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The day that changed everything: a critically important message from Kelsey Cross

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By Kelsey Cross – Originally written November 13, 2019

30 years today. Still remember it like it was yesterday.

It was a Sunday, and I remember how strange it was that dad wasn’t coming to church, as he NEVER missed church. I remember all morning, the feeling I was going to bury someone very close to me. very soon. Such a strange thought, came from nowhere, and yet I’ve never felt anything like that, before or since. I could feel it, though, just like if you reached out to pinch me.

There had been a lot of conflict in our home in the week leading up to my dad’s death. Dad and Wes had gotten into a pretty heated argument a week or two prior, and Dad took it too far, as he usually did. Wes moved out, but things just wouldn’t settle down.

My grandparents had come down Wednesday night to talk to my dad, try to help mom show him how out of hand his temper had gotten. He just seemed to be angry at everything, and all the time. Lying in bed, it was easy to overhear the entire conversation. There were suggestions, or rather, pleas for counselling, and always the same response… ‘I don’t need counselling’. Funny, I would say the exact same thing to my wife 19 years later.

Thursday night, mom was at bible study, so it was just Dad, Terence, and me at the house. My father sat us down to talk about what he perceived was his failure as a father… he wasn’t at enough of our games, he didn’t make enough time for us after work, he was too hard on us, and so on and so forth. I remember thinking he was being too hard on himself, but stayed silent, as did Terence. At the end of it, he gave us a big hug, and one of only three apologies I can recall in my entire life. He promised he would do better moving forward and I had no reason to doubt him.

Saturday night, he sent Terence and me up to grab a couple movies, so we could enjoy a family movie night. I remember the movie we watched, I remember why I rented it, and I remember his comment when it was finished. ‘Well, that was a weird one’.

Sunday morning just felt off from the start, and looking back, I recognize it more now that I did at the time. I think if I hadn’t been so self-absorbed for so many years, I may have been more attuned to what was actually happening that morning. I remember waiting in the car after church, thinking mom was taking her sweet time. She’s since revealed that she was stalling, knowing exactly what we were going to find at home.

When we got home, I failed to notice the rifle missing from dad’s gun rack in the porch. I did notice the half eaten bowl of cereal and a family photo on the table, but didn’t think much of it. Mom had already picked up dad’s suicide note, and headed straight to the phone to call my grandmother.

Meanwhile, I headed to my parent’s bedroom, still blissfully unaware; planning to give my dad a hard time for lounging around and not being out of bed yet.

My hand was on the doorknob, all it would have taken was a twist and a push, and I would have never recovered. But I didn’t open that door. To this day, I can’t give you a reason I wouldn’t have. I can only tell you why I didn’t.

I grew up in a Christian home, so I’ve always known God, but He showed Himself to me that day when He took my hand off that door and nudged me to my room.

There were a lot of questions, and even more rumours about why. I think that’s the case any time someone takes their own life. Ask me today, and I’m still not sure, and I’ve had 30 years to ponder it.

I suppose dad told us in part, that Thursday night when he promised to do better… He simply felt he had failed us. I wonder if he was hoping to break the cycle of anger, trying the only way he knew to prevent that anger from taking hold in his son’s lives as well.

I can tell you it didn’t work. I’ve been angry for most of my life.

After 30 years, it’s hard to imagine how life would have been different if he was still around. I often wonder about the relationship he would have had with his three grandsons. I think he would have been a pretty good grandpa, much like his own father was. I think the boys would have loved him dearly, and he would have shared a passion with each of them..For Caden, horses. Brody, cars. And my Brody? Well, he would have finally had his fishing buddy.

I’m curious as to what his relationship with Wes and I would be, if we would be the men we are, had his influence still been prevalent in our lives. How would he have handled the death of his youngest son? Would it have changed him, would it have softened him?

Most importantly, I wonder about the life he and my mom would have, if they had a life at all?

I used to think I was special because of what I’ve lost, that life owed me something to make up for the shit it had piled in my lap. As I get older, I realize I’m not so special. Everyone has endured tragedy, some much more than I. I think of my good friend Pete, who recently lost his mom, and my buddy Darcy, who just marked 5 years without his dad.

I don’t know that I’ve ever really talked about the loss of my dad, outside of counselling. Today I realize that I lived a lifetime with him, and I’ve since lived another two without him. People often say ‘it gets easier’, but I don’t know if it does. Over time, you find ways to cope, and life itself finds ways to distract you. There’s never been a day; however, I haven’t wished he was still here.

I don’t know that I’ll ever stop wishing, but in the meantime. I’ll keep counting… to 40, then 50, and so on and so forth. And I’ll try to be the best of him, as well as the best he had hoped to be, for my own son.

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When a $708,000 building permit is only worth $176.70.

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red deer city hall

The city reported total building permit values for November. It made many sit up and take a second look.

For example a $708,000 building permit for building a stage for Rogers Hometown Hockey really means temporarily assembling a stage with an arbitrary value of $708,000.

The city did not spend $708,000 building a stage but they did collect $100 for the permit and $76.70 for the completion report.

When you look at the $11.5 million in building permits announced by the city for November you could assume that there would be $11.5 million in construction to be done in the next year.

Not if the permits cover items like temporary assembling of structures for events.

Including such items I believe inflates the value of actual building permits. In this instance it was a double edged sword as it inflated the total value but created concern of value for money if the city had spent $708,000 to build a temporary stage.

The value of the release also gives us insight to government hypocrisy or the possibility thereof.

Another permit is for $1.2 million for Alberta Health Services to renovate their Administration Offices. This during talks of rollbacks in pay and lay-offs for front workers and nurses.

$1.2 million would pay for a lot of nursing.

Governments of all levels manipulate their reporting and sometimes it comes back to haunt them, like this one.

 

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Kipp Scott’s Top 7 Winter Car Care Tips

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Getting your winter tires put on is something we generally think about as a way to prepare our vehicle for winter weather but is that the only thing you can do to avoid being in an accident this winter?

Here are 7 tips to help you keep your vehicle in top-notch condition this winter:

1. Make sure you check your wiper blades. Wiper blades usually have a lifespan of a year; however, it is always recommended to get a new pair for the winter months.

2. Check your battery. Batteries have a harder time operating during the winter months than they do during the summer. If your battery is already weak during the summer, it could quickly could turn into a dead battery as soon as the temperature drops.

3. We put antifreeze in our cars for two reasons – one is to keep the engine from overheating and the other is to protect the engine block from cracking during extreme cold.

4. For every 10 degrees of temperature drop, tires will drop 1-2 pounds of pressure. It is important to keep your tires within the recommended PSI to maintain traction, handling and durability.

5. Wax the Headlights and the Taillights! Unnecessary little detail? Think again. Did you know that the slippery surface which results after waxing the lights makes it less likely for an icy coat to build up on them? This helps make it easier and quicker for you to clear your car after a night-long snowstorm and, also makes your vehicle more visible to other drivers.

6. Windshields get dirty very quickly on those wet wintery roads and you can go through fluid very fast. Make sure you top it up regularly and have an extra jug on hand, in case you run out.

7. Use full synthetic oil. Synthetic motor oil’s main reason for working so well in the winter is because of its abilities to withstand the extreme temperatures. The chemical makeup of synthetic oil makes it much less likely to congeal or freeze up.

Our highly qualified technicians are always happy to provide you with exceptional service in a timely manner. Allow them to demonstrate our commitment to excellence –

Call to book 403.343.6633 or book your appointment at kippscott.ca

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december, 2019

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