Tales from the 6th grade

Thank you to everyone who came to Life is Sweet, Even in February last night. It was so wonderful to celebrate my mom's life is such an incredible way in front of a sold out audience of very special people. It didn't actually feel real until I got up onstage and even until the very last song it felt surreal. I feel blessed and honoured and overwhelmed with love. 

With my mom's death anniversary tomorrow, I thought I would share some memories of her from friends and family members for Life is Sweet month this weekend. Today's post comes from my best friend from the sixth grade, Laura. It was so special to have her in the audience last night all the way from Ottawa! 

When I was in Grade 6, a girl named Ashley came from Toronto to my school in Belleville, and nothing would ever be the same again. She liked me and wanted to be my friend, even though I was shy and nerdy and the other girls made fun of me. I went from barely speaking in class to being moved to another desk because Ashley and I talked too much when we sat together.

One of the many events that year was Ashley's 12th birthday party, for which she handed out real, adult invitations. I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago to find my invite buried in the bottom of a box of memories.

Though so many details of Grade 6 are stuck in my mind, I don't actually remember the party very well. But I remember Ashley's mom. I remember her chatting with me as I hung back a bit from the other girls, and encouraging me to join in the games they were playing. I think she said that she liked my shirt. I remember going home and telling my own mom, "Ashley's mom is really nice."

It's a small memory, and I wish the details were clearer as they are for so many other Grade 6 moments. But looking back on it, I realize the important thing is that even if all the details aren't there, the impression that Ashley's mom made on me remains - someone kind, someone fun, and someone who tried to bring me out of my shell. Someone like her daughter

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