Im sorry for not writing more often but I’ve been extremely busy. Like, never before in my entire life, busy!
However, I wanted to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and to show you pictures of my life taken recently!
Today was Remembrance Day. The first ironic thing was when the St Lawrence Market rang a bell at 11a.m., and announced that we should give a moment of silence for those who lost their lives during WWI, hardly anybody paid attention, and small children cried from the sudden loud noise.
The second, well, actually, main reason for the irony of the day is its symbolic significance. Remembrance Day is about remembering those who passed away in a horrific war. It is is time for reflection, to say to ourselves, “Wow, that was really terrible! We shouldn’t do that again!” Instead, there’s a war between Russia and Ukraine and another war between Israel and Palestine (there’s other wars going on in the world too!) War is the biggest past time, besides sex and sports.
I guess what really upsets me is the war between Israel and Palestine, it hurst my very soul that thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians are being slaughtered every day. I don’t like to even call it a war because the civilians have no weapons.
The UN and all the politicians know what’s happening and, yes, countries like France want to call for a ceasefire, but countries like the US and Canada seem actually squeamish about doing this. I don’t know why. All around the world people are protesting and demanding a cease fire. Why aren’t our politicians listening?
After I left the Market, I saw a homeless man shivering in the cold and I automatically gave him some money. Maybe 5 seconds later I saw a couple run up to the man and give him coffee and pastries. I felt so happy and thought, yes, this is how life should be. People should have compassion for one another. We shouldn’t beat or kill people for differences or to conquer land.
On Remembrance day, let’s try to remember to be compassionate and kind to each other.
During this month, this song keeps playing in my head. The link to it is below.
The OFCP (Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy) asked me if they could put a link on their website to Vimeo, which has my short film ‘Feelings Of Invisibility’. I, of course, said yes because I want everybody in the world to see it!
The OFCP also asked for a short Bio from me. This is what I wrote:
My name is Anne Abbott. I was born in 1958 with a condition called Cerebral Palsy. However, it was a year later, just after I had my first birthday, when the doctors officially confirmed that I, indeed, had C.P.
I’ve often wondered if the delay of the diagnosis was due to the kind of kid I was. My mother used to tell me that right from the very start I had such incredible determination and endless energy.
On the day of my christening, I consistently played with the pages of the Bible and the minister’s cross. At the doctor’s office, on the day he was attempting to tell my mother that I had Cerebral Palsy, I kept trying to pull away from her grip in order to grab a pen from the desk between them. The doctor, exasperated, asked my mother, “Where does she get her determination from? You, or her old man?”
As a toddler, during nighttime prayers, my mother would always say, “Please, God, help Annie walk and talk.” It was here that I would move my legs under the covers in a running motion, signalling to my mother that I wanted her to add, “and run and play.” I wanted to run and play just like my brother and his friends did. Certainly, I was included in all of their games, but I wanted to climb trees and get skinned knees myself.
I had so many dreams and schemes for the future when I was a child. I wanted to be a doctor, an actress, a dancer, a writer, an artist. I wanted to move out when I was older, get married and have children of my own - just like everyone else!
Sadly, though, as time went by, perhaps because of societal ableism or my own teenage self-loathing, I didn’t follow through with a lot of my dreams.
And yet, my determination and energy have never wavered in the things that truly matter to me. Art and writing were, and are, of the utmost importance. As a person who is nonverbal, expressing myself has been absolutely crucial to my survival and psyche. By communicating my thoughts and feelings, upon either canvas or tablet, I feel understood and heard.
If you have watched the biographical short documentary “Feelings of Invisibility “(produced by Charmaine Lewis), you’ll know that. I did move out on my own and married a wonderful man named Rob. Oh yes, and I started my own art business called Annie’s Dandy Note Cards and Artwork. I’ve been selling my artwork every Saturday at the St. Lawrence Market for 22 years. I’m also a member of the Canadian Communication Access Alliance, which focuses on the rights of people with communication disabilities.
September 26, 2023
It played during the first bloom of our romance.
It played at our wedding for our first dance.
It seemed like nothing could go wrong as long as we heard our song.
Love of my life I love you so …
Ebb and flow, ebb and flow,
Despite all of life’s trials, tribulations and complications,
Our love for each other continued to grow.
Love of my life, don’t ever go …
I’ll never forget that one day, so long ago –
The doctors told me that you would very soon, simply slip away.
And so, I sat by your bedside day after day,
After day ….
I held your hand, stroked your face and mass of curly hair,
Wanting you to know that I was there, and with all of my heart, cared.
Over and over, I played our song,
Hoping that, somehow, it would make you, once again, healthy and strong.
I love you, Darling! I love you only. …
I was your wife and knew without a doubt that you would survive.
We were happy for quite a long while.
Through good and bad times, we could make each other smile.
Like two puzzle pieces we fit together perfectly.
Our love would last forever, we knew this with great certainty.
Stars in the sky, they never lied.
You were my groom, I was your bride.
Tell me that you need me, don’t say goodbye …
Like the worst form of déjà vu,
Once again, I was there holding your hand,
Worrying about you
Once again, I played our song,
Fearful, this time, that there might be something terribly wrong.
For two days and one night,
They told me that, yes, your heart was damaged, but everything was going to be alright.
Tests next week, they said.
Tests and, until then, a lot of rest.
I was your wife,
And I knew with every single cell of my being that this time you would not survive.
Don’t ever, don’t ever, don’t ever, make me —
For twenty-one years you had been my one and only.
During all this time, you had always been loving and true,
There was nothing I didn’t love about you.
You had been sweet and kind.
Now that you were gone,
I felt as if I was losing my mind.
Your heart had literally been broken, beyond repair.
I found it hard to grasp that you would no longer be there.
Day after day …
After day …
After day …
I felt tormented by shock and unbearable dismay.
Ebb and flow,
Ebb and flow.
There’s no place to hide, no place left to go.
Throughout the years, my grief has become like an ocean,
Full of thoughts and emotions.
There are times when the tide comes in and I can feel happy and glad.
There are times when the tide goes out and I simply feel lonely and sad.
Still, my love, I have wonderful, treasured memories of being with you.
Now, during good times and bad,
Remembering you is what helps me to get through.
Also, and never forget, I’m always connected with you through our song.
Whenever I hear it, it’s as if you are with me,
Which makes me feel happy, secure and strong,
As if nothing could ever be wrong.
Love of my life, I love you so
Love of my life, please don’t ever go
I love you only, love, love of my life
Ooh, ooh, oooh …
Anne K. Abbott
(Lyrics by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention)