So I have been getting some feedback on the last post about Fletcher; noting how heavy it was, how sad it made people feel, and what a nice tribute it was for him. Thank you all for that.
So I decided to make this post about after Fletchers passing. How I was able to grieve in a good way, move on and continue living in Thompson.
*(for confidentiality purposes, no names will be used)*
I don’t know that I was all that convinced before this event that when people pass on, they leave you signs, people, and/or strength to help you through. I do know now that it is something I believe in because it happened to me. Whether I choose to believe in god or a higher power is irrelevant, but I do believe that guardian angels do exist, both here on earth and out there somewhere up above (heaven or whatever you choose to believe in). I think that they are often sent to you at the time you need it the most (either knowingly or not). Mine came to me as a cute, funny, intelligent and very honest 7 year old girl; and became one of my very best friends.
I remember meeting other people who were affected by Fletchers passing. “A” was one of those people who talked so highly of him and yet before his funeral we had never met. We hung out for a while and became good friends (still to this day even though we rarely talk or hang…she went and got pregs J). What I meant about people who have passed is exactly this. They put people like “A” in your life to help you get through and lead you to other ways or people to help get you through difficult moments. In 2011, a few months after the funeral, “A” introduced me one day to “R”, a tiny 7 year old with a ton of energy. She had been working with “R” for a while as a respite worker and I just happened to stop in for a visit on that day she was there. I watched this girl running around, so happy and full of energy, pretending to look for fairies in the trees in the backyard (though I don’t know if it was pretend, imagination, or if she actually did believe they were there). Either way I decided that it looked like fun and joined her. It is amazing how the power of imagination can take your mind off of all the tough things that you have gone through or are going through and allow you to just get lost in having fun. A while after that I was lucky enough to be allowed by her foster parent and the agency to be another one of her respite workers (though I’d gladly hang out with her for free any day).
For that summer and over the following years you could find us searching for fairies, making up funny stories, going to the park and pretending the playground was a castle and making up games where she made the rules and she always won the games. You could even find me rocking a pink Dora The Explorer backpack when “R” got tired of carrying it around (I’m not ashamed of it). You could find us ripping down the waterslide and doing crazy jumps off the diving board at the pool (she is fearless). In the winter, we made snow forts while she would make up fairy tales about who lived in them, and hit up the sliding hill by the fire hall more times than I can remember (while I cringed as she hit jumps full speed while laughing). There is a lifetime of fun that we have had over the past several years, that I cannot recall right now that would take up this entire post.
Today she is 12 years old, and I can say that she is one of my very best friends. I don’t really think she even knows what she has done for me or the impact she has had on my life simply by just being her awesome self. She saved me from moving home and missing out on so many great opportunities and people out here. She helped me get through a difficult time in my life, and continues to be there when I am having a rough time. She has given me a purpose in life, to help others like she has helped me. She has shown me that it is a lot more fun to be happy than it is to be sad, or hurt or in pain; and that you need to chill out and take a break and sometimes just let it go ( like that frozen song). Most of all she has taught me that people, regardless of age, have the ability to change the lives of others for the better; old or young. She has convinced me that guardian angels do exist, both up there and down here. And I do believe that we were put in each other’s paths somehow by Fletcher; maybe we both unknowingly needed each other?
Today, our crew has grown and we are four people (3 kids, 1 giant kid), and I am so grateful for that too. Running around doing the same fun stuff and being awesome. A mini crazy, blended, tough, fearless, happy, loud, fun loving “family by life”. I still have no problem rocking the purple and pink backpacks.
To my friend “R”, I love you and thank you for everything. My real life guardian angel, best friend and hero in kid form, sent to look after me.