Friends


“Thank you for being a friend, travelled down the road and back again. Your heart is true, your a pal and a confidante. And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew, you would see the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say “Thank you for being a friend!””

Hey blog world! I thank God every night for the wonderful friends that he has blessed me with. Today, I’d like to talk about some of them.

Samantha, a.k.a penguin: When I was little, I went to Camp Kaleidascope during the summer. One year, I met a girl named Samantha. She was really nice. I discovered that she too loved to read! We decided to start a book club under the slide on the playground outside! Every day we’d bring a book to camp, meet up under the slide and read to each other. It was so much fun! I never thought to exchange phone numbers with her and I regretted that for several years. However, several years later when I was in Jr. High, the guidance councellor invited me to have lunch in her office. I thought that would be nice so I accepted. When I got there, I saw a handful of other kids eating, chatting and playing on the Wii. One of them had curly orange hair, freckles and glasses. She looked so familiar to me but I couldn’t place my finger on where I knew her from. After a few minutes, it clicked! It was Samantha!!! I walked over to her, a little afraid she may have forgotten me and said to her “You look really familiar. Did we have a book club under the slide at summer camp?” A big smile came on her face and she said yes! Neither of us thought we’d see each other again! We were so happy! We continued to hang out with eachother throughout Jr. High and High School. During our time in High School, every morning we’d meet up with our friend Kristen by the trophy case on the second floor and chat. It was a great way to start my day! It was during High School that she earned her “penguin” nickname. During our morning chats by the trophy case, she’d set her backpack in between her feet, like how penguins carry their eggsPenguin and Egg. She would always say that she felt like a penguin. The nickname stuck! Her nickname for me was goldfish because I always joked that I had the memory capacity of one (goldfish remember things for three seconds)! Samantha was always there for me in my time of need and I really appreciated that. When my nan passed away, she made me a heartfelt sympathy card and gave me a big hug. That made me feel better. A few years ago, MADD came to our high school to do a presentation. I know someone who was killed by a drunk driver (one of my sister’s bridesmaids was killed by a DD two days before her wedding) so the issue hits home for me. I really didn’t want to attend the assembly. Samantha and I sat next to each other and she let me hold her hand. I told her there’s a very good chance I’m going to cry and she said “It’s ok. Me too. We can cry together.” That comforted me. At the midpoint of the film that they showed, there was of course a drunk driving accident. It was really overwhelming and scary for me. I couldn’t handle watching anymore. I began to cry and shake. Samantha put her hand on my shoulder and comforted me until one of the teachers came by to see if I was ok. I said no and the teacher brought me to the Nutrition Lab across the hallway where the guidance councellor was waiting with tissues. A few minutes later, in came Samantha, her big blue eyes full of tears. Seeing her so distraught almost made me cry again! She sat next to me and I hugged her to help her feel better. Samantha was really funny too. We had an inside joke that I still laugh at today! In the second floor trophy case, there was a mannequin that displayed clothing made by the fashion students. One day, I noticed she was wearing something similar to Fantine’s factory uniform in “Les Misérables” Fantine factory outfit. Samantha and I decided to name the mannequin Fantine. A week later, we changed her name to Patrica because she had nothing on! If you don’t understand that reference, click here. We constantly joked around that the poor thing must be cold with nothing on and we’d jokingly wag our finger at her every morning and tell her to get dressed!

Dominique: She was my best friend in High School. She was in the special needs classroom and I ate lunch and recess with her every day. I called her my ray of sunshine! She was a total optimist, never in my two years of knowing her did I see her frown! I told her teacher once that I think we should clone Dominique and shrink her so that everyone could have a little mini Dominique to carry around with them and make them feel happy! She was a very caring and compassionate young woman, that was one of my favorite things about her! Whenever I had a microwave dinner for lunch, she would always warn me “don’t burn yourself”. I appreciated that she cared about my safety. Also, if I was sad or having a bad day, I could always count on Dominique to give me a hug to make me feel better. I loved her hugs! During recess and lunch time the two of us were inseparable! One of her favorite things to do was draw and I loved to watch her! She made the most beautiful abstract drawings! Sometimes she’d pass me her crayon and say “Draw cat please.” or “Write Dominique’s name.” I thought it was very nice of her to include me in her drawings! We also loved to read together. She and I both love Mark Brown’s “Arthur” books. I read them to her all the time. We also loved to play with raw macaroni. As silly as that sounds, I highly reccommend doing this. Fill up a container with raw macaroni and dig your hands around in it. It feels nice. The teacher had a big tub of macaroni that the students used for sensory play. We loved to sit down with it, dig around to find the plastic fish the teacher hid inside and sometimes we’d pretend to cook supper for the teacher! Dominique graduated two years ago and I miss her like crazy and think about her often. I wonder what she’s up to? I hope life has brought her nothing but wonderful things!

Peter Peter and me: 5 years ago next Friday was one of the best days of my life! April Fool’s Day 2011 was the night that we met. I’m so happy that fate brought me to “ABBA: Gotta Get The Scoop” that night! During the show, I raised my hand to answer a question Peter asked the audience and he was taken aback! He felt like he was back in his classroom (he’s a former teacher). After the show I got to meet him! He was very nice. I liked him and could tell he liked me. We kept in touch via Facebook and quickly became best friends. He’s a great listener whenever I have a problem. I’m glad that I have him to talk to. I really appreciate that he prays for me too. I also really appreciate that even though he’s the busiest beaver of them all, he makes time in his schedule for me. Sometimes we go for lunch and a horseback ride! Also, next Saturday we’re going to see “Rock of Ages” together at the Arts and Culture Center! I can’t wait! I love spending time with Peter. He’s lots of fun. He’s also very encouraging. He tutored me in world history this year and was always saying “You can do it!”, “We got this!” etc. That made me feel really good inside! I also like that he’s open to new things. My boyfriend and I both love VeggieTales, a series of animated, Christian, direct to DVD movies in which talking vegetables sing songs and tell stories that teach Biblical values. Peter had never heard of it unil earlier this year. Myself, Glen, Peter and our friend Shelley all went out for supper together and on the way to the restaurant I asked Peter if we could listen to my VeggieTales CD and he said yes. That was nice of him. It wasn’t long until Peter was laughing and singing along with the songs. I’m glad he enjoyed it! One of these days I’ll have to show him a VeggieTales movie!

Emma and Laura: We met at summer camp at Bulldog Gym, an awesome interactive fitness center that used to be in St. John’s (it closed down a few years ago). We introduced ourselves to each other on the first day and were inseparable ever since! We did everything together! Inside, we loved to play “Dance Dance Revolution” and Twister and when we went to the nearby park, we’d always dig holes together in the sandbox. Those few weeks at Bulldog were the best of my summer that year! We exchanged phone numbers so we wouldn’t lose touch and still hang out together. I don’t get to see the girls very often, because of school and other things getting in the way, but I love chatting with them on Facebook and catching up and love it even more when we do get the chance to hang out. We love going to the movies, hanging out at my house and going to Thomas Amusements. One of my favorite things about these girls is that I can be weird with them! Almost every time we get together we’re in stitches laughing with each other! #Weirdosforlife girls!

 

I have a special place in my heart for Peter, Emma and Laura. They’re neurotypical. Because of my Aspergers I’m not accepted by very many in the neurotypical community. I get bullied a lot. It meant the world to me that Peter, Laura and Emma chose me as a friend! It restored my faith in humanity. Thank you very much!

As one final note to not just the friends I mentioned in this blog post, but all of them “Whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend!”

Leah

 

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Open Letter To City Council


What the firetruck are you thinking!!! Destroying Richmond Cottage just so you can build condo’s?! Smarten up!!! Listen very closely and carefully. We. Don’t. Need. Any. More. Condo’s!!!

You took Quinnipiac Place from us last year to build a new development. Thousands of years of history gone in mere seconds! It’s not right! Instead of spending your money on condo’s that we don’t need, I think you should spend it on restoring the building and turning it into a heritage site. Let the building stay there for other generations to see! If these condo’s MUST be built, please re-think and put them somewhere else!

I had some special visitors over Christmas. My sister Crista, brother in-law Ben and nephew Lincoln. My sister is from here but her husband and their son are Australian. Crista wanted to show Ben and Lincoln the beautiful province she calls home. She took them to see signal hill, the harbour front, many of our historic sites, etc. Condo’s were not on their want to se list! Demolishing our history and replacing it with condo’s will not be good for our tourism sector! The  more history you rid us of, the less tourists will come! On top of that, it’s not what we locals want to see either! I love walking downtown, going for drives around the city and looking at the pretty sights and learning about our history. I’d rather walk through the Commissariat House than inside a condo!

I want the next generation of Newfoundlanders to be able to see our historic sites. Please, think of the children and stop demolishing buildings like this! Let Richmond Cottage stay! I’m going to remember this come the next election. I’m old enough to vote now and you all certainly haven’t got my vote! I want a city council that cares about our history!

Leah

A Message For Margaret


Hey blog world! Today something interesting happened. I heard from my friend Peter’s mother Margaret. Margaret has been an angel for two years.

This morning I was responding to a text from Peter when suddenly I heard a woman’s voice say “Leah dear, tell Peter I said hello.” I was a little freaked out to be honest but at the same time thought it was kind of cool.

The mystery for me is how did she know my name? I’ve never met her before. Also, I wonder why she chose to give ME the message? Hmm?

I’m not sure if she’ll be able to read this in Heaven, but because she left a message with me this morning, I have one for her.

Dear Margaret:

I hope you’re having a lovely day with your angel friends! What’s it like up there? I’ve always wondered that. I picture Heaven as a city where everything is made of clouds. Am I right?

I passed your message along to Peter like you asked. If you have any more for any of the Halley’s, I’m happy to be your messenger.

Peter has told me lots about you! He’s said you were a kind hearted woman who welcomed everyone into her home with open arms. I wouldn’t doubt that for a second. I’ve seen several pictures of you (you’re so pretty by the way!) and looking in your eyes and at your warm smile, I could tell you were lovely, kind and beautiful on the inside. You seem like a lady whose company I would have really enjoyed. We’ll have to have tea together a million years from now!

You did good when it came to raising your children. The four of them that I’ve met, Peter, Patrice, Brenda and John are all kindhearted souls like you. I’m sure you’re very proud of them. I’m happy to know them.

You may already know this but Peter has named his puppy after you! Frenchie is a black golden doodle and is the sweetest thing! He loves to jump, run and play, he’s full of energy! He’s getting so big now! At first he could fit in my palm, he’s grown like a weed since then!

Finally, thank you for talking to me today. It was nice to hear from you. I hope to again soon. Give Lucy and Allie a scratch behind the ear for me and if you know her, please tell Verna Weir that I said hello.

Leah

R Words


Hey blog world! R is a great letter. Without it, a lot of great stuff wouldn’t exist. Here are some awesome things that start with R

Recycling

Raspberries

Rebecca Caine (an immensely talented and very down to earth Broadway actress who has performed in “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Misérables”)

Ring Pops

Reba McEntire (one of my favorite country singers)

Rock N Roll

Red Skittles (my favorite color Skittle)

Rainbows

Reading

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Road Trips

Respect

However, there is one word that begins with R that I absolutely hate hearing! That word is Retard. It’s a hateful, hurtful and derogatory term that makes me sad and angry to hear, especially when it’s being used towards my friends and I who have special needs! We’re people too and would like to be treated as such! We are unique, smart, pretty/handsome, and all around amazing. We are NOT retarded! Nobody is! It really hurts our feelings when that word gets used, even if it’s not towards us! The R word is an awful word that should not be in our vocabulary! Please think before you speak! We humans have a billion words in our vocabulary, pick something else! The R word hurts.

Today is Spread the Word to End the Word day. Please click here and join me and millions of others around the world in pledging to never use the R word! Thank you.

Leah