Thunder Bay’s Out of the Darkness Walk was last weekend. Even though the weather threatened to baptise us with some water it held off until near the end of the half hour walk. I had a booth again this year with my books and I brought along some printed poetry of mine, not really sure of what to bring. They seemed to be a hit (as they were free) and I didn’t have enough. This gives me ideas for next year’s walk.
I also sang a song that is one of the one’s that I have on youtube called “Life Goes On”. My singing is not the best and I’d get kicked off of American Idol in round one but I still find that the message that I am bringing to people is what is important and not how I do it.
A couple of friends just popped in at the walk which was really nice because it was comforting to see familiar faces. Susie has been a true and good friend; she was the first person there for me the night that we found Ryan and she stayed with me. That is something that I will never forget. Kim was a friend of Ryan’s and she came to see me after he died and gave me a journal which is what I started writing “The Cedar Canoe; What Happened to Ryan” in.
There are amazing people on this planet.
The organizer of Thunder Bay’s Walk is Margaret Hajdinack (not sure of the spelling). I met her at my book signing at the Chapters Book Store in Thunder Bay. She came there and showed me a picture of her son, Steven and I hugged her. We bonded instantly. She had a dream of having a memorial walk and she went to New York City to participate in their walk and then organized it for Thunder Bay last year. She has had tremendous support from organizations such as Leadership Thunder Bay and also from politicians. She encouraged me to try to organize one in Red Lake and she attended ours last year. We had 25 people. Thunder Bay had 300.
The Out of the Darkness Committee of Thunder Bay has given me $200.00 for this year’s walk which will help to pay for advertising and snacks. I am very grateful. We will see how it goes. The stigma is so hard to fight. I sent in the ad for the walk to the local radio station and they took out all of the “suicide” and “depression” words and just called it a Memorial Walk.
Some times I feel all alone and ask myself, “Why do I bother?”
And then I think of Ryan.