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My Big Fat Life: Bullying Canada Needs to Practice What it Preaches

Published in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Monday, May 7, 2012

Bullying Canada needs to live up to its mandate in how it deals with organizations and institutions.

Bullying is indeed a serious matter, yes; we need more education and awareness. I am in no way trying to belittle the cause, but I am somewhat ashamed of the tactics Bullying Canada chooses to employ in furthering its cause.

I know about bullying intimately.  My son was bullied over a six-month period in Grade 7. The situation was solved, but it was a long process.  Repairing relationships doesn’t happen overnight. Repairing a school’s reputation doesn’t happen instantly, either. For the last three years, principal Pat Thorne, vice-principal Jen Pauley and their team of teachers and support staff at Woodstock Middle School have worked diligently in trying to turn the school around.

When I moved to the community of Woodstock in 2006, the school’s track record for dealing with bullies wasn’t the greatest. Over time that changed because of strong and loving leadership, a staff that understands the needs of the students, and a group of educators and support staff who work well as a team for the betterment of all students.  Does that mean bullying doesn’t happen at the school?  Of course not.  Bullying happens everywhere, and I am not sure there will ever be a time when it is eradicated completely.

Bullying comes from socio-economic differences, from a lack of empathy and understanding, from greed and pride and sometimes from a lack of education. Bullying also comes from being bullied. It is a multi-faceted problem that cannot be fixed with a phone call, a suspension or even the threat of media.

I know. It took months for my son to admit the seriousness of his own situation. It took days for the team at the school to talk to each of the students involved and to grasp a complete understanding of what was happening, and it took weeks to set up mediation meetings and begin to rectify the problem.

When it comes to dealing with bullies and those who have been bullied, quick fixes don’t work. Suspensions are temporary Band-Aids, moving kids to other classes’ only mask the situation. Bullying is further exacerbated by the fact that every situation is different and every person dealing with that situation is different.  No bullying incident is exactly the same as another, which means every solution ends up being unique.

And sometimes an issue can’t be resolved to the satisfaction of everyone involved. People are complex beings.

We live in an age where instant gratification is the name of the game. We want things and we want them now.  Bullying is no different. We all want it fixed and fixed yesterday, but as long as the bullying is taking place between human beings, that will never happen.  While many of us would love to snap our fingers and instantly deal successfully with a tough situation, myself included, that will never happen.  Bullying Canada doesn’t seem to understand this.

Last week the organization took a media swipe at the staff at Woodstock Middle School. They were trying to intervene on behalf of a parent.  Bullying Canada issued a news release stating: “We attempted to make contact with both Superintendent John Tingley and School Principal Patricia Thorne but our calls and emails were not returned.”

As a person concerned with bullying in the school system, I was shocked to read this and contacted Pat Thorne and John Tingley directly.  They said they checked with their staff and were told no phone messages were received from Bullying Canada, and at no time did either official receive a voicemail message from the organization.  They did, however, receive one email.

On Friday, April 27 at 8:22 a.m., Bullying Canada sent a note to both Tingley and Thorne. This was the only contact made, according to Tingley and Thorne. Later that morning, at 11:44 a.m., Bullying Canada issued a news release to the media complaining of inaction by the school and the district.  In a later media interview, Bullying Canada spokesperson Rob Frenette expressed his concern that the school was not returning his ‘calls’ and that he was also upset officials would not discuss the situation with him.

How fair is it to widely distribute a media release stating that numerous calls were made when no messages were left?  How irresponsible is it to issue a news release accusing someone of not returning calls after waiting only three hours for a response?  And how can an anti-bullying group expect such a multi-faceted situation to be fixed within a week?

On the day Bullying Canada issued its news release, the school had been dealing with and working toward resolving the issue for five days. My son’s complex situation took nearly six weeks to rectify.

This is not the first time the actions of Bullying Canada officials have worried me. I’ve watched the news reports where they complain about businesses, corporations and schools.  In some instances it seems that if the organization cannot get what it wants, it then threatens media action. It also seems that each time a call is not returned in what the organization feels is a ‘timely fashion,’ Bullying Canada issues a media release.

Rob Frenette issued another news release Saturday, saying it was the family’s decision to issue a media advisory on the fact their concerns were not being addressed. “At no time did anyone from Bullying Canada make the decision to issue the media release,” Frenette stated.

Yet that media advisory was issued under the name of Bullying Canada. How can the organization claim to represent and speak for a family in one breath, but then abdicate responsibility in the next?

Everyone who reads my column knows I am not a malicious person.  My family and friends and co-workers know I am as honest as the day is long. People understand my need to help others, that I truly hate bullying, that I love people who do what’s right and not what’s easy, and that I try to see the best in everyone.

I hope you see this column for what it is: Clarification, education and standing up for what I think is right. Organizations that take the moral high ground in their mandate need to take the moral high ground in the execution of that mandate. Bullying Canada needs to take that message to heart in how it deals with this sensitive issue.

Theresa Blackburn is a wife, mother and a New Brunswick Community College instructor who lives and writes in Woodstock.  You can email her at theresa@mybigfatlife.ca, join her Facebook group, My Big Fat Life, or follow her on Twitter @MY_BIG_FAT_LIFE.


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My Big Fat Life RETURNS: Apologies, new ventures and the realization you can’t have it all

Published in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Monday, April 16, 2012


I have missed this – this beautiful and direct line to so many readers each Monday. I have been away, but have tried on a few occasions to get back here.

For four weeks I took an official break, letting editors know I needed some time.

When my break was over, I did send along a few things. One column was too late, one was too long, and one couldn’t be printed. I got discouraged, and took another break. I tried to write again, but there were weeks I was just too tired to write; sometimes I couldn’t come up with a clear focus, and other weeks I was just too busy.

I think this is the longest I’ve been away from the paper in the five-and-a-half years I’ve penned a piece here.

I am not sure I am able to write here as regularly as I used to.

I have come to the realization I cannot do everything I want to do.

My mother was right.

Like most kids growing up, I had a long list of “I wannas.”

I clearly remember I wanted to do so much and be so many things. The list, especially in my pre-teen years, was endless.

I was one of the first generations to see my future as something I could choose. Society began to tell me I could do anything I wanted to do if I tried hard enough.

I’d verbalize my dreams to my parents and many times my mom would tell me that sometimes you can’t do everything you want to do. Sometimes I understood her thinking, but other times I reasoned with inexperienced kid logic, believing her explanations were about what she could not do because she was a parent. I saw her as a woman with responsibilities, which meant she couldn’t always sit back, and read a novel when she wanted, or have a night out with the girls if she felt like it, or serve us potato chips for supper.

I didn’t realize that her warnings were about making choices – sometimes-hard choices – about what you have to leave behind in pursuit of a dream.

I am beginning to worry that this column may be something I have to choose to leave behind.

Many of you know I’ve been working on a new venture – a magazine about the people, places and history of New Brunswick. (www.agelessnb.ca) agelessNB has consumed all of my free time lately. My Big Fat Life has always been big and full.

My plate used to include my regular home responsibilities with my husband and children, my job teaching journalism at the college, my role on Woodstock town council and my writing. Now my plate also has heaping spoonfuls of busy lunch hours filled with phone calls and planning, early mornings where I rise before everyone else so I can write, evenings where, after kids are in bed, invoices are filled out and paperwork is completed, and weekends where hockey, church and cadet activities are intertwined with interviews, advertiser meetings and more writing.

That plate has also been filled with a lot of wonderful feedback. People like what I’m trying to achieve, and I really believe agelessNB can make a difference.

Peggy Martin of Woodstock called me last week. She had been wondering where my column had gone and discussed my possible whereabouts with friends. A neighbour dropped by with a copy of the magazine over Easter and it was only then she understood why I wasn’t in the paper.

She loved the magazine and missed the column. She called me her “Monday morning friend.” I felt elated and saddened all at once. I was happy that she loved agelessNB, but sad that I missed out on being with her each Monday.

Another ball dropped. I took a hiatus from the column and failed to let readers know.

Sometimes I wonder what kind of example I’m setting for my kids.

What my children see lately is a mom consumed. Some evenings I’ve missed bedtime tuck-ins, I’ve been absent at more than a few supper hours leading up to the printing of each issue, and I’ve missed spending simple, basic downtime with their dad.

I try and remind them this will (God willing) get better. Once the magazine is established further, once we cultivate contacts, once the word gets out, the hard work of distribution, advertising, and getting freelancers will be something that happens with little effort.

I really believe the goal of connecting people, of telling important stories and sharing our journey is something that will become important to many – not just this crazy, stressed, tired mom. But until then, the dream of success in this venture is far-off.

My father always told me that things worth doing are things worth doing well. But doing some things well comes at a cost, I’m discovering. What costs I’m willing to pay are obvious.

My kids and husband are the most important parts of my quality-of-life equation. My students are a secondary part, with the community and the magazine coming a close third. What gets ‘dropped’ in the future to achieve the goals I feel are important for my personal happiness and fulfillment will need to come down to what I can afford to lose and what I can’t.

As I struggle to find balance this spring, I hope that My Big Fat Life gets to be a part of my quality-of-life equation. If it isn’t, I am thankful that many of you – my beautiful readers – will understand and support me.

Sadly, that won’t make it any easier if I have to say goodbye.

Theresa Blackburn is a wife, mother and New Brunswick Community College instructor who lives and writes in Woodstock. You can email her at theresa@mybigfatlife.ca, or join her group, My Big Fat Life, on Facebook. You can also follow her on Twitter @MY_BIG_FAT_LIFE


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My Big Fat Life: Forget Gaga: Theresa’s thankful her kids are fans of REAL celebrities!

Published in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Monday, December 19, 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, I find myself again counting my blessings.

I am grateful for many things in my life. I am blessed a loving husband and wonderful children. I am thankful for a good job, good friends, and a warm and dry home to live in. I give thanks for having enough food to eat, a job that provides for my family, and for my continued health and the health of those I love.

I am grateful for the kind and intelligent students I am privileged to have in my classroom, I am grateful for the opportunity to write and connect with so many people, and I am especially grateful for the beautiful people I get to meet in this capacity.

I count myself lucky to call His Honour, Lt.-Gov. Graydon Nicholas, and his wife, her honour, Beth, as friends.

I first met the lieutenant-governor at my church, shortly after he was sworn in. He came to a special mass at St. Gertrude’s in Woodstock, at the request of his friend, Father Bill Brennan. As he greeted some entering the church that day, I introduced myself.

“I know who you are,” he said, smiling, “my wife and I enjoy your articles in The Daily Gleaner every Monday.”

I remember turning red, and I remember feeling extremely humbled, and realizing I was a bit speechless in that moment.

I hope I said thank you in our exchange, but I can’t remember if I did.

After reading about the varied history of Graydon Nicholas when he was appointed our lieutenant-governor, I remember thinking how lucky our province is, having a man with such a strong background of caring.

I have covered court for many years in my career as a journalist, and I have also lived in aboriginal communities for nearly 15 years of that career. I have been blessed to know many a “Graydon” in that time span – men and women who fight for not only the rights of their people, but also work toward the understanding of their people by the non-aboriginal community. This constant drive for caring connection is beautiful to witness.

We chatted again at the Atlantic Journalism Awards luncheon, which he graciously hosted at Government House last year. Two of my student’s received awards, and after the luncheon he invited us upstairs to tour the art on display. My students, Graydon, Beth and I talked about wellness that afternoon, and my recent columns about suicide, bullying and mental health.

My nine-year-old daughter came home one day last fall announcing, “The Queen’s FRIEND was in school today!” She was referring to the lieutenant-governor.

And while her original interest was peaked because as lieutenant-governor, Graydon and his wife were able to meet Queen Elizabeth, her interest turned to really liking this man and his wife because of the role they’ve taken on in that capacity. We talked about the Nicholas’ most of that supper hour, and again before bed.

My family knows how much this couple means to me – how much I respect what they do and what they are trying to achieve. Like his mom, my 14-year-old son now follows what the Nicholas’ do – closely watching coverage in the newspaper, on television and on radio.

I knew James really wanted to meet the lieutenant-governor.

When I launched my magazine, agelessNB, we invited Graydon and his wife to the celebration. Earlier in the fall, the lieutenant-governor provided a story for our last page. He detailed the arrival of their ‘Christmas baby’ – his older son who came into the world on Dec. 23, 1969. Graydon really wanted to make the magazine kick-off, but had a prior commitment.

My son was disappointed but understood.

Then, a week ago today, we celebrated the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer at St. Gertrude’s in Woodstock. My daughter had hockey and my son had Army Cadet band practice. I went, but couldn’t tell James that Graydon would be present, knowing he would be disappointed again. Thankfully the mass went longer than expected, and my hopes increased. If the couple were going to stick around after mass, I could arrange a meeting. They were staying, and I dashed off. I was able to pick up James after band and bring him to the church for the reception.

When I told my son what we were doing, he was excited.

It was lovely. They chatted and my son beamed.

On our way home, James admitted this was a pretty special night – and it was.

James got to meet a man who has conviction; James believes the lieutenant-governor and his wife are special because of their beliefs. He likes them and follows what they do because they are trying to create something positive in everything they lend their talents to.

They are ‘celebrities’ to my children, but for all the right reasons.

So as this year comes to a close, I am also thankful that Lt.-Gov Graydon Nicholas and her honour Beth are my kid’s idols, and that this beautiful couple continues to care enough to use their ‘celebrity’ to make a real difference in our world.

I’ll take them over Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber any day!

Theresa Blackburn is a wife, mother and New Brunswick Community College instructor who lives and writes in Woodstock. You can email her at theresa@mybigfatlife.ca, or join her group, Big Fat Life, on Facebook.  You can also follow her on Twitter @MY_BIG_FAT_LIFE.


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My Big Fat Life: Remembering some very ‘human’ days….

Published in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Monday, November 14, 2011

Having a bad day? I’ve had a few of those.

Having a REALLY bad day – the kind that will haunt you for a while? Oh I’ve had MORE than my share of those.  My worst moments are usually directly related to my forgetful mind.  When life is busy I sometimes forget, or I remember wrongly.

There have forgotten garbage days, having to drop our bags into bins owned by businesses in a few communities over my lifetime. Nearly twenty years ago when I had forgotten garbage day two weeks in a row (in a community that will not be named) I had to revert to driving the garbage to a shopping center dumpster so I wouldn’t have to deal with the smell.  It was at night and an RCMP officer notices me lurking near a business dumpster.  I was stopped and my garbage and my car searched.  I was utterly embarrassed.  I became horrified when I was covering a trial and walked into court the next day to find the RCMP officer from the night before about to take the stand.  We made eye contact and I turned a bright shade of red.

There were the sun glasses I’ve left here there and everywhere, grabbing kids, grabbing bags, setting glasses down – almost in offering – much like making a donation – at businesses, churches and parks.  Four sets of sunglasses paid for and literally given away.  Two were expensive.  One set I tried to find, calling around to see if anyone had located my wayward shades.  One church outside of Halifax said they did find the glasses I was inquiring about and I made arrangements to get them.  My mother went out of her way to pick said glasses up, carefully packed them into a nice little box and shipped them to Goose Bay.  I opened the box to discover these were not the ones I lost.  I felt horrible.

There was the time I rushed to get my son’s lunch ready only to discover later that, instead of sending the container with the left over turkey dinner in it, I sent a container with the cranberry sauce – both dished into the same colour and type of container.

A newly hired daycare worker heated his ‘dinner’ and placed it before him.  James was just 4 and had no idea what was going on.  The daycare director, who always helped with the kid’s lunches, walked by and quickly took the dinner from him.  She and made him a cheese sandwich.  I remember feeling absolutely and utterly horrified at the fact I was so rushed my son didn’t get the dinner he should have.  I also remember crying as I drove away from the daycare that night.

But the biggest ‘oversight’ came in Florida.  We had saved for two years to bring our family to Disney. We lived in Iqaluit then.  I was hosting the CBC Radio morning show for the territory.  My day started at 4:30 am.  I worked that day, caught the flight for Ottawa at 1:30 pm, arrived in Ottawa by supper, and then caught a flight to Toronto.  In Toronto we were delayed about four hours. We finally arrived in Orlando at 2:30 am the next day. At that point, I had been up for 22 hours.  We were travelling with a 9-year-old and an 8 month old.

When we arrive at the Alamo car rental center I produce my Amex credit card.  I know that if I use this particular card my insurance for the car is covered.  I figured this into our travel plans – trying to save a few dollars.  They take the card number, start processing the rental agreement, and ask for my driver’s license.  I quickly realize it is not in my wallet. I am frantically trying to find the document in my purse when I suddenly stop.  I realize my driver’s license is in the glove compartment of the CBC vehicle in Iqaluit.

Stephen tries saving the day.  He tells me it’ll be okay and gives the woman at the counter his license, but now my credit card can’t be used and we’ll have to pay with his credit card – one that didn’t offer insurance.

I hadn’t budgeted for insurance.  I was tired; I had just spent all day with two young children on three planes, with no more than three 20-minute naps.

I can’t hold together any longer and I break down at the counter.

I am now crying uncontrollably in the middle of the Alamo car port.  My husband is holding me and telling me things will be okay.  The Alamo customer service woman is feeling horrible at this point and offers to upgrade our rental for free.  At the time I suspect she thought, “Anything to stop this poor woman from wailing!”

We end up with a luxury SUV but are still on the hook for a week of unbudgeted insurance.

These stories are laughing events now.  When we share these stories as a family we smile, we chuckle and we joke about remembering when.  There are many more of these events that are weaved throughout our family history.

When I was in those moments – when these events were happening – I felt diminished, horrible, and gawd-awful.  These situations bugged me.  Some of these incidents made me lose sleep, some made me fret for days, and in the case of our Florida Alamo car incident, this bit of family history made me cringe for weeks after.

But these cases are memories my family brings up regularly because they like to hear them – to them they’re funny and they’re human – they’re ‘us’.

I think we need to rename our ‘bad days’ and call them ‘human days’ or ‘future-laugh days’ – because if you’re having a typically bad day I can probably guarantee that, in most cases, you’ll be laughing about this particular day in the future.

Really, we’re all just putting some much-needed ‘savings’ into our ‘laugh bank’ for the future.

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My Big FatLife: For the Love of Horses: Little girls make memories at riding camp

Published in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Monday August 22, 2011


If Laura Burtt and Alyson Hubbard were horses, I think they might be Appaloosas. This breed of horse is intelligent, gentle and sure-footed. That perfectly describes how these two talented and sweet young women conducted themselves last week.

Students taking part in a riding camp at Green Meadow Stables in Wakefield, smile pretty for the camera just before a full day of learning begins. Pictured from left are instructor Alyson Hubbard; students Kaitlan Blackburn-MacLean; Olivia McCarthy; Major the horse; Kathryn Chisholm; Elizabeth Davidson; Emily McCready; and instructor Laura Burtt.

Laura and Alyson are instructors at Green Meadow Stables in Wakefield, just a few minutes outside of Woodstock. They conducted a riding camp at the stables last week.

My daughter Kathryn and my niece Kaitlan were two of the young studies taking part in the camp. Each night the two were quick to brush their teeth and say their prayers because going to sleep meant one thing – they got to wake up to the next day, where they spent their time with their favourite four-legged animals.

In fact, horses replaced family members when each child was counting blessings before bed.

The two were bursting with excitement each morning as we drove the few minutes through beautiful farming countryside to the stables.

There is a feeling of home when you walk onto the property. As you arrive at the farm, the stables’ official canine greeter, Thor, welcomes you. As you wander toward the barn, Casper the friendly goat, or Bacon, the pot-bellied pig, will sometime join you on your walk.

When we picked the girls up after their first day, they had a hard time leaving ‘their horses.’

“It was the BEST DAY EVER!” said Kaitlan. “It was the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!” agreed Kathryn.

Kaitlan adopted the stables pony, Romeo.

Each day we heard how Romeo did on her riding lesson, how she fed and groomed him, what he liked to eat, what his personality was like, and of course how much Kaitlan loves ‘her Romeo.’

Kathryn fell in love with her horse, Major.

Major is a five-year-old quarter horse who is gentle and kind with Kathryn. She had a hard time leaving him each day. She hugged him goodbye when we left and ran to rub his nose when we arrived.

All week long both girls were dreading Friday; they didn’t want the week to end.

Kathryn and her new best friend Major

“I wish I could do this all summer!” was a sentence we heard a lot last week.

For five days, they learned not only how to ride, but how to care for the horses.

They’ve learned what the horses eat, and how they sleep. They’ve discovered how much a horse poops and pees and how much work is involved in cleaning that up.

“That’s the only part I really don’t like a whole lot!” said Kaitlan.

They learned grooming techniques and the horse vocabulary – words for everything related to horses and the equipment that they use to care for them.

But most importantly, Kathryn and Kaitlan have learned that horses are to be loved and respected.

Laura and Alyson have become heroes to the five girls taking part in the riding camp.

Kaitlan and her best buddy Romeo

Each night we heard a lot about what each young woman taught the students. There is a mixture of love and respect woven into every conversation the girls have about the camp and their instructors.

It has been a joy to listen to the girls talk so excitedly about their experiences and be excited about everything taught each and every day.

On Friday, families got to see firsthand what the campers learned and we couldn’t have been more proud to see them demonstrate their new skills.

My daughter and my niece now have beautiful memories to last a lifetime from their week at Green Meadow. And we have Laura and Alyson to thank for that.

Theresa Blackburn is a wife, mother and New Brunswick Community College instructor who lives and writes in Woodstock. You can email her at theresa@mybigfatlife.ca, or join her group, Big Fat Life, on Facebook.  You can also follow her on Twitter @MY_BIG_FAT_LIFE

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My Big Fat Life: I am thankful that my children not only love each other, they like each other as well

Published in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Monday August 15th, 2011


It’s a wonder my brother and I aren’t maimed, or in jail, or worse, still living in our mother’s basement.

We were not the sharpest tacks in the drawer in our early years.

We hated each other with a passion between the ages of about seven and 14.

Leonard and Theresa: siblings who wrestled together and still love each other - thankfully!

We would hit and scratch and pound on each other regularly. Most of this took place out of eye and earshot of our parents, most of it centred on the other being somehow inferior at that particular moment in time and needing to be punished for it.

In those early “hate” years, when my brother was younger and weaker, I, being the older sister, would regularly put him in his place. For example, when he called me names my response, if parents weren’t around, would be to haul back and give him a good sisterly whack – not hard mind you, but it was still a smack.

As years progressed and he grew stronger, I reverted to name calling and he became the designated hitter.

I don’t think I’m wrong in believing that the sibling fighting and wrestling we participated in during those years possibly made me a little safer. I mean, really, if I can stand up and wrestle with (and sometimes pummel) my brother, I probably wouldn’t be dragged into a car without doing some serious damage to someone.

I have to admit that at times we were barbaric and could be horribly cruel. I look back on some of our skirmishes and openly wonder why we were so horrible to each other. I sometimes think, “That really wasn’t me, was it?”

I think those memories are why I’m in awe of my own children.

I will admit that when my older daughter was an “alien” for a short while during her teen years she did, at times, openly express hatred for her younger siblings. But really those times didn’t last long, and I am thankful to report that overall each of my children truly like one another.

One of Mom's favourite pictures: James and Kathryn happy to see each other after James spent his first week away at camp last summer.

Even on those annoying days where they’re in close quarters, like our mini-van, and one’s driving another one nearly mad with their incessant, “Are we there yet?” or “So and so is staring at me again,” each of them posses the ability to empathize with the one another.

What I love the most about my children and their relationship with each other is how they react when they’re away from each other for any amount of time.

Since Kristen moved out, her younger siblings count the days and hours until she comes home for visits. When she walks through the door, she is ambushed by love. Recently, when James was at Cadet Camp and away for weeks at a time, his little sister couldn’t wait for his return.

Last year when James was at camp for the very first time, Kathryn penned him a little note. On one side of the paper she wrote, “Hi James. I miss you a lot. PS: I’m sleeping in your room.” On the other side, “I love you, Love Kathryn.” She wanted to sleep in his room while he was gone so she “wouldn’t miss him so much.”

That first summer we arrived on base for a two-hour visit after week number one was over. When she caught a glimpse of him coming across the grass to where we were seated in the shade, she ran to James. He was just as excited to see her and lifted Kathryn in the air and hugged her hard.

I was lucky enough to capture the moment. It is by far one of my favourite pictures.

During our short visit James revealed a secret – he had duct-taped her note to the inside of his beret. He had carried his sister’s love with him all week.

Theresa Blackburn is a wife, mother and New Brunswick Community College instructor who lives and writes in Woodstock. You can email her at theresa@mybigfatlife.ca, or join her group, Big Fat Life, on Facebook.  You can also follow her on Twitter @MY_BIG_FAT_LIFE


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