There are no lows in my 2021 Review-Part Two, only highs from our three beautiful grandchildren whom we love more than anything in the world. The few times we were all together were treasured moments in a year of so much uncertainty. Watching them grow and change as the months went by into the amazing and talented children they are today fills our hearts with so much joy, love and gratitude. With their wonderful parents they all continue to be the lights of our lives. We love them all beyond words…but of course those of you who follow me know that already 🙂
One year ago I began my drawing of the 546 leaves I had collected that day from the Pacific Spirit Park after learning about the children who had been so cruelly separated from their parents at the US border. In the following few weeks we learnt, as my daily drawings continued, how many more separated children there were. Sadly, as of today too many of these children have yet to be reunited with their parents.
In May of this year the remains of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves in the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Reservation School, children who were never given any opportunity of being reunited with their parents and families. And so began the discovery of generations of children buried in unmarked graves of Indian Reservation Schools across the country in this sad chapter of Canadian history, a chapter that continues today through the vital and heartbreaking process of Truth and Reconciliation.
My 215 leaves today are in memory of all the beautiful children who are being grieved and remembered by their families and communities everywhere. They were very much in our thoughts yesterday as we walked in the Pacific Spirit Park on a rainy Friday with so many beautiful fallen leaves carpeting the trails and woods around us.
First the good news as reported in a new court filing by Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff, author of “Separated” a book that should be read by all: the parents of 105 of the children separated at the border by the previous criminal administration have been found. Unfortunately, the filing goes on to report that the parents of 506 of the remaining children have yet to be reached; 322 of them are being looked for in their countries of origin; 168 are attempted to being located in the United States; for the remaining 16 there no contact numbers available.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
P.S. My apologies to those of you looking for my promised story behind the leaf drawings, this has taken on a life of its own and has now become a work in progress. Stay tuned.
Families Belong Together
666+186 Day LIV – Journey’s End.
Thank you to all of you who have joined me over the past few months. Knowing you have been “looking over my shoulder” and sharing my concern for the children has been a great support. Over the next day or two I will be writing the story of my journey, which I will post once it is completed.
I thought I would add today my words from that first day, October 22nd as a reminder of the reason why my journey began:
I have begun this drawing of the 546 leaves I collected today from the Pacific Spirit Park to represent the 546 children separated from their parents. As a parent and grandparent who loves his children and grandchildren so much this is my way of representing the heartbreak and the anguish being felt by so many families suffering in this tragic story of state supported kidnapping of children. As the drawings continue I will post their progress and will be thinking of each child as I draw every one of these fragile leaves.
666+186 Day LIII: the final leaf, the last of the final 9 leaves that end a journey that began on October 22nd last year. I have decided to keep the dates together with the marks from each day that indicate the number of leaves drawn that day, as part of the final piece. Look for the completed work tomorrow. Posting this on Canada’s Family Day is an opportunity to remember the separated children and look forward to the day when those responsible will be held accountable. #families belong together.
666+132…in progress – Day L with 20 new leaves on a day that gives hope to the children separated from their parents at the US border with the signing of an Executive Order by President Biden establishing an interagency task force for their reunification. His strong words today, including “ work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration,” are very welcome.
666+112…in progress – Day XLIX
and a splint for my drawing-induced De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.