THe glory of a story
Thoughts and threads of passion and experience that have woven the fabric I call my life. Sharing experiences, memories and ideas so that they are out in the world for you to find when the time is right.
THe glory of a story
Those of you that know me, know that mine is not your traditional family by definition. It’s a wonderful family, but not typical, and includes a collection of step and chosen children. Because of this, I’ve spent a lot of time the last couple of years learning as much as I can about Canada’s Residential School system and it’s effects, and although it is not my lived experience, last year it did become a little more personal.
Last year, my grandson Tyson started kindergarten. On September 30th, when his mom, Bianca, was making him put on his orange shirt for Orange Shirt Day, she had to take the time to explain to him the reason for it and why it’s necessary to participate and honour the Residential School Survivors on that day. She patiently explained to him that in at the not so distant past, Tyson’s school experience would have been much different than it is today. Because of who they are, my family…my Grandkids… would have most likely been forced to live the Residential School system experience, simply because of their ancestry and their skin colour.
Shen she called me later to share with me her conversation with him, I was so impacted. For all my learning, I had never allowed my heart to picture one of my Grandchildren being the ones taken away. That new picture of what might have been has stayed with me, and haunted me in the year since.
When I started this journey of sharing my book ideas and creations with the greater world, I realized that Tyson's story was one that needed to be written. It needed to be shared, not only because his mom did such a great job of explaining it to Tyson as a 5-year old, but that Tyson can now become a teacher to others who may not understand what Orange Shirt Day is all about.
For myself, as I began to share with my own friends and circle about writing the book and the enjoyment we had creating the graphics to tell the story, it became so apparent that so many people of my own generation have no idea that there is an Orange Shirt Day, or why we have it. I’m hoping that this book will become a tool to help the young, compassionate Tyson’s of the world to continue to reach and teach the rest of us who are still wrapping our heads and hearts around a system that was kept a secret from us for most of our own lives.
The work of the recommendations that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission laid out for us has barely begun. There is so much to do, to create understanding and empathy between the people of this land. I hope that through working with my daughter and grandchildren to share this small piece of our experience, we can be a small part of the process that will move Canada forward. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.
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