June 21 ~ Summer Solstice ~ Remembering Suman Virk (died June 16, 2018)

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June 21 is a day of many celebrations in Alberta.  #Lovethesun  #NationalIndigenousDays  #TruthandReconciliation  Long before any of those, it was my father’s birthday as readers will know or can discover below.

Summer solstice in the northern hemisphere is when Sun blesses Earth with the year’s longest period of daylight.   The Alberta College of Social Workers called its members to acknowledge and celebrate the first people of Canada and to reflect on our path towards reconciliation as we learn new ways of knowing and doing.

Creator provided me the opportunity today to meet a beautiful mother in the city to find her daughter who was caught in the throes of addiction and exploitation.  The mom visits regularly, as I used to do, to see if there is some way she can convince her daughter to leave the drugs behind.  We reflected together about the silent community of parents like ourselves, heart broken by our children’s choices, helpless in the face of forces beyond our control, confused about how to balance caring and detachment while living our own best life.  We are many, often blamed or feeling shame for the random circumstances of birth and history that shaped our lives.

On the subject of turning darkness into inspiration, I want to acknowledge an amazing mom who was featured in today’s Journal.  Suman Virk, whose 14-year-old daughter Reena was murdered by  a group of peers in 1997, worked tirelessly to stop bullying and youth violence.  Suman died last weekend at age 58 in a tragic accident.  She received many tributes for her advocacy work in challenging other youth to change the world around them.  To descend into horror is never anyone’s first choice and the advocacy option often feels like consolation.  Nevertheless, I honor and thank Suman Virk for the work she chose to accept.

As we celebrate the fullness of light, there is much darkness to be dispelled before we can live together with equality and dignity.