Driving A Father To Murder

newspaper-973049_1280If I am being honest, I hate reading the news; I try to avoid it. 99% of the new is tragedy and sometimes it can get overwhelming for me because I just can’t bring myself to understand why people have so much hate in their hearts. Every now and again though, there is a local story that grabs my attention. This happened this week.

A father, in a neighbouring city, charged with 2nd-degree murder of his wife, mother of his children. The full story by CBC news is here. It shocked and sadden me so much because it hits way too close to home. He allegedly set his house on fire, with his wife and five children inside. His wife died later in hospital but their children managed to escape with minor injuries, thanks to help from neighbours. That house is a house I have driven by more times than I can count. It is literally five minutes away from my home. I have never given that house a second glance or thought, but as I drove by it the other day my heart sunk. The police investigation team is there, part of the road is blocked off by all the police vehicles. You can’t help but stare at the police tent in the front yard and what is left of the burnt up house. My mind wonders what happened leading up to that moment of tragedy; what those poor children experienced being trapped in there; when they found out their mother had passed. All the while knowing their father was responsible for it all.

Immediately my thoughts then turn to my kids and about how much I love them. I would do just about anything for them. So I can’t help but think… what happens to a human that fills their heart and mind with so much darkness that they decide to kill?? How do you harm your wife and children; the people who look to you for protection and love? It breaks my heart apart. In a fit of rage or whatever might have happened that day that man has broken those children. How do they live with that? Their father murdered their mother and almost them.

The question runs through my mind endlessly, how is a father driven to murder… how is a father driven to murder…. How… is… a… father… driven… to… murder…

My children changed me. They filled me so much joy, filled me with purpose and responsibility. They made me see the world in a different way, made me want to be a better person, to seize the moment. Children are pure, innocent and don’t deserve the harshness this world gives out to some. I will never be able to drive down that street and feel the same way again. From now on, I will see sadness and evil there. The thing is, I have the choice to avoid it; I can choose to drive down another street and sometimes I probably will. But those kids don’t. They have no choice but to live it another day, somehow. I wish they didn’t have to. I will never understand some things in this world, maybe I’m not meant to. I know life isn’t perfect but why does it have to be so ruthless cruel sometimes?

As insignificant as it may seem, I still would like to leave this post with a quote.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

*image courtesy of Pixabay

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No I Don’t Need A Daughter: My Open Letter To The World

What I am about to say is probably going to ruffle some feathers, but it needs to be said. I need the world to hear me out. Let’s talk about gender when it comes to having children. In my first pregnancy, we found out we were having a boy at my twenty week ultrasound and when we shared the news everyone was happy. In my second pregnancy, we found out we were having another boy at the twenty week ultrasound and when we shared the news, everyone was happy, but as their excitement faded I knew there was a question lingering… so are you going to try for a girl?

My life has been blessed with two beautiful little boys and I couldn’t be any prouder that they are mine. I have the incredible opportunity to nourish and raise them. Our house is symphony of chaos: Cheerios scattered on the kitchen floor, toys strewn about, pillows and blankets in a pile on the floor, kids laughing or screaming depending on the moment. As a parent you’re always wondering and imagining what kind of people your kids will grow up to be. Will they be strong? Will they be happy? Will you have given them the tools they need to survive and better yet thrive in this world?

Boys get a bad rap for being rough and reckless. And sometimes they can be. Wrestling and rough housing is encouraged in our house. I rolled around on the floor with them; I smash monster trucks; I investigate bugs. But boys are also sweet and affectionate. Every day at least once my oldest son will come up to me and give me kisses just because. He asks if I will sit beside him to watch cartoons while holding his hand. We cuddle, snuggle, hug and kiss all throughout the day. There is never a second of the day when either of my boys are within arm’s reach that I’m not hugging or kissing them. It is my goal to encourage their softness; to make them believe that showing physical affection and telling someone how you feel every moment you can is just normal. I don’t want them to ever hide their feelings because ‘they are a boy’. My oldest and I talk about feelings all time; we talk about why we get mad, sad, frustrated in different situations and I always let him know that no matter how he feels or I feel in the moment I will always love him. I want him to feel safe to express himself. I want my boys to feel special and to treat others with respect and kindness. I want them to know their value and to treat men and women as equal as if gender doesn’t mean a thing.

But how am I supposed to build them up to be confident and self-assured men when the world keeps asking me if I’m going to keep trying for a girl? As if my two boys aren’t enough… as if my life is incomplete because I don’t have a daughter… as if having boys isn’t equally as wonderful as having girls. All the Moms I know who have sons have been asked time and time again if they are going to keep going until they have a daughter. And it’s frustrating and angering. So I ask of you- STOP ASKING! STOP COMPARING! Ask me if I’m thinking of having another baby… ask me if I feel my family is missing another child. Do not ask me about having a daughter.

I was blessed with the immense responsibility to raise two boys. I am going to teach them about gender equality, race equality, human equality. Step one to that is never ever letting them wondering if their Mother was disappointed because they didn’t turn out to be girls. That seed will not be planted in their head. I won’t let it. Because it is the furthest thing from the truth. I would chose my sons time and time again if I had to do it over. If I decide to have more children, I would take a hundred more boys. I treasure my sons and our special bond. Did you know boys implant their DNA on their mother’s brains during the pregnancy? They do. They are just as much a part of me as I am a part them.

So the next time you have the urge to ask if someone is going to keep going for a daughter… just stop. Keep it to yourself. And I’ll thank you for showing my kids that boys are equal to girls, girls are equal to boys. Then we can stop placing stupid expectations and restrictions on gender going forward. Maybe, just maybe, the world will then have a glimmer of hope for a better, more accepting future.

❤ Melissa
*exceptionally proud mother of two CHILDREN

Book Review: Thrive… By Arianna Huffington

Huff bookIt’s book review time again! The latest book I read is by Arianna Huffington entitled Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder. Despite the title being a real mouthful, I felt like this book had lots of offer.

Huffington is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. As a result of suffering a fall at work from exhaustion which left her with a nasty gash on her head, she began to wonder what the meaning of success was all about. Through personal stories she shares moments of her life that defined her and helped her remember what is really important in life. Money and power are traditionally the two metrics of success but Huffington goes on to explain how well-being is the third metric needed to keep us from toppling over on the “two-legged stool.” She offers research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sleep and physiology that show the effectiveness of meditation and unplugging from the online world. Being connected to social media 24-7 is slowly killing us. She also goes on to explain how giving to others will show us the way to revolutionize our community and our way of thinking in every aspect of our lives, home and workplace.

I have always been a fan of reading inspirational quotes and this book is filled with them. I enjoyed this read and found myself being uplifted by the time I finished it. The book flowed from topic to topic really well and I fully believe in the advice she offered in the book. This book will stay with me for a while and serve as a reminder to what is truly important in life: all the things that make us happy and fulfilled. I would recommend this book as an easy read to anyone looking for a book with a good message and tips on living a better life. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.Happy reading!

❤ Melissa

*Note- I received this book from http://www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review