Here in Ontario, we are slowly making progress towards a return to normal. More people have received their first dose and we are now celebrating second doses and slowly re-opening our retail and restaurants. So you would think that there is a lot of optimism being felt. But I think that with everything that we have undergone, the hope is a little dimmed.
And the sadness is being amplified with all of the horrors we are seeing take place around the world, but especially in our backyard. The discovery of the bodies of 215 indigenous children at a residential school, was especially challenging for our family. As a mom, I could not imagine the pain of having your children forcibly removed from your home, to experience years of physical, mental and sexual torture.
As a child, the hate and resentment that must have been experienced towards all adults, including family, would understandably have such a lasting legacy, resulting in generational abuse and harm. The discussion is being held at our schools and our kids have been having very honest discussions with us. My 7 year old, was especially upset, when speaking about how the only way out for many indigenous children, was suicide. Our kids have put themselves, if only for a moment, in the shoes of those innocent children and you can see the despair that they have been experiencing. Walking in their shoes and what this represents is a tragic legacy in our country.
And then on Sunday, even more tragedy close to home. A Muslim family, out for a stroll in the evening, was specifically run down because they are Muslim. The entire family – mom, dad, grandma and daughter were killed and the orphan, still in hospital, is a 9 year old boy, who when he is told, will have his life ripped out from under him. Again, my family put ourselves in the shoes of this family. We often go for family walks in the evening, throughout the Spring and Summer. We treasure those moments together, when you speak about everything and anything and just enjoy the beautiful night, being with the ones you love. The overwhelming feeling of sadness over such a senseless act, continues the feeling of grief.
I have no words to describe the uncontrollable sadness these events, and so many others throughout the pandemic, have caused. We are urged to keep trying to find happiness and joy, throughout the pandemic and one of the recommendations has been to go for walks and spend time together as a family. And now that bastion of normalcy, has been stolen, for so many.
And so, as we slowly return back to “normal” with increased vaccines and the reopening of our community, I hope we do not forget these tragedies so close to home. We as a country, like to pride ourselves, as stating, “That would never happen in our backyard”, but they did.
We need to remember and honour the lives lost.
We need to recognize that hate, in all forms, is a part of the fabric of our society, instead of trying to pretend that it is not.
We need to educate and discuss.
And we need to make change.
Just putting ourselves in the shoes of those lost, has left an indelible imprint on me – one that I will carry, even when we are over this pandemic.
But that’s just one Diva’s view.
1 thought on “Walking in their shoes….”
A very well communicated timely reminder to look inwards and reflect but most importantly, work seriously towards changing this ongoing narrative.
Having immigrated to Canada over a quarter century ago, it is only in the last 2 years that I started to read about Indigenous peoples. It is important for us all, but particularly first generation immigrants to inform ourselves better understand the history of the land we now occupy.
So, I thank you for writing this wonderful piece.
Humans have, for centuries, wreaked havoc on who they choose to label as the “other”. Yet,
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