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Finally the dam broke

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Donna was getting counselling from the Red Deer PCN Mental Health program. She had lived with an alcoholic husband for thirty some years and then lost him and 6 other family and friends within a 4 month period about 5 years ago. Over the years she had always stuffed her feelings inside so had never dealt with her struggles or her grief.

Her counsellor suggested that she attend the Journeying through Grief program. On the first day she attended the program she felt very uncomfortable. Others were visually grieving and she was not. Why? She didn’t feel she needed to be there or that it would help her so she talked to the instructor about it at the end of class. The instructor suggested that she continue to attend as it can take some time to work though.

When on week 4 program participants were asked to write a letter to their loved one, the dam broke for her. She realized that she needed to forgive her husband for all those years of challenging her and to family to navigate through the frustration and hardship of living with an alcoholic. Without forgiving him, she could never move forward to grieve. Donna is so glad that she continued the course as without it there would have been no change to her outlook and her ability to move life forward.

Donna states,” I enjoyed the program immensely!” She went on to take the Happiness Basics and The Moving on with Chronic Pain program from the Red Deer PCN.

She invited a friend who had also lost her husband to attend these with her. Donna says that “Instead of only dwelling on the frustration and emotional pain I had suffered, I am now able to even think back to some happy times my family had. These amazing courses have made a big difference to my life.”

About the Red Deer Primary Care Network

We (RDPCN) are a partnership between Family Doctors and Alberta Health Services. Health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and pharmacist work in clinics alongside family doctors.

In addition, programs and groups are offered at the RDPCN central location. This improves access to care, health promotion, chronic disease management and coordination of care.  RDPCN is proud of the patient care offered, the effective programs it has designed and the work it does with partners in health care and the community.

Red Deer Primary Care Network (RDPCN) is a partnership between Family Doctors and Alberta Health Services. Health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and pharmacists work in clinics alongside family doctors. In addition, programs and groups are offered at the RDPCN central location. This improves access to care, health promotion, chronic disease management and coordination of care. RDPCN is proud of the patient care offered, the effective programs it has designed and the work it does with partners in health care and the community.

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BIG HANK’S TRIBUTE TO THE BLUE’S SONGS OF CHRISTMAS

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“…This is a great show. I mixed it last year and it was awesome!…” Carl Stretton

If you’re a music fan in the city, you probably know Carl Stretton.  He’s been mixing bands, playing bass, hosting jams, and supporting music for decades.  So when he says a show is awesome, I generally pay attention.  Here’s some more from Carl:

“Blues fans old and young (all ages) are welcome. Some great players on this tour. Big Hank with a great lineup. Some Canadian greats. Jack Lavin from Powder Blues Band on bass, Dennis Meneely of Streetheart and many bands, Saxophonist Dave Babcock from Edmonton… The ensemble is pretty stellar and a great blues dance party is guaranteed. Family friendly. Fun Times!”

Here’s a video that shows you all you need to know.

BIG HANK’S TRIBUTE TO THE BLUE’S SONGS OF CHRISTMAS

Big Hank Lionhart and the R&B Kingpins are going to fill your ears and spirits with the glorious gift of Christmas Blues!  Featuring a brand new line-up, fresh songs and a whole lot of good cheer this will be the ‘don’t miss’ show of the Holiday Season.

This show is a collection of traditional Blues Christmas tunes from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s 50’s, and 60’s, by the likes of Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, BB King, Eric Clapton, Charles Brown, Etta James and more.

It’s not the standard collection of carols; rather it’s a tribute that gives you a look into the souls of the fabulous music legends sharing their Christmas Blues. A refreshing take on a holiday concert, it has played to sold-out houses and received rave reviews across British Columbia for the past 4 years.

Call 403.406-6592 to reserve your ticket today!  $15 cover.

You can learn more about The Krossing here.

 

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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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november, 2019

tue19nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu21novAll Daysun24Festival of Trees(All Day)

thu21nov6:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Trees - Preview Dinner6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

fri22nov8:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Wines8:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov9:00 am12:00 pmFestival Family Bingo - 1st time ever!9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov6:00 pm11:00 pmMistletoe Magic !6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov8:00 pmRed Deer Nov 23 - Calgary's THIRD CHAMBER - EP release show "Harvesting Our Decay"8:00 pm

sun24nov9:00 am12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

mon25nov1:30 am2:30 pmPlanning A Calmer Christmas1:30 am - 2:30 pm

mon25nov6:30 pm8:30 pmRustic Succulent Box WorkshopUnique Workshop to create Succulent Box6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

tue26nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu28nov7:30 pm11:00 pmA special Christmas Musical Event at The KrossingBig Hank's Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas7:30 pm - 11:00 pm MST The Krossing, 5114 48 Avenue

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