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Through Rose Coloured Glasses

Rose Tournier


Sometimes, things happen for which there is no explanation, and only on looking back on the event, can you understand its significance. That happened recently to my sister, a little over a month before the suicide of her youngest child. 

On Mother’s Day, my sister’s family had gathered at her home. My sister looked out over the lake by which her house sits, and suddenly noticed a cloud formation in the shape of an angel. It was a very large and beautiful figure of an angel. For some reason, she instantly thought of our Mom and felt the angel was a message from her, on this special day for all mothers. Later in the day, she picked up her phone and looked at the picture she had taken of the angel. Unknown to her at the time, she had caught her son Tadrik in the picture, sitting under the wing of the angel. At the time, she thought “How beautiful – my mom is looking out for my son”. Then life got busy, and she didn’t think about the picture again for a little over a month. 

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In this week’s column, I want to tell you about my nephew Tadrik. The youngest in his family, after two sisters and a brother, he was born to my youngest sibling, my sister. Tadrik was a blonde, blue-eyed little boy with an incredible smile. He was a sweet and almost delicate little boy and I always loved having him and his siblings visit us when they and my children were young. Tadrik and his siblings spent a lot of time with us, putting in a lot of “cousin time”. He was always a “people-pleaser” and avoided conflict, even as a child. We didn’t realize it then, but this was the beginning of anxiety which would last him a life time. He struggled with mental health issues and tried to self-medicate through substance use. He sought mental health supports. But in the end, it wasn’t enough. On June 26, a little over a month short of his 26th birthday, Tadrik took his own life. 

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As I write this column, it is the last week of June and therefore the end of another school year. Throughout the city this week, each high school has held its graduation ceremonies. It is an exciting time for our graduates. They are about to start their life as adults, the career choices they make this year will chart the course of the rest of their lives. There is no doubt that each graduate is experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions; from excitement at beginning their new lives and yet a little melancholy that this group of students who have been together for years will each go their separate ways. 

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This week-end, we will proudly celebrate Canada’s birthday. With each passing year, I appreciate even more what we have here. As Prince Albert becomes a destination city for more immigrants each year, and I have the opportunity to meet them and to speak with them, I realize how very fortunate I am to be Canadian. We have freedoms and opportunities which are so entrenched in our customs and laws, that we take them for granted. 

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My boys were water babies. They both loved the water and spent hours either in pools or at the lake. We spent many week-ends at the family cabin enjoying the sun and water. For them, it didn’t matter if the water was cold or not. Water temperature did matter for me, so I spent many early-spring hours on the beach, wrapped in a blanket, while they played in the water. Last week-end, we spent an afternoon at that same cabin with our grandson, who is also a water baby. He loves playing in the water (although he does draw the line at getting water in his face – but that’s another story). 

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