Friday – I connected with my first employer ever. When I was 18 and going to university, I needed a summer job. I saw an ad in one of newspapers and applied for it. Got the interview. But then had to sit in a lobby for about an hour waiting for my interview to happen. I think they forgot about me sitting there. They did eventually remember I was there, interviewed me and I got the job. It was a great five years. Selling concert tickets, meeting new friends and being able to work and attend different kinds of shows and sporting events around the city. During this time of work, I became good friends with my employers. But as time passed, we lost touch. Last week, I found them again living in Toronto. Luckily I seem to travel there often. Reconnecting has been wonderful and I can’t wait to catch up on the past 29 years. How time flies and that ‘s why it is so important to keep up with people you know. If only an email or a FB message or a text saying ‘Hi, how are you doing?’
Saturday – I had to buy car insurance and went someplace local. As I was sitting there waiting, the young lady noticed my nails with the snowflakes. Then she probably recognized my last name. She asked me how she could get a bracelet. She also told me how she had followed Amanda’s story including the fact that she couldn’t wait to get out of high school and how after school, it was so much better for her. I gave her a bracelet. She wanted to pay for it and so she did. She has a huge heart and told me that Amanda’s story had a big impact on her.
Sunday – Going to Home Depot to look for flooring. As I walked through the appliance section, a lady and her husband were looking for fridges. She saw me and said out loud “I know you from somewhere”. I just smiled like I usually do. I could see that she was thinking really hard about where. When it clicked in her brain, she asked if she could give me a hug. And it was the biggest hug ever. She told me that we were meant to meet. I gave her a bracelet that she immediately put on. She said that when she heard Amanda’s story on the news, she cried continuous tears. We ended up talking in the aisle. I shared with her to wear purple on October 10th and explained that it was World Mental Health Day as well as the same day that Amanda died. She said she believed that some people are put on earth for a reason like an angel. It reminded me of the conversation that I had with Shannon Turner from Prevention Violence of Canada who called Amanda ‘a tranformative angel’. So true the more time passes …
Later on Sunday, I bumped into a young woman who is in her late twenties and who remembered me as a teacher from the elementary school she attended. She now has a young child entering middle school and says that Amanda’s story has made her open up conversations with her daughter. That is a good thing. We talked about trust, communication and being non-judgemental about the things your kids tell you.
Remember Amanda on October 10th. Remember to wear purple. Remember to be creative with purple in some way, shape or form.
All over Canada, places will be illuminated purple on October 10th. As well, people will be wearing purple and organizations will be sharing on their social media about World Mental Health Day. www.lightuppurple.com