Thank you so much to our amazing family in New Zealand, South Africa and the UK for our beautiful Quilt made with love. It is incredibly moving to receive such a special and creative gift. We appreciate the hard work involved and continue to feel the love and prayers from around the globe.
Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family across the globe. Although we are far apart, never doubt that you are in our hearts.
Love Carol & Travis
ps-below is a link to a clever holiday card from the University of Oxford, it appeals to the art historian in me!
The Art Therapist
Carol Skinner is best known for the art therapy room in which she stood
Using art to work with clients so that they were truly understood
Helping others believe at a time that they didn’t think they could
Teaching them to be easier on themselves when all they could think about is what they should
Helping them to change their inner dialogue to something much less critical
Listening closely to the heart of her clients not just being analytical
Gently urging the people she worked with to find a way to reframe their thinking
Raising up the esteem of those whose belief in themselves was often sinking
Lighting up the room with a smile so generous and kind
Going that extra mile and you clearly knew she didn’t mind
Stocking the art room full of supplies so people had everything they needed
Fighting the negative messages of others so they wouldn’t be defeated
Radiating positivity until it would eventually become contagious
Being gentle and kind even when other people’s behaviors were outrageous
Holding a caring space for a person when their internal pain had arisen
Really getting where they were coming from because that’s how deeply she would listen
Using a combination of motivational interviewing with a genuine compassion
Using art therapy as the technique of choice because that was her passion
And even though she had to stop I know she will not let her illness get her down
The kind words she gave to others will echo a gentle sound
The beauty in which she’s lived her life will carry her forward on her road
Those who love and care for her will help her carry this heavy load
It is now her turn to receive the support that she’s so freely given
To the people that came under her care who believed they would never be forgiven
And I know you’ll look around you Carol and let the beauty touch your soul
It’s now your time to embrace that beauty and let that be your goal
Written by the lovely and talented Karen James
It has been exactly 3 months since my diagnosis of ALS.
I could be feeling depressed but instead I am feeling so grateful!
I don't even know where to begin. Our "Live Love Laugh for Carol" event Sunday night was overwhelming, humbling, moving, incredible, phenomenal, amazing, and there are just no words to describe how special everyone made Travis & I feel. We have so many people to thank we don't know where to start because Travis & I don't even know about everyone who donated their time, energy & generosity to us & the event, but I will mention a few...
First of all to Danny & Mark who got together and had this idea, and both being men of action made it happen!
To Rainwater Whiskey the feedback on the band was incredible, they were so good I know they now have many more followers!
The committee at Brookstreet & CMHA including Shari-Lynn and Julie Levesque who kept having meetings and all their hard work and impeccable planning to make it a perfect night!
Chef Clifford Lyness & Kei (& his mini sous chef Skye) and to all in the kitchen who worked so hard all night to deliver the most incredible food, everyone was raving about it all night long! Really, divine food.
Chef Michael Blackie for donating his gorgeous venue at NEXT restaurant in Stittsville.
To all of the suppliers of food & wine & Anthony for his organization and donation of his 50/50 win!
Everyone who showed up early to set up and prepare for the night.
To the shuttle drivers.
Aunty Wendy who drove through snow in Bowmanville to surprise us!
Mom & Dad & Scott & Rosie for driving in from Montreal!
Everyone who donated to the silent auction including Karen Boyd's incredible painting that started a bidding war! And my sneaky best friend who donated beautiful items from Tiffany & Cartier without telling me!
Katie Jacobson-Lang who ran around taking pictures all night long!
To Nyle & Shawnne & Lise and those who manned the entrance & sold tickets.
The wonderful folks at the photo booth that took such beautiful & fun pictures!
The bartenders and servers & cleaner uppers!
Lori Hodge & Chris Maclean for their beautiful singing (thank you for Landslide!)
Those who donated the door prizes, everyone who bought hearts, raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items.
Everyone with messages of continued offers of support in the future.
All the new people I met.
And just to everyone who braved Ottawa snow on a Sunday night to attend and show their support!
It was so wonderful to see people who don't even work at CMHA or Brookstreet anymore!
The whole event was so much fun. Danny said to me; "and if only a few people show up we'll hang with the band", we were absolutely blown away that over 200 people showed up!
I will definitely post pictures of the event on our Gallery page when I receive them.
Travis and I will never feel alone in what we are going through. Thank you. Truly. Thank you.
What a great day! I was feeling nervous about keeping it together going back to work today and seeing my colleagues & clients but there was no need. It was a day full of Christmas decorating, happiness, reconnection, love & laughter. It felt so good to see my clients and I really felt at peace in my (can't help it) art room! Thanks to everyone for your awesomeness! Special thanks to Danny & Marie-France for acting as my chauffeurs & to Karen James for her amazing poetry!
It's official, our condo is on the market. I have posted a link to the listing as we try to spread the word. The more exposure for us the better chance we have of selling so thanks for your help in getting the word out.
I hope everyone is enjoying the festiveness of the holiday season and not giving in to stress. Appreciate every moment, we know how precious moments are. To help get everyone in the holiday spirit I have also posted an amazing video shared with me from Kate. Enjoy!
Whooh! Sorry for the late posting but once we got over jet lag & laundry life has gone back to a pace of 150%!!! As soon as I've come home my friends have been there for me with dinner invitations and fun times! As well, we have met with real estate agents and mortgage specialists (we'll have to pay a penalty to break our mortgage, ugh!), photographers (for our condo) and have spent time staging our condo to get ready for showings. We list on Friday (the 13th aack), wish us luck!
Of course I love to celebrate this time of year and Travis & I continued the Canadian tradition of choosing and chopping our own tree. I contemplated not getting a tree for about a half a second due to putting the condo on the market but then thought about my Live Love Laugh mantra. So after choosing of course the perfect tree (Travis is VERRRY picky but has great taste I have to admit) we came home, put on Christmas tunes, decorated the tree & condo and celebrated our official beginning of the holidays with eggnog!
This Friday I'm visiting work to finally see my clients whom I left so abruptly. I really miss them and can't wait to see them. I have not yet wrapped my head around not working, it is sooo hard to think about. I'm trying to put a positive spin on it by reframing it to "retirement", however, it is still too much to accept right now so I'm lucky to be distracted by everything keeping me so busy!
Getting really excited, nervous & overwhelmed by the event being hosted for us on Sunday. I can't wait to see many people I haven't seen since the diagnosis and don't know how I can possibly thank everyone who have generously given their time, love & support to us.
My next clinic visits will happen in February and I've posted the Report Summary of my first round of visits for those who are interested. Just click on "Read More" below.
We have arrived safe & sound at home, to snow!!! Aack we are not prepared, need to put snow tires on the car & buy winter boots. Travis & I had incredible jet lag, wide awake at 3am and so so tired at 5pm. Nothing wrong with eating Chinese food & watching movies at 4am is there???
We had an amazing time in Italy, definitely ate too much and appreciated all of the sites. We will post highlights & more photos as soon as we get organized!
We had a wonderful time together and although we could be depressed that our trip is finished we are fortunate to have our kitties and friends and family who love & care for us to give us much to look forward to.
Speaking of looking forward, I am already excited for the event planned by all of our friends at Brookstreet & CMHA, here is a posting of the information we have been given and what to look forward to:
Carol and Travis have a difficult journey ahead which they are facing with strength and courage. The purpose of this fundraiser is to help lessen the financial hardships they will face as they move into a more accessible home. In addition, they will need to purchase assistive devices in the future, including an accessible van.
Tickets are now available to be purchased for $10 at Canadian Mental Health Association at 1355 Bank Street, suite 301 from Julie Levesque (613) 737-7791. Additionally for those who cannot attend the event and/or would like to send a special message to Carol, we are selling hearts to raise money, each heart is a minimum of $10. Hearts can be purchased with Julie as well.
Your heart messages will be assembled into a memory book for them to keep and will be presented to them December 15 at the “LIVE LOVE LAUGH” Fundraising event being held at the “NEXT Restaurant” in Stittsville 7:00 pm to 1:00 am.
This will be a licensed event, offering guests appetizers and canapés from some of the most talented and well know chefs in the city.The evening will include Silent Auction, 50/50 draws and music from a local band called Rainwater Whiskey, which will start around 9pm.
Let us fill Carol & Travis hearts with all our hearts!
December 15th, 2013
Fundraising Evening for Carol
The NEXT Restaurant at 6400 Hazeldean Rd
o Rainwater Whiskey Band
o Lori Hodge singing
o And much more…
o Silent Auction
o 50/50 draw
Lots of fun for a good cause Tickets only $10 if you can’t come you can buy a heart. Tickets and Hearts can be purchased at 1355 Bank Street, Suite 301 or call Julie L. at 613-737-7791.
Possibility to stay at the Brookstreet Hotel for only $99 including parking and Shuttle from Hotel to Restaurant and back.
Carol Jean Skinner (née Sharman)