A story of mending hearts with Children Mending Heart

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL – Once upon a time, there was a young, vibrant little girl named Sab. She was the typical happy girl, teased by her hero – her big brother, Don. She was born prematurely at 6 months, but since she grabbed her first breath, she was a warrior… She was a happy warrior.

Her first friend was her cousin, Sand. Sand was one year younger than Sab. The two of them were inseparable and constantly mimicked each other.

1985

Around the age of three, Sab made new friends since her family moved to a new neighborhood. Mimi, Reg, Jackie, Ronnie, and Freddie, along with her cousin Sand and big brother Don were her crew. She felt so complete. When she left her crew to start kindergarten, she thought she would find the same kind of friends she had already made, but that wasn’t the case. It was the total opposite. This was the first time she encountered rejection and bullying. She didn’t say anything to her parents or to her brother about it because she didn’t want to dwell. She just couldn’t wait to play with her crew, lovingly called Pigeon’s Crew. For her, solace was in her crew.

Three years later, her world changed. Her family moved from one street to the next, but Sab lost her soulmate, Mimi. Even though they were just one street apart, the friendship would never be the same. They were not going to the same elementary school for grade one and faced this new chapter of their lives apart.

This vibrant little girl slowly started to lose her spark.

Little Sab and a certain Teddy Bear

Why?

She was constantly bullied by the mean girl of the school she went to. This went on up until her sixth grade. The mean Nad was a total nightmare! For no particular reason, she just hated the sweet Sab. Sab was really sad about it and even afraid to go to school, but she kept it to herself.

When starting high school, she thought she would get a break, but she encountered a new version of the Mean Nad and this one wasn’t alone. Mean Mel was a total bitch (sorry for the language). With her crew, they vandalized Sab’s locker, they stole the precious pens that she cherished, they pulled at her long, thick hair in the bathroom thinking it was a wig. The leader of the crew was a mean boy, Mean Kenny E. Sab was totally unhappy and suicidal. She wanted badly to end her life, but she always thought about her hero at times like this, her big brother Donald and her parents. Wrestling was a refuge for Sab. Ever since she was a little girl, she wrestled her brother and wrestling was a religion in her home, for the whole family.

Her idol was Bret, The Hitman, Hart. In him, she saw someone courageous and very bright. He wasn’t the tallest one, but he was the smartest one! He was fearless. Sab held on to his character and his determination to get through each day, every day.

Bret Hart

At the end of her second year in high school, oh I forgot to note – she went to a private school – she did the unthinkable…

She managed to register herself at the local high school, one that had the worst reputation. It was an act of survival for her and probably the best decision she made. The bullying she suffered at the previous schools was because she wasn’t like the other kids. She didn’t fit their definition of normal. She was curious about the world, about other cultures and she didn’t speak with the particular accent attributing to the Haitian community. So, she was bullied. When she finally started going to her new school, Calixa, she was finally able to breathe again. She rekindled her friendship with Mimi, who ended up at Calixa too. She met new friends and they were so sweet.

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She even grew a strong friendship with Grace, a sweet Italian kid that was living in front of her when she moved at the age of 6.

Her confidence grew back, little by little, and her new crew was a remix of the old one with a few new faces.

Friendship

She stayed the sweet girl, wanting to do good and be kind to everyone. She was broken for a while, but with the help of her friends and her family, she was able to rebuild again. In her adult life, she encountered challenges, but she is grateful to be alive.

This sweet Sab is me.

Writing this post was not easy, but I had to do it. This month is a special month. It is Bullying Prevention Month. I’m collaborating with the Children Mending Hearts (yeah!) to bring awareness to the issue of bullying. Since 2008, The Children Mending Hearts (CMH) Foundation has provided free art education programs to more than 25,000 children in the county of Los Angeles.

Children Mending Hearts

I always said to myself when I was younger that if I’m still alive when I grew up, I want to help children that suffer like me and to tell them, please stay as kind as you are and don’t change yourself. Better days are on the horizon.

The founder of The CMH, filmmaker Lysa Heslov (one of my heroes), had the vision to create a foundation that will inspire children to grow up to be compassionate and socially-conscious adults. For me, that is truly a beautiful mission. In the 80s and 90s, we didn’t talk about bullying at all in school. Some TV shows navigated the subject, but not like today. Lisa and the rest of the CMH team’s mission are to change the culture of bullying into one of empathy and action.

Lysa Heslov

My 35-year-old heart is happy to learn about this beautiful mission.

Looking throught the horizon

During this month, let’s make something cool and artsy to send a message. By painting our nails blue (come on boys, it’s 2018, you can do it!) and post a picture on social media with the hashtag #bluenailsbullyfree and tag @childrenmendinghearts. I

went to get my nails done! For the whole month, I will be sporting fifty shades of blue nails. Hm, maybe not THAT many! In two weeks, I will post my nails in a new kind of blue to show my support for a cause really close to my heart.

Something Blue!

So, let’s do it! Let’s encourage the next generation to continue being kind, being fearless, and to remember to be compassionate human beings. I sure will continue to do it. With Children Mending Hearts, I can’t wait to be part of their team and witness the legacy they will leave for the future generation.

https://www.childrenmendinghearts.org

Children Mending Hearts

 

 

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Smile

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just
Smile

Smile by Charlie Chaplin

A feel good Chronicle today about some people that put a smile upon my face and it will be contagious.

Some of them I discover them on Instagram, others are friends, one is a scientist and one is a humanitarian.

They have this spark for this thing that we call life and they want to make the most of it.

Speaking of sparks, I really enjoy Tala’s Instagram. She is fun, very creative and full of life.

The creative soul

Sometime, you get a glimpse of her bags that she is creating. I can’t wait to buy one of her bags. She is one cool and happy human rock and roll, enfant terrible, totally awesome woman.

Totally rock n roll

This man is a man with a mission. For me,he is my uncle from another mamma.

Emmanuel Dubourg with the Prime Minister Trudeau

He loves his constituents and the feeling is mutual.

Every time I meet him at  his Montreal office or at a quartering, he have the biggest smile in his face. He is genuinely a really good person. I’m hoping to be half the person he is! Merci Emmanuel!

Emmanuel Dubourg

She have a heart of gold and for me, she is more than a big movie star. She is a woman that is not afraid like many others womens I admire for fighting the good fight.

Beautiful moment

She didn’t have it easy like the majority of us. She never surrender her fights  for the rights of the refugees, the children, womens and many more. Inspirational, human, not perfect, authentic and a kind spirit.

That’s Angelina Jolie.

I really admire Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. He was playing for the Redmen of McGill with my favorite number 27. Now, he is playing for the Chiefs of Kansas City for the NFL. He studies in Medecine at the McGill University and you can feel his desire to be a good doctor when it will be time for him to put lab coat.

Dr. Duvernay-Tardif

Another person that got a heart of gold. He just create a beautiful foundation that want young kids and teenagers get more active.

It’s a beautiful mission that I will talk a little bit more on a different post maybe with Laurent. We never know. Genuine athlete, genuine doctor and genuine human being.

http://laurentduvernaytardif.com/fondation-foundation

Happy

Laurent and the Rock Dwayne Johnson have this same authenticity with people!

Dwayne Johnson

And this young man.

Le Bel Garçon

We will have an exclusive interview this week on The Chronicle with Ralph Jusma aka Bel Garçon (meaning in English beautiful boy like his sweet mamma used to call him). He is a well known music promoter in Montreal. His charm, his wit, his sense of humor and his undying love for music is contagious.

Let’s smile, let’s smile, let’s be creative and let’s be happy this week.

LIFE