June 22nd, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 25
This Town Talk is about myself
Rick's Corner
A while back, a local girl Alexis Bohmer took a big step and told people that she needed help. She was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and appealed to this community for help in finding a specially trained service dog.

What I found most courageous about this fine young woman was her bravery in speaking out. She was not embarrassed with her situation. She told the truth and took back possession of her life on her terms.

Some days I look at my life and I wonder if I also need a specially trained furry companion.

It’s been a tough couple of years. I lost both my parents to prolonged illnesses. I lost my dad after a yearlong battle with cardiovascular disease and my mom after an eight-year battle with ALS.

I took care of them both. I loved them. Nurtured them. I buried them. In a strange reversal of roles, they became like my own kids.

And last week, to add to my list, someone attacked me at my home.

It was 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, a day that I don’t work, and I had just gone outside to water my plants. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a movement and as I was standing up someone hit me with a 2x4. At least that’s what I think it was.

I was hit so hard it knocked me out. My youngest son was home that day. He was sick.

It is hard to describe the panic I felt waking up knowing my child was in the house and not knowing if someone had hurt him. My children are my life. They’ve kept me going these last few years.

All I remember is that I crawled to my house in ripped and shredded clothing, grabbed Quinn and called 911. It was 1:50 p.m.

You may wonder why I’m telling you this story. I’m telling you this because as horrible as the experience was, I saw the goodness in people.

The first person to come was the RCMP, Constable Perrin, she was so kind to me. She made me feel safe in an unsafe situation.
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Next was EMS. Wow what a group of women. I can’t remember their names but as I sat their shaking, torn and bleeding I saw Amy Harris. Amy and I have been through a lot together, both of us losing our parents within a short period of time. We have an affiliation I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. She was my calm in the storm. She held my hand, got me focused and took care of my little Quinn.

At the hospital Dr. Penner took care of me, again a wonderful woman who didn’t push, didn’t inundate me with questions, just eased my mind that I would be okay.

Isn’t it ironic that my first responders, my ER doctor and nurses were all women?

Women have a capacity to care. It’s a function of being mothers. These women were strong, professional, kind and calming. I am blessed to have had them take care of me. Women really do rule the world.

It’s funny but I must say that by 5:00 p.m. that night everyone knew what had happened to me. It never ceases to amaze me how the line of communications flows throughout our little valley.

So off I went for a CT scan in Lethbridge. I must say all is well, I can attest that I am indeed hard headed.

It’s funny but when you’re in a situation like the one I was in, the only person you want is your mom. It doesn’t seem to matter how old you are, you just want your momma. It’s a hard pill to swallow knowing that I don’t have one on this earth anymore. I had never in my life felt so lost and alone.

Then Diane Bailey came over. Diane is an amazing, kind fantastic person. I have had the privilege of having her in my life, even if only for a short while. Diane drove over that night, took me in her arms like a mother and made me feel not alone and not quite so scared. I count every second that she has been in my life a privilege. She has accepted me with all my faults and has never judged. She is undoubtedly the most selfless person I have ever met. She is an amazing mother and grandmother and a true caregiver. The things I’ve learned just from watching her could fill up a book.

Then came Kate Kollee with her beautiful Irish brogue. Just listening to her is soothing. She also came in, and just took me in her arms. We didn’t need to say anything. I’ve known Kate since I was a little girl, teaching her son Keith how to steal jellybeans from Robinson. She always seems to be there when I need her.
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It’s hard for me to ask for help but when I reached out to her she was there. She has taught me to be strong yet kind. Sometimes I think she’s my soul mate, the other mother of my soul.

And then there was Linda Dorge and Melisa Bailey and my girls Niki and Shelley. Right there through thick and thin. I always believe you see the true character of people when they’re dealing with birth, death, sickness or money. How one deals with people in these four situations tells a lot about ones character. You either run, or you step up to the plate and do what you can to help make a terrible situation better. I have learned a lot of life lesson through these four situations.

Finally there were a few men in my life. To my boys, I’m lost without you and to Mike and Buddy who dropped everything to help me. I count you all as family.

Buddy helped me with one word. He called my attacker a coward. By labeling him that it somehow took that person’s power away. It made them weak in my eyes, not this boogieman hiding around the corner waiting to hurt me.

The thing with getting attacked is that it’s just like poison. It may not kill you at first but the effects it leaves can be spread over time.

I’m scared. For the first time in my life I’m scared. I’m scared to be alone. I’m scared to walk to my car. I’m scared, not of what he did, but the repercussions of what might have been: of possibly not being in my children’s lives. Of my son finding me out on the driveway broken and beaten not able to wake up.

It stole my dignity. It stole my power. I think getting both back is going to take some time.

Since it happened I have had more calls, texts and general love than I can attest to. It’s as if this fine community has taken me in its arms and kissed my wounds.

I’m probably going to need some counseling and I’m not embarrassed about that. I’ve been through a lot in a short period of time.

I guess I just want to say how blessed I am to live, in my moms words, the ‘Garden of Eden’. I thank everyone who has stopped to check on me, the ones who just show up and we don’t need to say a thing. The ones who hug away my fears and wash away my tears.

We as women need to build each other up. We need to stop the competition and love one another as we are by our very nature the hardest on ourselves.

I’m a little shattered but I’ll piece myself back together bit by bit. Isn’t it said that scares are stronger than the perfect skin you had before your wound. I have no choice, I have four children that are counting on me.
June 22nd ~ Vol. 85 No. 25
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