Happy Birthday to my dear Bro

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*I wrote this story on the day of his birthday.  Friday, December 26. He would have been 41 years old.  I love and miss my brother so much but all I wish for him is to be a peace.  I had a good dream of him on Christmas morning. I woke up crying tears of happiness, sadness and joy. 


I was born 4 years after my older trio of siblings. They were born one year after another so they were a tight group. 
Back in 1978, there were no cell phones or no internet to share the joyous news of a new born. Mothers flew out alone on small float planes to Sioux Lookout to give birth. My Mom was out by herself when she had me and my Dad was back in Bearskin Lake taking care of my older siblings. On the day of my joyous birth, my Dad was doing laundry with them when someone came and told him that his favorite child was born and that he should to give the other children away…so he did….right away…LOL just kidding that didn’t happen. Lol My Dad asked my brother Robert what he wanted to name is his new born baby sister. After much thought he told my Dad “Shii-wii-taa-gun Koo-koosh” meaning “Salt pork” LoL
Through out the years my Brother would tease me or if I was being a pest than he’d say “Shut up Salt Pork” then either I’d get mad or we’d laugh lol I always wondered why he called me that.
On the day he got medivac’d to Thunder Bay he kept texting me. We were teasing each other and I told him that I would be at the Thunder Bay Regional when he got there. I drove off right away and zoomed to Thunder Bay. Before I left, he texted me “I love ham so therefore I love you lol” and I wrote back “eeeee you love Salt pork…Coulda been my name if Dad listened to your craziness” “Yeah” he replies…”i was thinking about that” I wrote back “I always wondered about why you wanted to name me that but I came to the conclusion that you wanted to name me after something you dearly loved so you named me Salt Pork”. Okay” he replies. We had a good laugh about that convo when I got to see him at the emerge department the next day. I took care of his and our Father’s immediate needs and headed home. My Dad needed his truck so I had to take my friend to drive it from Sioux for us 
In the time Robert was in Thunder Bay Regional, we kept in contact via facebook and texts. We shared jokes, stories and a few intimate moments. I was lucky enough to visit my Brother the weekend before he passed away. We were talking about him being transfered to Sioux Lookout and that I couldn’t wait for him could be closer because it would have been much easier for me to take care of him. I honestly believed that he would be here longer for me to take care of him and for him to be with us. There are moments I miss him sooooo much and there are moments I happily recall memories of him. I had a really good dream about him Christmas morning so I know he’s in good spirits. 


Happy Birthday to you Robear! Love you!

Good Grief!!

so what is good grief? lol

I’m sure everyone’s heard that my dear Brother, Robert Morris has left this earth and has moved on to another journey. If you haven’t then I apologize that you have to find out via homepages.

My brother was 40 years old and he suddenly passed away Wednesday, October 22, 2014. He was sick for a while and his road to recovery was complicated by having multiple chronic diseases.  We were all rooting for him to recover but one can only suffer for so long before getting tired.  We are devastated but we are strong.

I want to share a piece of the eulogy;

“I could go on and on about Robear but I know that we will all carry the good memories and love throughout our lives. He would not want us to dwell on the should haves or the sadness of him being gone. He would have wanted us to continue loving and bugging each other. We loved our brother and will continue to love him in our hearts. We will miss our brother and we were blessed enough to have him in our lives for as long as we did…”

Everyone grieves differently,  just like the fact that we all live our lives differently.  I got a message from someone saying that “It seems like you’re not even sad that your brother died”  I got angry and than I decided to let it go. I thanked her for her words because it reminded me that there are people out there who are watching you and will judge you, but ultimately their judgement doesn’t matter.  It just served as as a reminder that people are watching you and learning from you, especially the younger and the little people in our lives.

I always keep my children foremost in my heart and mind. I use that to guide me in being the best parent I can be even in something  as devastating as losing my brother. I could fall apart and be a sobbing, non-functional mess BUT in the end who does that benefit? NO ONE! especially not my immediate family.  My children still need a home to live in, food to eat and a Mother who is present and there for them as they are going through the loss of their Uncle. I lost a Brother but my children and my sibling’s children lost an Uncle.  Here are some tips to help your child through their grief.

1. Be home and be available while at home. – I don’t really have a social life nor do I partake in extra curricular activities that take me away from home.  (like bingo, nightly church meetings or going out with friends) Once I leave work, I go home and stay home pretty much. When I’m home I try to make myself available to my children by being in the living room and letting them know I’d drop anything and everything I’m doing to be there for them when the feelings of sadness hits them.

2. Let them know that WHATEVER they are feeling is all a part of the normal grieving process and there’s no particular order in feeling them. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to get mad and it’s okay to be happy at the memory of their loved one. It’s okay to feel any of those feelings in any time of the day or night. It’s is also okay to feel guilty. Guilty about the should haves or if only I visited him/her more or if only I….the list could go on. Please let your child know that it’s okay to feel that way but it’s only okay to linger in that guilt but it’s not okay to get consumed by it.

3. Know when to give them a hug or to leave them alone. This one is kind of tricky. There are times my kids want to be alone in their pool of feelings and there are times they want us to bug them…tricky kids. Don’t give up on them even when they push you away. That is when they need you the most. Just be available.

4. Kids tend to keep everything inside of them because they don’t know how to identify what they are feeling or how to express what they are feeling. If you as a parent don’t know know the full extent of what feelings are and what they feel like than take the time to learn about them.  It’s a good exploration exercise for us as adults and sharing what you’ve come to learn with your child is an essential key in guiding your child through a very confusing maze.

5. Stay sober! Yes, you are hurting but your child is even hurting more and will be in more pain if you go off drinking.  Alcohol and drugs are not the greatest way to cope with anything. Remember that you are the role model in your child’s life and if they see you using drugs or alcohol in ways to cope with pain than that’s what they’ll be influenced to do as they get older. Plus, getting high takes your presence away from the here and now and your child needs you HERE and NOW! not after you’re done your high and not when you’re hungover after a night out or after a bender.

6. Let your child know that you will not crumble if they bring up memories or stories of the person that passed away.  Let them know that you may get hit with a pang of sadness but that’s human. Assure them that it’s okay to share such good memories. Memories are what keeps the people alive in our hearts.

7. Encourage them to continue in their extra curricular activities especially if they’re “active” activities. Physical activity will help them cope and kicks their feel “good”endorphins into play.

Those are just some tips. Nothing magical about them. Just some simple things to help your child through.  Through it all, take care of yourself….Eat right, get enough sleep, do some daily exercise. Exercise will help carry that heavy grief and give you the strength to be there for you child(ren).  Grief and grieving is a part of life. It will come and it will go so just go with the flow. Don’t find reasons to stay stuck in the sadness & trauma of it all. Just keep moving and living your life. Life is too short to stay sad for the ones that passed on. Life is to live for today and for the little ones in our lives.  Angie Loves You!

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day!

I’m a positive that each and everyone of you have been affected by someone who took their own lives….someone who was in so much pain that they committed suicide and left us in a world full of pain & endless questions.

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Today is also my late cousin Crystal Jeannie Winter’s memorial and it’s also Suicide Prevention Day….coincidence? I think not.

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It was 21 years ago that I found out that my Sister took her own life. The fucking pain and anguish that entered my heart that day.  Sometimes that pain hit me as I was growing up….the pain itself didn’t get any less…the frequency of WHEN it hit me did.  I will never find out why she couldn’t handle being on this earth any more.  I will never hear her annoying voice! (usually bossing me around lol) nor will I hear her laughter ever again. She was my best friend! my Sister! my craziest Cousin!  The questions that haunted me for so many years.  Why? why? why? but those will never be answered.  There was also lots of bursts of anger.  She left us in a world of hurt BUT I imagine the pain and loneliness she was in was far worse because she had to take her own life to escape it.

I’m not going to pretty up the truth nor am I going to lie…there were many times I wanted to die to escape the pain from the abuse I endured as a child. I started walking my healing journey when I was 18 years old and so thankful for the people that were there to help & guide me get out of the hell I was in.

Just remember that there is HOPE! there is always someone who cares about you and someone who will always love you. HOWEVER! They may not be able to help you the way you need or want to be helped so that’s why we have Mental Health services!  we just need to reach out. (click on the links) Mental Health Help LINE 1-866-531-2600 There’s Nodin Counselling , Community Counselling and toll free #’s REACH OUT! Mental Health Resources, Kid’s help line 1-800-668-6868 or google it lol  but remember that there is HOPE. There are professionals out there that are trained to help you get through your hell….you just need to take the first scary, but well worth step towards living the life you were meant to live.

Getting ready for fall

HUNTING!! & (EATING :P )

Well anyway, My Husband and I like hanging out and doing fun shit.

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One of our favourite activities is fall hunting! well, he hunts, I just tag along, watch and attract the moose.  Yes, I attract moose lol  Never fails, whenever I go out with him, or someone else than we see a moose or more than one moose. (I’m available for any hunter’s festivals in Bearskin & Muskrat Dam this year) Just pay my way home, I’ll come sit in your boat and you can shoot the moose that come down :P I just want to come and feast hahaha!

Anyway, Jesse bought a new scope at a yard sale for one of his 30.06′s so we went for a ride over dere *points lips towards a sand pit* to sight his gun.  I sat there and watched him from our vehicle but than he asked me if I wanted to try.  Yeah! sure! why not? So, after a quick lesson on how to use a scope, I took a couple of shots.

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Just shy from the bullseye! So, after that Jesse says it’s his turn again.

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He takes three shots and than we ran to check where he hit the target (bottom 3), he says “K, one more time” than takes 2 other shots

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lol almost!

So after we checked it, he turns and says…”Hmmmm yeah we’re not leaving until I hit the bullseye” So I say “Okay” As we’re walking back to our 50-60 yard mark he says “Yeah, I’d take you as a hunting partner…I mean you wouldn’t hit the moose in the eye but close enough” we had a good laugh lol

So, he sets himself up and takes a shot (I’m getting cold so I’m hoping he got a bullseye)

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We run up to the target, take a look and his shot is closer to the bullseye than mine! (yay!) He turns to me and says “Okay game’s over, I win!” LOL

Good Times!

I love hanging out and working with that guy in the bush.  We have lots of laughs out there. Always provides good miichim for us because he is such a great provider (and he really is a great shot).

School is in the air!

I’m sure most of you parents out there are getting excited for school to start up again…or maybe you’re not?

I’m anxious for the new school year.  My oldest daughter graduated from high school in June! WOW! what an incredible (but also an incredible pain in the ass) journey  lol But she graduated and that was all we could ask for.  Miss Mya will be starting grade 10 and I’m pretty excited for her! She’ll be going on a trip to Europe in March with a bunch of other students so I’m excited for her to have that opportunity. I’m so proud of my daughters that it’s not even comprehend-able. :) Keenan will be starting grade 7 and as always I’m sure it will come with some struggles.  Keenan is an academically smart guy, however, his social skills smarts need more support. Little does he know that the social aspect of the senior wing will play a big part on how his school year will go.

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And now to get them ready for school! So how do you get your children ready for school? sure there’s the basics, new shoes, new clothes, new school bag, school gadgets and school snacks but did you put into any thought about mentally preparing them for school?

First off! Around the 2 week count down to the first day of school…start sending your child(ren) to bed at an earlier time than they have been during the summer. I encourage my children to start going to sleep at 10:30 pm than the last week of school I want them in their rooms by 9:30 so they can relax before bed. I know I have a high school student and a senior wing student but I still establish a bed schedule for them. The child’s brain needs a minimum of 10 hours of sleep per night so he/she can be mentally ready to LEARN!

This is around the same time I start talking to them about school and reminding them to start preparing themselves for it.  Yeah, yeah what kid wants to be reminded of school in the last few weeks of summer vacation but it’s necessary. Preparing their minds is essential in helping them prepare for the emotional and bodily stresses of starting a new academic year.  I also remind them to be respectful to their teacher and the staff of the school…WHY? because they will be hanging out with them from 7:50 am to 4:00 I say those times because that’s when my children get picked up by their school bus and I want them to respect their bus driver because he/she is responsible not only for my children’s lives but for the lives of other children. So, please teach & encourage your child to follow the rules and respect the bus driver.   His/her life could depend on it.  I also encourage them to be respectful to all the staff of the school because they will be hanging out in that school for 10 months out of the year and no one likes hanging out with bad vibes lol

When my kids were younger I used to go with them to their class for the first day of school. I wanted to know where their class was, meet their teacher and let the teacher know that if there was any issues than please contact with me right away. If there were any behavioural issues, I asked them to let me know right away so I could correct that behaviour at home than if it continued than I would ask my child what was bringing it on? If there was any other issues with other students than I would bring it to the attention of the teacher so she/he could deal with it. If there was no resolve than I would step in and be more active in a positive resolve. I tried to support the teacher by disciplining my own child at home and encouraging & supporting my child to be ready to learn at school.

Also VOLUNTEER!! I can never say this enough. Volunteer some of your time at the school. Ask your child’s teacher if there are any outings that he/she will need some extra hands/feet or eyes for and let them know that you could be available to help out. Or if there is any special “events” or activities happening in the class that you could go help out with.  It will help the teacher and it will help you by having an inside peek at what goes on in the classroom on a daily basis. The teacher not only has to deal with your kid…he/she has to deal with 20 other kids! that’s a lot of personalities and behaviours to deal with. So go spend some time in your child’s classroom.  Your child will also benefit in seeing you at his/her classroom because it will show that you care and that you are truly investing & interested in your child’s learning. It’s a confidence booster. It will also let the OTHER children in the classroom see that you care about them too and the bullying issues decline.  It has a domino effect so take the time to volunteer.

If you have some time than watch this video.  It’s called “Hold on to your kids” by Gabor Mate.  I held on to my kids throughout their academic years.  It was a tough battle at times because of peer influences, media and other social influences but I held on to them so I could guide them properly into being functional and independent individuals. I didn’t want my children and still don’t want them falling into “The Norm” of everything that was happening around them.

Stress and what it does to your body & life

So who is stressed? what is stress? are you stressed out ALL THE TIME? do you know when you’re stressed? Stress is the way your body reacts to a threatening situation or event.  Think about the last time you felt threatened or someone came attacking you with threatening words and actions. Fight? or Flight!  it still causes you stress. fight or flight modelhow-does-stress-affect-health-4   stress   Imagine being under constant stress…24/7 and for over half your life time? All of the above is constantly happening to your body.  After being under such stress for so long than it takes affect on the health of your body & mind. People wonder why the diabetes & hyper tension rate in First Nations people are so high…well it’s because they’re always under constant stress right from when they were carried in their Mother’s womb (especially if the Mom smoked, drank alcohol or used drugs) to being a baby (when growing up in an atmosphere that is stressful or insecure) to childhood (growing up with no Father around or there’s not enough food to eat, or if their parents are too busy indulging in their addictions or parents are unemotionally unavailable because they’re dealing with issues from Residential School or past abuse OR they themselves get abused and no where to go to for help)  and this carries on over to adulthood.  Over crowding in a house, having a shitty house, not having a job to be able to feed your family and constantly eating processed food.  Processed foods have high salt intake, high sugar intake and takes more energy for your body to get rid of from the system…so thus leading your body to more stress.  Stress is a sneaky nasty bitch. As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure your child doesn’t deal with your adult stresses.  I have learned to manage my own personal/work and relationship stress so I don’t add on to my children’s already stressful lives.  I want them to be better people than I am in many possible ways and one of them is learning how to manage their own stresses, learning how to live for themselves and learning how to be the best humans they possibly can.   They work hard but they also play hard.  I love my children…they are the coolest people I know lol so everything I can do to my capacity is for them.

NOW! HOW to De-stress!!

BREATHE!! learn to take deep breaths and be in the moment. EXERCISE! go for walk, drag the kids out for walk. try to eat as much veggies and unprocessed foods as you can… Take up a hobby, go fishing, go for a boat ride, go for a bike ride, bead, sew, play a game with your kids, read a book, let others help you in organizing an event, stop being  a perfectionist, remember those that judge you have nothing better else to do but judge others, go have a weiner roast, spend time with nieces and nephews, learn to laugh, learn to let things slide and work out on their own.  Step back and ask yourself…is this really worth my health? if not than let it go. learn how to talk…NOT scream, yell, rant or bitch…seriously that is just a waste of energy and personality. Think things through and learn to manage your reactions.  Learn your personal boundaries and learn to accept yourself.  I didn’t grow up with boundaries and I let people walk all over me and take advantage of my generosity & patience. Learn to let go of people whose behaviour stresses you out.  You cannot control other people’s reactions or actions so once you accept them than let them go.  You don’t need that stress because being you is stressful enough. again…exercise! it does wonders for your mental health (and physical health too!) and again…learn to let go. You only have this one life to live…don’t spend it trying to make other people happy or trying to make their lives easier…live for you! live for your own dreams and wishes for yourself. Make time for yourself and those you love in your life. 2347

She did it!

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Shawna Leanne receiving her Ontario Secondary School Diploma!

Such a proud and overwhelming moment! She over came a lot of obstacles to achieve this moment and it was grand! Still is…I think I’m still in “awe” land lol

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Kevin Day & Shawna Morris

Kevin is the first to graduate with a O.S.S.D in his family…pretty awesome :)

Keep encouraging your child/ren to attend school, to do home work and to achieve their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.  Never give up on them :)

Congratulations to Shawna & Kevin & Juanita! (my niece graduated that day too!)

High school Express halts tomorrow…

Well..at least for one child…two more to go *knock on wood* So my oldest daughter, Shawna Morris, is graduating from high school. It’s been a crazy, slow, fun, exasperating and turbulent ride. A ride well worth the trip to a destination that she worked for and earned.  You see…my daughter has a unique way of learning. I don’t want to call it a disability (like how it’s labeled) because LABELS suck! and the academic world thrives on LABELS! She’s always had her own way of learning because she is her own unique human with own way of thinking, living, and believing.

I wasn’t going to let my child come out and deal with the struggles of high school & life on her own so we moved out with her.  She started high school in 2009 and is now finishing in 2014.  Over the course of the 5 years, we endured a lot of struggles, triumphs, tears and smiles but we prevailed.  I say we because she wasn’t alone in this…there were probably a lot of moments she felt alone but we were always here.  Thanks to her Dad for being such a source of strength when we felt like there was none left in us.  Thanks to her Sister Mya for being the bridge of hugs, the commander of how everyone should behave and for voicing your wishes of how we should be functioning as a family. Such a source of direction you have been and will continue to be :)

Don’t be afraid to speak up on your child’s behalf (I’m not saying to go the school with fists and tempers up in the air) but be approachable.  Show the teacher that you want to work together towards a solution that will suit your child.  Remember that the teacher has about 20 other students to “teach” and look after so keep that in mind.

Learning begins at home. Provide your child with bed time schedule that will provide him/her with enough sleep to help him/her be rested enough to learn. Do you best to provide a stress-free home. (Kids are already stressed out ENOUGH in this world! they don’t need you to add on to it so learn to manage your work/relationship and personal stress) Provide enough “brain” food to help fuel your child’s brain. Pop/chips, chocolates and candy are all processed foods and slows down the body in breaking it down so more energy is used up doing that rather than learning.

VOLUNTEER! VOLUNTEER! Since your child’s teacher has other children in the classroom, his/her attention & energy is STRETCHED MIGHTY THIN sooooo VOLUNTEER! If the class is having an event than volunteer to make something, or to go spend an hour or so in the class while the event is happening. Show interest in your child’s learning by going into the classroom and looking at all the art work and assignments posted on the walls.  Teachers spend a lot of time posting and displaying their work so take the time to enjoy it.

Always be supportive…even when your kid decides to nose dive and farts around.  Always be encouraging! be approachable and remember that there are times you have to SMACK down the law lol

I’m looking forward to Thursday evening.  I’ll probably be super emotional lol but my big Sister will be there to be of some kind of support….buuttt I think she’ll be more emotional than I will be.  Her daughter is graduating too!

So Keep pushing and encouraging your child to achieve his/her high school diploma.  It will open a lot of doors to the adult world for them.  There will be many, many obstacles but every child has it in them to succeed. Don’t let “labels”,  so called “experts” or your child’s own fears & doubts become a stumbling block.

Man…I already know I’m going to be an emotional mess tomorrow. :)

“Liberals win Provincial Election with a majority” now what does this mean for First Nations?

The Liberal platform on First Nations.

 ”Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne vowed to go ahead and spend $1 billion over the next decade to build a transportation route to the mineral-rich Ring of Fire in the province’s north — with or without financial help from the federal Conservatives — if the Liberals are re-elected on June 12.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shown no interest in helping the province develop the massive chromite deposit, which would be a big boon to Ontario’s economy and create jobs in hard-hit northern communities, Wynne said Sunday in Thunder Bay, Ont…” read story here. 

Remote Aboriginal Communities

In order to help ensure remote First Nations can benefit fully from new transmission projects, the Liberals are proposing the Remote Electrification Readiness Program (RERP), a $3 million fund to help prepare remote communities for the benefits associated with connecting to the provincial electricity grid. These benefits include job training, health programs, business innovation mentoring, and economic development supports. The majority of First Nations in Northwestern Ontario are currently supplied by local diesel generators; diesel generation is 3-10 times more expensive than the average cost of the provincial supply mix. – Mondaq professional advisers

So those are the main issues that is concerning First Nations at the Provincial Level….please note I said at the Provincial Level…NOT Federal (where we and our First Nation Communities are governed under) the part that I KINDA got excited about is how the Provincial government will move forward on The Ring of Fire.  Pretty sad how the Harper Federal Government are not uttering a peep about this.  It shows that they are not willing to work with First Nations…Harper is the leader of the Liberal Party so he’s the boss of all of Canada and he’s not too willing to work with First Nations.  There WAS the promise of a funding increase to First Nation Schools but that does not come in to effect AFTER the Federal Election in October 2015 and with the implementation of Bill C-33 The First Nations Education Act.  Even through AFN didn’t back up the Bill the government is threatening to push it through anyway.  Disheartening.

HOWEVER!!!! Come October 19, 2015 WE ALL HAVE TO VOTE! I shall be promoting and bugging the crap out of all of you to go out and VOTE!!! BOOT HARPER OUT OF GOVERNMENT….lol