly ignored the signs that we could all see coming a mile away. Everything we see you responding to are things that could have been prevented with more humility and foresight on your part. We are angry. We are scared. We have lost our trust in you. Please ask the federal government for help. Allow the military to provide resources that you clearly do not have at your disposal nor the knowledge to properly deploy. And when this is all over, resign. Take every plan you have to further devastate us as a province and show yourself out, or I guarantee the public will in the next election.
Yesterday, most reasonable humans that live in Manitoba watched in horror as a rally was allowed to proceed in Steinbach protesting the requirement to wear masks. “Hugs Over Masks” has been a popular slogan for selfish people screeching about their rights while their nonsense continues to trample on the rights of others. Now, with new […]
It’s been a really interesting week, and by interesting, I mean emotionally exhausting. And I am upset. Really, really upset. Never in my life did I expect to find myself so heavily invested in politics or social issues and yet here I am. Seemingly being forced to pick a team. I had meetings with representatives […]
Dear Ms.Gordon,As one of your constituents, an educator, and a parent, I am writing to voice my concerns over several issues. As an educator and parent I am disappointed and appalled at the lack of ingenuity, planning and proactivity from the Conservatove government in terms of education during the time we have been dealing with Covid. […]
I don’t know about you guys, but I am worn out by this pandemic. I’m not just worn out by the logistics of it- the uncertainty, the isolation, the grief of missing out on things we love. Here in Manitoba I am worn out by our government’s total lack of fucks given for the people […]
Meet Jax a funny, kind, and smart preschooler who was a micro-preemie born at 23 weeks. Now that Jax is older, the scariness of the NICU has faded, but we're still learning how to manage the lasting effects of prematurity including chronic medical issues, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is our story of love, hope, and survival.