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Musings in Unusual Times

We have fallen on unusual times this year. Much of the world is or was in weeks of self-isolation. Offices, retail, restaurants—everything closed. It hasn’t been an easy time for anyone.

I live in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Generally, this is one of the loveliest places in the world. This year we’ve seen the worst but then ultimately the best in people. No matter what happens, it seems that good people—acts of goodness—triumph.

In addition to the pandemic, we’ve experienced some local tragedies which aren’t directly related to the pandemic. We suffered the worst mass shooting in Canada’s history. RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson was killed in the line of duty. While it was terrible, the province and the world came together to support those who lost loved ones.

Then, Sub.-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough was killed in a helicopter crash off Greece along with all the others on board. She was a marine systems engineering officer aboard HMCS Fredericton. The vessel sailed in the Mediterranean Sea as part of a NATO operation. She was from Halifax.

Then a third woman, also from Halifax, Captain Jennifer Casey, of the Canadian Snowbirds, was killed in a plane crash. She and the rest of the Snowbirds were flying across Canada to lift people’s spirits. It has been her brainchild.

Each of these in themselves are terrible tragedies. And while I point out their passing, I want to look at their lives. Each of these women was incredible! They did amazing jobs. And they were doing jobs often dominated by men. We still live in a time when men double and triple women in certain industries. Technology and for armed forces are examples. These women lived their lives with joy and determination, and now we mourn their passing. It must be noted they have accomplished great things. One news reporter pointed out that there must be young girls watching who will be inspired by seeing women actively filling roles like this. More young girls may choose to engage in these fields and help balance the workforce, for in diversity is our strength.

When they brought Captain Jennifer Casey back to Halifax, the procession went along the highway behind where I live. It was a somber sight to behold. But there, across the street from me was a young girl of maybe 5 years old with her mother and dog. Together, during the entire procession, that little girl and her mother proudly held a full-sized national flag where each vehicle could see. What will become of that girl? Or girls like her? Will she be inspired by the lives of such women? Will this direct her to choose a challenging path and be a leader, as these women were? I can’t help but wonder.

Again, in these unusual times, it is good to see the positives that come out of dark situations. That little girl was definitely an inspiration to watch.

The Jamie Poole series is centered around a strong woman. Jamie comes into her own as the story develops. She is surrounded by supportive friends of diverse backgrounds. Because of this, I’ve created a line of merchandise to encourage people to strive to be better. If we each share a kindness with our fellow humans, what a difference we can make. Want to see a change? Be the change.

If you wish to be inspired by strong women in history, have a look at this collection of quotes from women in history: Click here.


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