Comforting Words: 12/2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Resolution 2008: Living Your Best Life

There was a time in my life when going out to get that special dress or pants suit for New Year’s Eve night was a must do.

Until I made a bonfire out of them, my bag of photographs (yes, we did not get around to filling albums) held many pictures of me with my ex at New Year’s Eve parties with our dearest friends. No, I only burnt the ones with her in them – it might sound sad but it certainly was cathartic!

My memory also goes back to what I now like to call my Russian Years – when New Year’s Eve night was the longest of the year.

Every other night we had a curfew – 11:00 p.m. At that bewitching hour, unless you knew the “Commandant,” (the keeper of the gate) you slept wherever night caught you and prayed to God that you were not found out.

New Year’s Eve night was different, however, as there was no curfew, no Commandant coming to check whether you had girls, boys and/or liquor in your room and the partying was wild, loud and, well, really wild.

For every New Year, like people across the world I would imagine, we would make resolutions – “I resolve to lose weight, to stop smoking, to quit drinking, to …something that takes the pleasure out of my existence!” These noble declarations were soon forgotten once the hangover kicked in.

The folly of making resolutions continued nevertheless well past my Russian Years and into my life as a mother and lover in a long-term relationship.

Some of the most popular resolutions for me were to make more money, pay all my bills on time and take control of my diabetes. My then partner’s one and only resolution was to lose weight – even when she was not overweight at least in my eyes. (Yes, that’s my African blood speaking – I love my partner to have meat on her body.)

Needless to say, by the middle of the year, the resolutions were long forgotten or when they did cross your mind it was with a “oh yes, I did say that didn’t I?”

Now on the brink of 43 and with 2008 only days away, one of the dear women with whom I work asked me a couple nights ago as we swapped life stories, “So Claudette what’s your New Year’s resolutions gonna be?”

Smiling has become second nature to me – a smile comes to my face so easily now, even when someone is attempting to be rude to me. There is a story there – the short version is how my daughter and I smilingly (she has learned the art well) confronted racism in a well known department store in Edmonton, leaving the woman stunned. She must have thought – where did these Amazon-height women came from?

Racism – in any of its manifestation is not something I put up with and thankfully my Abigail is learning to recognize when she is being treated with disdain because of her skin colour and how to address it without losing her dignity – smilingly that is.

This is all connected to my response to the woman’s question about my resolutions for 2008. She had told me what some of her resolutions were – including the usual culprits of weight, exercise and smoking.

I know she thought I had missed the point – or probably in one of my “chaplain” moments when I told her what my resolutions are.

Excusing myself, I went to my office and returned with a copy of a poem that has come to be a guiding principle for me. I watched her as she read it – not for the first time – and as her eyes filled with tears. She looked up at me and asked, “But how do you practically do this Claudette?”

“Easy,” I said, “think of your child, your daughter.”
You see, like me this particular woman has a daughter (in fact most of the women that I work with have children) and my advice to them – one that I remind myself of all the time – is always think whether your action is something you would want your child(ren) to replicate.

“Would I be proud of my daughter should she repeat my actions?” I most certainly was that day in the store when she calmly walked up to the sales clerk and opened her purse and said, “See, there is nothing in my purse,” and strode off – all 5’ 11” of her!

So, what’s this poem that I shared? It is not new to regular readers as I have posted it before. Yet, it is new if you have not made it a part of your life, your living, your way of being in the world. And that is my resolution for 2008 – to take these words and walk them:

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape…
But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape…

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything…..
But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear….

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her…
But the woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone…

A strong woman makes the mistakes and avoids the same in the future…
A woman of strength realizes life’s mistakes can also be the Creator’s blessings and capitalizes on them….

A strong woman walks sure footed…
But a woman of strength knows the Creator will catch her if she falls

A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face…
But a woman of strength wears grace….

A strong woman has faith she is strong enough for the journey…
But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey, that she will become strong.

For 2008, as I embrace being single, being a Canadian and all that means, being a woman of colour and of Jamaican-African heritage living in the Diaspora, being a lesbian, being a professional and becoming a human being with a heart so cracked and bruised yet wide open, those words are my resolve.

In short, in 2008, I resolve to:
  • Take care of my body, the temple of the Living God, as I pray without ceasing.

  • Be still and know that the Divine has my back, even when my knees have gone to putty.

  • Keep giving with a smile, even when others think they pulled one over me.

  • Pick myself up and brush myself off and learn to read the signs – the life lessons – and proceed to the next class with grace.

  • Never stop growing, learning and most of all, loving – no matter what.

  • Just a couple nights ago, in a telephone conversation with a wonderful woman – one with a lot of the attributes that I hope to find in a partner eventually – told me that I am too sensitive. There was a time when that would hurt me tremendously and cause me to try to be tough.

    However, now I recognize that being labelled “sensitive,” is one of those things that patriarchy has done to women and it is a label that I personally have re-captured to my benefit. And so, when told this (by a woman ironically) it did not phase me in the least. Statements like that have not had that effect on me for a little while now. Why?

    Because it is the truth; of course I am sensitive. I am sensitive to my pain and that of others. I am sensitive to kindness and its opposite – evil (the absence of good). I am sensitive to what is helpful and life-giving and what is soul-destroying. I am extremely sensitive to truth, honesty and lies.

    The fact is whether one is considered “too” sensitive is really a matter of what the person who is doing the labelling has in their hearts. The Bible states and I paraphrase: “Guard your hearts because from it flow the issues of your life.”

    In 2008, it is my resolve to be a Woman of Strength/Strong Woman - with an open and sensitive heart.

    In 2008, I intend to be sensitive – to God’s calling of my name, to my brothers and sisters journey – the pain and joy therein, to love knocking on my door and to the doors that I must knock on to give the only true gift – unconditional love.

    In 2008, I will be walking the talk at full speed.

    I resolve to live my best life in 2008 so that my daughter may have a blueprint for her own life!

    I really invite those of you who would like to try some New Year’s resolutions that are truly life-changing to join me. Maybe we can keep an online journal of our success – notice I did not say progress but success. I will think of something and share that in the New Year.

    This is Divine work – nothing but success is guaranteed.

    Have a Happy New Year’s Eve night - in your ball gowns or tuxedos (that’s for my butch sistas’) or, like me, in your pyjamas!


    Claudette & Angello (woof)

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    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    Blue What?

    My head is pounding. Sleep has not been an option for me two nights now.

    No, I have not been out shopping all night at the 24-hours stores, albeit that is exciting developments in Edmonton, Alberta.

    Just five years ago that would be unheard of – stores opening beyond 9:00 p.m., but Walmart has started a trend this Christmas and many retailers have followed along.

    Which leads me to the question – the perennial question – how many people really care about the traditions of Christmas? Does it really matter anymore that this is a religious holiday season – marking the birth of a man who by his living transformed what was the then traditional practice of religion?

    Some people actually hate the season – not because of the consumerism that has captured its spirit but because of the memories and reminders that it holds for them. Elvis Prestley, I believe it was him, describes their sentiment with his song “Blue Christmas,” or whatever the title.

    A year ago, I knew and shared their feelings.

    It was a first time experience for me as Christmas has always been “the most wonderful time of the year,” even when my mother was baking tin ham (go figure) because she could not afford to buy the picnic ham. All my conscious life, until my 41st year, Christmas was a time that I eagerly anticipated. It was when I had freedom in my mother’s kitchen to practice my culinary skills – to varying degrees of success.

    Christmas 2006 was a different story. I wrote a very baleful post back then, one that rivaled Elvis’ or any other crooner’s most sorrow-filled Christmas song.

    Who was it that said, “The only constant is change?” Whoever made such an insightful statement should be awarded a prize!

    They were? It was well deserved then - as I am here to say that that observation is absolutely true. I have been into testifying lately – not that I have not become a Pentecostal or something of the sort – but I strongly believe that stories that witness to the goodness in and of life ought to be shared.

    Change is the only constant. That can and is a frightening thought for many. It certainly was one for me last year – to the point that I did not want to have another – thought that is.

    Over an early supper today, I told my woman-friend Anni that the words her late mother wrote on a piece of paper we found in her apartment came to me today as I reflected on this week last year.

    Anni’s mother had written, in short, and I had copied in one of my 2006 journals - “I have come to learn that it is not time but love that heals.” The full meaning of those words came home to me today as I reflected on this week last year.

    Just a side note here – it has served me well to journal and later re-read my journals. This helps me to see the recurring themes and patterns, see where situations that “were meant for evil, God meant for good,” have played out in my experience and to get back on track or re-focus my energies on “what matters.”

    So what has changed this week? What is different this year from last? And, equally important, how has Love been healing my life?

    Approaching Christmas 2007, I can gratefully report that:
     My beautiful daughter and I (her equally beautiful mother) were sworn in as Canadian citizens on December 18. This after a mysterious (and probably mischievous) delay, which, along with other secrets, I was able to uncover after several phone calls and clicks of buttons.

     After many arguments, frustration and consternation, my daughter Abigail has this month completed her Diploma and, even better, was hired on the 9th day of her practicum by the hospital where she was placed!

     I am healthy, growing from strength to strength each day. Psychologically I am free from the pills that although they helped me to regain my perspective, somewhat diminished my intellectual capacity. Today, after two sleepless nights of studying laws, policies, and regulations, I sat a knowledge test that, if I am successful at the other two stages of the process, will see me moving into a position of greater responsibility, with more challenges and intensity. Whether this happens is not the main issue however. What is more important is the fact that I am ready to take back my intellectual power, finish my thesis/paper for my second Master’s degree and get my life back on the academic track that I had mapped out since I was 10 years old – which is the attainment of my Doctorate.

     Spiritually, while I continue to be supported by my amazingly wonderful Spiritual Director (God bless her) – I have also found a new church home, still within the United Church of Canada. Additionally, my social justice work continues within this Church and I was recently informed of my appointment to serve for three years on a task group basically on interculturalism within that organization. This is along with my assuming the chairmanship in 2008 of an organization that serves black peoples.

     I now have a vote!! That was the most exciting thing for me about becoming a Canadian citizen my ability to exercise my franchise in the next election. The larger intention is that some time in the near future, given that this is a free, democratic and inclusive country – as a woman of colour and openly of a different sexual orientation, with liberal spiritual beliefs and practices, I will be running for political office.

     Economically, although things can always be better – for the first time in my adult years I feel as if I am truly making it! I live alone – booted out the roommate months ago - and I love it. Actually, this will be topic of my next article in the DOF series “Single and Loving it!”

     Angello is still alive!

    As the saying goes – “I am too blessed to be stressed,” – no blue Christmas for me. Yes, I will be sitting alone in the pew on Christmas Eve night. And yes, it will breakfast for one Christmas morning 2007 – but it will be ackee and saltfish with ham cuttings and fried dumplings, why would I want anything more?

    I am alive, I am well and all is well! Thanks be to God! So, I wish you all, my friends and readers, a wonderful Christmas.

    If for a moment you forget the true meaning of the season, the birth of the one who came to give life, then just remember the people I will be with on the evening of Christmas (yes, I volunteered to go to work), remember the homeless and remember those who, like me last year, feel so alone, afraid and abandoned and wished they were not alive.

    Merry Christmas! You will hear from me before the New Year – that is a promise.



    RenatoGandia Photos

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    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    Don't Stress

    “From the mouth of babes…,” the Bible says and even though physically one may not be able to describe my daughter, Abigail who is now 20 years old, a ‘babe’ (unless you are referring to her “hotness”) wisdom indeed pours out of her mouth.

    Take the latest piece of advice she gave me as we spoke on Messenger early this fine Sunday morning (yes, I am totally into this virtual world – with various messaging applications, Facebook, skype – you name it, I will get it!).

    We had spent the previous day enjoying our favourite mother/daughter activities – shopping and making more Christmas cakes. It was late when we were done and as we bundled up to go into the cold for me to transport her home, she noticed for the first time what I have been telling her about my/our dog Angello.

    Side bar: There has always been confusion about who is the true owner of Angello – the Shi Tzu/Pomeranian cross dog that my ex purchased for me over seven years ago. We had another Shit Tzu – Betty – who I had purchased for my ex some three or so years prior to that. That’s a funny story – the purchase of Betty.

    I was driving home from our office – we ran a small and growing public relations firm back then – and came to a halt behind a garbage truck. I noticed a brown and white ‘thing’ hanging through the window and curiosity got the better of me. So I swung out and pulled up beside the truck and realized it was a mangy looking shaggy hair all in knots dog.

    Without a second thought, I shouted up to the driver who was holding this thing, “how much do you want for it?” We wheeled and dealed and 15 minutes later, he was driving away with my cheque and I with the flee-filled “thing” on my front seat. I will never, never forget the look on my ex’s face when I presented the flea bag to her!

    Betty was with us for a few years and she got mixed reactions from me. I never owned a pet in my life – much less one that lived in the house! However, she and my ex were like peas in a pod and yes, there were moments when that relationship seemed unnatural to me – I readily confess.

    Then one day, Betty was gone – stolen in a swoop by thieves who swept through the neighbourhood where we had recently purchased our house. My ex was so heartbroken; she swore we would never have another dog. And we did not for years.

    Until Angello and according to my ex, he was mine. She actually wanted to name him “A Fi Yuh It,” translation: “He’s Yours," as she wanted to feel no attachment to him and I guess that was her way of getting me to train him how to be a well behaved dog. Well that plan failed.

    Abigail pretended at first to be nonchalant about this dog – until she realized that she could score ‘dates’ by walking him through the neigbourhood. She was right. Her first boyfriend was as a result of Angello’s cuteness.

    As for my ex – she could not resist his charm and those big black eyes. Cool as she pretended to be towards him, like her late Dad, you could hear (and see if you approached quietly enough) her romping away like a child with Angello when she thought no one was looking - it was hilarious!

    When the time came for us to leave for Canada – there was no question in my mind that Angello was coming once I found out that he could. So, Angello is actually an immigrant to Canada – just like the rest of us in my ‘family. He was the one who settled fastest. The first day of snow, he was out in the yard, rolling in it like a pig in s..t.

    Now he is dying. I am writing as I watch him sleep on my comforter and wonder as Abigail did a few minutes ago on Messenger, “is he in pain?” He seems not to be but his hind legs are weak and since last night I have had to lift him to go do his business.

    Death might not come quickly. The vet told me only this past week during his 2-month follow-up that his type of kidney disease is rare and so even the specialist who he had referred to did not know how long my darling has to live. “It could only be months, Claudette.” I can see that clearly this morning.

    I have sat many times with individuals making their transition into the next life during my Clinical Pastoral training and so my fear of death no longer exists. Hence I know what I am experiencing is not fear as I watch Angello prepare to go. I believe what I am experiencing is a deep sense of loss – one that has been going on since May 2006. That was the time my daughter moved out and my world started to spiral downward.

    One after one, my most beloved ones have been leaving my life and Abigail’s advice –“Don’t stress,” is hard not to do. Her wisdom, however, challenges me to look at and for what’s entering my life along with these departures. As I do that I must admit “they are legions.”

    Nevertheless, right in this moment, I am grieving for a life that I once knew as Angello makes his exit.

    This is not the Christmas story that readers have expected or anticipated from me – that is coming. Right now, I just need to do what Melody Beattie wrote in her book, Journey to the Heart, and not ignore my brokenness and pain, instead gently hold my heart in my hand and caress the cracks as I continue to open it even wider.

    That’s tough s..t ! (Sorry for the language, I will explain another day the impact of working in a prison on my vocabulary - ha-ha).

    It is just as tough as my daughter’s sage advice not to stress. One decision I have made, however, is that one of those pups from Angello’s first and last sexual encounter is coming home to me.

    Blessings to all you pet lovers from a late blooming one,


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    Monday, December 03, 2007

    DOF 3: Maintaining Your Friendships

    Where to start? There is so much to tell!

    Driving my tired self over an hour late to work this morning – the day after the first Divas’ Christmas party – I had the story line down pat or so I thought. The voices inside my head were in a chattering mood!

    They must know about the party!

    You have to tell them the menu and that you cooked almost everything by yourself! What about the fact that you shopped, prepped the dishes, cleaned and decorated (even more) the apartment and laid out a spread over three days?

    What about the DOF [Dating Over Forty] series?

    Are you not going to tell them that it seems for sure the beautiful, intelligent, sassy woman you saw a couple times and finally got “the information” on also does ‘disappearing acts’?

    And what about 'the shrink' who you keep declaring to ‘the boys that “we are just friends,” a statement they simply smirk at every time they see you two together?

    Although not as ‘exciting’ as the other stories, you must share about “Divas for Kiva.”

    It was -20 degrees and over 10 centimeters of snow was on the ground already with more coming down, making my ‘already very late’ drive to work that more dangerous. However, all that was on my ‘mind-screen’ was, as they call it in the media and advertising world, the ‘copy’ and headline of this post.

    DOF 3: Maintaining Your Friendships

    The title seems boring but it is one of the most important piece of advice that I wish someone had told me when I started dating “back in the day.” It is also the best piece of advice that I could ever share on this blog.

    The Party

    The Divas’ Party was a success! A flaming success I should say based on the comments and feedback about the food, my apartment, how well behaved Angello was since his sexual encounter, the games, the music and the cause.

    Not everyone that I invited came. And that is to be expected at any event. Except for one of my boys who had to stay home to nurse his sick pup and a woman who changed my life’s path a few years ago, the absences, however, spoke volumes.

    The food and the drinks were all Caribbean – well aside from the cheese board. Almost every Jamaican favourite you either know or every heard of was served.

    I shopped and slaved over the stove for three days to ensure that my guests had the best my country of birth has to offer:
    1. Ackee & Saltfish Tarts
    2. Jamaica Beef Patties
    3. Peppered Shrimp (better that how they make it in St. Elizabeth!)
    4. Jamaican-style Vegetable Salad (with our version of vinaigrette)
    5. Oxtail and Butter Beans
    6. Curried Goat (and it was a ram because I could smell it!)
    7. Ham (dressed with pineapples and cherries)
    8. Rice & Peas
    9. Escoveitched Fish
    10. Fried Plaintains
    11. Jamaica Christmas Cake with rum sauce

    As for the drinks, hardly a drinker I did the Caribbean proud and made Pina Colada, Brown Cow (with Tia Maria of course), Rum Punch (with Jamaican Overproof White Rum!) and Sorrel.

    If I may say so myself, the apartment was beautiful and as my woman-friend Anni gushed “it has a wonderful, warm feeling and have created a superb environment, Claudette.” And she was not drunk yet!

    My fire place is actually fire engine red and it formed the backdrop of a very cozy and intimate setting – perfect for the most wonderful group of people I have ever had the privilege to journey alongside.

    A Hint to Point #7

    Which brings me to Point #7 of the DOF series – and in true Jamaican style – my advice is “nuh dash wey yuh friends fi nobody!” I will translate in a moment.

    Years ago – it feels more like eons ago – as a student in the former Soviet Union I found that among my fellow country people there were few of us who really spoke the Russian very well. Lance and I were counted in that group. The reason this was so is that we never clung to the very small Jamaican community but stretched ourselves and made very good friends with our hosts.

    Another thought that comes to mind is a recollection of something that the woman in the Canadian High Commission who handled our immigration papers said. It was a reminder of my ‘Russian years'. “Do not isolate yourself, it will take longer for you to truly settle if you do,” she advised.

    I personally took that to heart and from day one started making friends – using that word loosely.

    How to Make and Keep True Friends

    After finding a place to live, unpacking, re-packing to move house again and unpacking there, it was I who found us – no let me correct that – it was I who found a church home for myself. It was one that my ex partner and daughter would occasionally visit, usually at my begging and pleading.

    I volunteered with several organizations, joined community groups, was selected chair for a social justice committee at the college where I was pursuing my second Master degree, I went to seminars, political-type meetings etc. All of this between trying to make an decent living.

    There is a popular or once popular phrase here – “I am Canadian,” and I walked (and continue to walk) that talk – daily and in my own style by meeting people, bringing them home, feeding them, ‘struggling or fighting’ with them or on their behalf, comforting or simply listening to them.

    The Break-Up and the Break-Down

    It was not until ‘the break up’ last year that I realized the impact of my actions.

    With my feet over my head and my mind literally and metaphorically falling to pieces – some of these same people encircled and held me and rocked me as I wept.

    Five, one with whom I can no longer physically journey, literally stopped me from killing myself. Anni I thank you – pissed as I was then, I now publicly thank you for calling the cops on me.

    Then there was my dear senior citizen, Miss I, who scooped me out of a closet (literally) and took me to the doctor.

    Marlene is another woman-friend I made here - one who I met a few months before my feet were swinging above my head in Toronto at a conference.

    This is a funny story – she is Jamaican-Canadian and had seen my picture and a write up about me in a conference magazine and sought me out. We spent only a few hours together – maybe a day a most – but when she heard about my dilemma last year, at her expense, she jumped on a plane from Toronto to Edmonton and spent three (boring for her) weeks – cooking and coaxing me to eat.

    There were the ones who are thousands of miles away but continued to be a part of my life. Zacca, Patti and Dr. Green – three phenomenal women who from a distance helped to nurture me back to wholeness.

    One took care of my mother as I was lost in the wilderness, the other two stayed on the phone with me, for hours on end, when I thought I could not live one more day.

    Another Jamaican-Canadian, Miss W in Toronto, is the woman-friend that I wanted to smack for reminding me about my bit of profundity about being in relationship with a woman. She was a rock of wisdom on which I would sit frequently.

    Abigail – who most readers to now knew as “A” – is both my daughter and my friend. We have had our ups and downs. She has had her challenges with – as she was told by society – my lifestyle.

    A more strong or courageous young woman I have never met. She has a mind of her own –and the panache to say, "Mummy, let’s move on,” without words. Yes – she does call me Mummy, even at 20!

    My Boys

    And last but not least – and I am sure there are people I have failed to mention but certainly have not forgotten their kindness – my boys.

    How do I explain this group of men? How do I describe the love, nurture and care that I have received from a group of men (including Lance) that the wider society – both near and far – would scorn? Where do I start to express my deep love and gratitude to this group of culturally diverse men who have adopted me not only as their fag hag but as sister?

    It struck me some time ago that it was the men of the LGBTQ community that I have identified with since being in Edmonton who rallied around me. The lesbians paid their ‘visits’ but left with hardly a glance backwards but the men, ‘my boys’, pitched tents in my life and quietly encouraged and cheered me back to wholeness.

    Better than Money

    What does any of this have to do with Diva Christmas parties, food and dating? Everything!

    Last night, we paused for a few minutes at my request. I had something to say and things to give.

    What I had to say was “thank you” to my friends for being my friends and for coming into my life and being brave to 'become even more human’ alongside me. I wanted to thank ‘the shrink’ for staying in my life – even though “we are just friends” ( I can hear the boys laughing as they read this).

    During my numerous shopping expeditions for this party, I bought gift bags and filled them with ‘little stuff’ – nothing expensive. The party, the fact that it was the first, these party gifts and the hours it took me to cook were all part of my way of saying how thankful I am that these people – both present and excused – are a part of my life and journey.

    Without them, I would either be dead or in a psych ward somewhere, and this is not, just a statement of fact, where my ex’s “exclusive” friend and probably lover told me in December 2006 that I should be.

    It was literally because of my woman-friend, D Mc, the one who changed my life the minute I laid eyes on her and the person who is responsible for me serving at a prison today, that I ‘flew’ the coop of the psych ward.

    She, and all of my friends, rescued me from a fate untold.

    I see the "hands of God" in all of this as all these friends are wounded healers! Each one, including my daughter, has been, for one reason or another, criticized, judged and ruled ‘unworthy’ by others.

    The Translation

    That phrase, “nuh dash wey yuh friends fi nobody,” means do not throw (or abandon) your true friends – the ones who have stood the test of time and/or trial – for anyone, especially not for a lover (however you understand that word).

    Many will come into your dating experience who will have much to say about your friends…run from them!

    I did.

    Over the last few months of dating, I have been told how unhealthy or unwise it is to:
     have the types of friendships that I have
     to cherish and go 100 extra miles with and for my friends
     to be with gay men so much

    That list could go on.

    There is another wonderful Jamaican saying – “Good friends, better than pocket money,” – over the last year I have proven that.

    Had it not been for these people who I have named and the unnamed ones – no amount of money would or could have brought me to the place where I can testify, yes testify, that “by the Grace of God who appeared as these angels – I am well!” Thank you God! Thank you my friends!

    A special thanks to Mark and Mark (yes, they are a couple and their names are/is Mark) for their Cdn$60.00 donation that will go to sponsor two persons at Kiva!

    Blessings and in deep gratitude,


    P.S. Photographs, as usual, are Renato's. You can see more on my Facebook.

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