In loving memory of Kusum

My beautiful friend Kusum Bhatia passed away in a tragic house fire on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018. She is survived be her dear husband Ravi and her loving son Roche.

Kusum has been a wonderful friend these past 6 years, after we first met as roommates for 2 weeks in 2013. She, Susan, and I were the ‘Three Musketeers’ – Kusum called us that. Sadly, we were supposed to meet for coffee the very week she passed so unexpectedly. I was just thinking of calling her when her husband notified me of the news. Synchronicity.

Kusum has been a true friend of the heart and an unforgettable companion, with all her funny stories about family and life. She is the only person in my contact list with a special symbol next to her name that always brightens my day, whenever she calls – it’s a flower, like her name, which means Blossom (and Fire) in Hindi. May her bright spark rest in peace.

I am including just one pic of her here; the rest are sprinkled throughout this blog.

(NOTE: To see all the pics, whenever you reach the bottom of the screen, please wait for the rest of the pictures to load. You will note that I’ve given up photography as a hobby, as years have passed between posts!)

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Danforth shooting site

This is steps from the Danforth shooting site, just a few months after the tragedy.

It is one short block from where I used to live for 9 years (and 4 years on Pape), and where some of my friends, acquaintances, and former neighbours still live.

The weird thing is the two areas I go to visit friends – Danforth/Carlaw and Yonge/Finch – both had mass killings this past year. VERY SCARY AND SAD!!

1) Unsealed warrants reveal Toronto Danforth shooter had ‘fascination with death’

2) ‘Nobody’s seen anything like this’: 10 dead, 15 injured in north Toronto van ramming attack

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Bunch of pics…it’s been awhile

Haven’t really been posting regularly for quite some time. But here are some pics for posterity, including one by PetSmart and two from the media.

This is reaching back a ways, but a good friend from high school played on Team Canada Women’s Ice Hockey team for two Olympics. These are pics from the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City – the year that both the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey teams won!

Women’s sports has come a long way in the past 30-some years. When I was a teen, there was next to no future for women in sports, particularly team sports. Vicky is now the Head Coach for U of T’s Women’s Hockey.

One thing I have to add is that Vicky is one of THE most humble people I have ever known. Even though she was a super-athlete at every sport she played (in childhood, we bowled a Doubles Bowling Tournament together and won – they paired the best bowlers with the worst, and guess which one I was?) , and her room was overflowing with trophies and medals, yet she is just so modest with a great sense of humour.

Above left: Jayna  Hefford, Cassie Campbell-Pascal (captain) and Vicky Sunohara (assistant captain)

Friends from CMHA: Dave and Jim.

–>  AUGUSTINE, I didn’t include your pic to respect your privacy.

         

 

 

Above: Much-loved Smoky, the rescue cat I got for my friend Aaron in 2015.

Below is Professor Li, who is 106-years old in this picture. She is related to the last emperor of China and was born and raised in the Forbidden City. She is highly regarded for the many books she has written on the Chinese language. She also raised 9 children by herself (!!) and was invited to Canada in the 1950’s at the invitation of the United Nations to help with Chinese translation at the Toronto Reference Library (her English is very good too luckily for me). The Canadian government is currently doing a study on her because of her strong genes, obvious longevity, and Manchurian ancestry with gray eyes.

Allison on one of our enjoyable walks, though rare. Mostly we do coffees together and email/text essays.

Don and I are coming up to our 3rd anniversary this month, yet I have never posted his pic here. I try to be mindful about how people may feel about being seen on a seemingly stigmatizing site, such as this one.

Let it be known that no one turns me on more than a switched-on woman of colour. Being with Don can sometimes feel so ‘status-quo’ – until you get to know him!

Andy Capp, an old cartoon favourite.

This cartoon clip applies to everyone, righteous priest and alcoholic alike…

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RIP Uncle Tony

My Uncle Tony by marriage is a proud 3rd-generation Chinese-Canadian who passed away on Sunday, June 3, 2018. He is survived by my aunt Wei/Angela and his daughter Lian. His funeral and life commemoration was on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at the atheist church in West Hill (this church is a real gem and is led by the dynamic Gretta Vosper).

It is a shame I or someone didn’t  video-record Tony’s funeral service. It was beautiful and moving, and a real slice of history (Canadian, American, Chinese). Some of his former students from the University of Washington flew up and spoke of Tony’s ability to inspire a genuine desire to learn. Tony travelled to 29 countries and worked in 5 (?). A former CBC anchor, documentary filmmaker, ground-breaking author, and a much beloved professor of many years, Tony B. Chan was a trailblazer in so many areas.

Rest in peace, Tony (June 25, 1944 – June 3, 2018).

Above: University of Toronto’s main campus library set up a memorial in Tony’s honour, featuring some of his many works (written and film).

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Canadian family history

Sorry to the subscribers for all the mass editing!

Since I do rattle on about socio-environmental issues in Canada, here are some ‘fun facts’ about my family below, since *credibility* is at a premium when one is a mental health survivor…

  • A number of my relatives are 4th- and 5th-generation Chinese-Canadians;
  • My parents obtained their degrees at Queen’s ’61 and Mount St. Mary’s College ’64;
  • My late grandfather (born 1909) and his 11 siblings were/are all university-educated, as are my aunts and uncles, etc;
  • My aunt is in the Canadian Who’s Who;
  • 3 of my aunts, and 2 of my uncles by marriage, are published authors;
  • My uncle by marriage had 3 uncles who served in the Canadian military during WWII, and their family restaurant Panama Café was a Victoria landmark from 1910 to 1967 (see photos below; I haven’t gotten around to digging out our family photos, but hopefully that will come).

Pics from the extended family…

Interior of the Panama Café, ca. 1917. Chan Dun is standing behind the counter (City of Victoria Archives, M00274).

Standing in front of the Panama Café are Koo Ching Lim (left) and her husband Chan Dun (right) with three of their four sons who served in the Second World War, from left: Ira, Paul, and Roy (Photo courtesy of Anthony Chan).

Thanks Tony, be well. We love you.

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One-Word Essays

(Note: These are NOT my photos; they come from an email circular.)

My relative who has been on psychiatric meds for over 40 years sent this email. She was able to stay at one job, got married, and has been active in church and in her communities.

One Word Essays

Determination

 
          
 
 

Hope

 
 

Contemplation

 
 

Love

 
 
 

Excitement

 
 
 

Security

 
 
 

Adventure

 
 

Contentment

 
 
 

Longevity

 
 

Curiosity

 
 
 

Heroism

 
 
 

Aspirations

 
 
 

Confusion

 
 
 

Honor

 
 
 

Accomplishment

 
 
 

Perseverance

 
 
 

Whimsy

 
 
Tradition
 

Companionship

 
 
 

Beauty

 
 
 

Caring

 
 
 

Relating

 
 
 

Fruitful

 
 
 

Awe

 
 

Tenacity

 


 
 
 

Friendship

 
 

May your troubles be less,
May your blessings be more,
May nothing but happiness
Come through your door!

 

Hope You have an enjoyable DAY

and experience all of GOD’s BLESSINGS !!!

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who have children of their own, or have been like a mother to others! Have a great day and year!

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