May Day

Posted: May 1, 2016 in Community, Family
Tags: , , ,

mayday1  I just went with my wife to Orillia to see a concert. Foreigner was playing and we met up with very good friends of ours. It’s one of those things you do with couples with common interests. So I was ‘off the grid’ so to speak. I wasn’t paying attention to Facebook like I normally do. I checked on my phone from time to time, and was beginning to think something major had happened back home based on some posts I saw.

This morning, as we were getting prepared to pack and return home, my wife received a message from a dear friend of ours, Linda Lafantaisie Renaud. She told her to tell me to go to hell (in a more f-word kind of way). She was joking of course, but she said she saw a Memory of us from 3 years ago on her Timeline, something that Facebook does now. And three years ago I had created a Bitstrip  comic with Linda and myself. A picture of her about to catch me from a jump of a burning house. It was a joke. Here is the Bitstrip:


No big deal, really. But the big thing that happened back home was that Linda’s house burnt down. And this Bitstrip also showed up on my Timeline Memory as well. Almost three years to the day I made this her house burns down. I felt like a real doofus. I talked to her soon after and she told me it was the first time she laughed since the incident, that she needed that.

Wow. I was and still am gob smacked. Linda runs the local shelter for women. I have known her for years and is one of my absolute favourite people. She helps people raise themselves from the ground to lead normal lives, empowered lives. She gives until it hurts. Then gives more. We advocate for the shelter as much as possible…..this is our connection with Linda. And she had a tenant, Nic Préseault, who also happens to be one of our absolute favourite people. Nic works for West Nipissing Community Living, and works tirelessly. And both Nic and Linda (and her family) lost everything in this fire. Luckily everyone got out alive, unfortunately with the exception of Nic’s beloved cat Milo.

Linda wanted to make sure everyone knows that luckily her smoke detectors functioned, because they saved their lives. The fire apparently started in the garage and spread quickly. You cannot over emphasize the importance of functioning smoke alarms. And she wanted to thank the West Nipissing Fire Department for being diligent and helpful and kind and above all professional in their efforts to contain the blaze. She is impressed and humbled by the fire fighters risking their lives to perform their duties.


This is a time for our community to shine. At times like these we need to rally and help our fellow residents rebuild and get back on their feet. These people are cornerstones of our community, and deserve all the consideration and help that we as benefactors of their own generosity have received. We desperately need these families to heal and get back to being able to provide the stability for those they service.

Please be kind.

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