September 3rd 2009 was the day that everything I thought I knew ceased to matter. Everything changed for me that day. I came home only to discover that my best friend had shot himself to death in the wee hours of the morning.
I miss him. Every. Single. Day. It’s normal for me, missing him is like breathing. I’m so used to it now and the hurt hasn’t be completely erased but it is no longer the hellish nightmare that it once was. Jason’s death however, was not in vain. No matter how bad a situation, I try to take something positive away from it.
If anything to make it suck a little less. I have learned that life is short. Too damn short. I stopped caring what people thought of me and started living life for me and me alone. That’s why I am the way I am today. It took something to rock me to the core of a soul that I never even knew that I had to wake me up. I stopped taking things for granted. I stopped taking people for granted. I’ll admit it, I was one of those people. I always thought that I had more time. Don’t we all?
We always think we have more, I think in a way it’s a defense mechanism to offset the guilt. Such as when we ditch our un-wanted animals in the alley. We figure that they can fend for themselves. Right? Perhaps we drop them off at the local pound. They’re super smart/cute/unique so they’ll get adopted fast! Right?
I will spare you the horror stories of how many cats I alone have seen in this area either dead or near death due to the carelessness of someone else. I have assisted in the rehabilitation/rescuing/fostering and re-homing of several dogs and all of my animals have been rescues. You’re likely wondering what NAYOP and animal rescues have to do with each other.
It’s quite simple actually. Jason had the biggest heart out of anyone I had the privilege of knowing. His kindness and generosity was something that always stood out to me and he would often donate to charities. Jason also suffered from severe depression/bi-polar disorder and anxiety. Jason was told that there was nothing they could do to save him. Animals have been proven to have a calming effect on people who are suffering from some forms of mental illness and art has also be proven to be exceptional therapy.
When I lost Jason, my world fell apart. I honestly and truly believed that I was going to die from a broken heart because it just hurt that bad. It was because of someone else who was a part of my life at that time that I got in touch with my creative side and started painting. I also started to focus on my photography more and Bandit, this amazing sweetheart of a dog from the SPCA stole my heart.
So I decided that this year on the anniversary of his death that I was going to do something a little different. I am choosing to pay it forward using my art work, along with the donations of several other people’s work to assist the voiceless. That being said (I’m) Not Afraid Of Your Pain (NAYOP) and Stuff by: Chef Steph will be sponsoring this event.
A special smug mug account has been set up. You shop and smug mug does the rest! The quality is exceptional and their customer service exceeds even my highest expectations! Please share this album with your friends as it will only be around for a limited time!
The two rescues who will benefit from this for the month of September are: I am alive dog rescue and Bell’Anima rescue. I am hoping that this is so successful that I can keep doing it (using different images) for different rescues across the globe. There is so many and after doing countless hours of volunteer work, the costs are far more vast than one would think!
Along with the smug mug goodies, Chef Stephanie will be selling batches of her homemade dog biscuits! Made out of 100% natural ingredients, they are fit for human consumption, a good source of protein and best of all: They’re made in Canada from start to finish! Everything is locally sourced. For more information on Chef Steph’s dog cookies please go to her facebook page for more information and how to buy.
Thank you all for your support! It means a lot.