12/29/2015 01:12 EST | Updated 12/29/2016 05:12 EST

I've Made It Through Another Christmas Without Amanda


So glad to hear myself say, "Phew, I made it through another Christmas." After receiving so many well wishes for the holidays on social media in the past week, I have felt badly that I haven't been able to answer each and every message with something positive to say. I guess I had hit an emotional roadblock with the band-aid getting kind of wet and peeling away some of protective coverings. I know (for real) that there are other parents out there going through the same kind of emotional upheaval right now and it doesn't seem to matter if it is Christmas #1 or Christmas #12.

Amanda always brought life and spirit into our days.

So, if there is no immediate reply from me, it's not that I am ignoring you. It's that I am struggling with what to say and my emotions. As I might have mentioned before, this is the fourth Christmas with Amanda gone. It feels just like the first one with the deep sighs and sadness. I personally am not feeling that it gets easier with each year going by because the loss is still there. It's not about forgetting or getting over it. It's about missing someone you loved. Yes certainly, we have other family that we love and care about. And we don't love them any less. There is just a hole and a crack in the heart -- and all the crazy glue, sticky tape, duct tape or whatever else you might want to try won't mend that heart totally. Now I know how Humpty Dumpty felt.

It was a good day with the family. Remembering how Amanda liked being Santa Claus and handing out the presents. Or her squealing over the new Justin Bieber CD, the new colours of nail polish, or over the chocolates we all got. Amanda always brought life and spirit into our days. So instead, our new kitten brought with him the spirit that Amanda possessed. Watching the kitten play with the paper and jump all over the plastic bags that made crunching noises. It distracted all of us in a good way.

The other day I put out an open invitation to anyone without a place to go for Christmas dinner to come to my house. Someone took me up on it and messaged me. He told me he had nowhere to go and would greatly appreciate a home-cooked turkey meal. I already knew that there would be plenty of food so after a few message exchanges, it was decided that Donald would come for dinner. An #awesome and #yummy turkey was cooked. Donald arrived and I think I went into mother hen mode (as he stated). I made sure he balanced the healthy vs unhealthy snacks before dinner. He was appreciatively hungry. I was fascinated by the amount of food he could pack into his body and then some. He had nowhere to stay the night so we found him someplace safe and warm to go to for this week. Later that night, he this note on his Facebook:


My experiences this Christmas season have been phenomenal for #givingback. Some on my own and some with Amanda's legacy. These were some of the notables:

• Food items for the Food Bank

• 100 snowflake cookies for a school group promoting Random Acts of Caring

• Donations of toques, mittens and socks for a shelter for the homeless

• Finding a safe place for someone without a home over Christmas

Reality is that we are here on earth for a short time and if you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

It definitely feels good to do something positive. It also filled a part of the void where Amanda is not there. Here is another story was shared with me from someone on the eastern coast of Canada:

"There honestly has to be more nice people and less bad people in this world. Everyone should treat with respect as we are all human. That's so nice of you though, I bet it made the guy the happiest. It's always the kindest people too that have no home. I can just imagine how happy that fella would be! I can relate to that. I was fishing once and I was catching a bunch, there was a older guy beside me and he wasn't catching anything, he never had the right set up cause he couldn't afford it so I walked over gave him five dozen fish he was unbelievably happy he said now he will have food for the table then he offered me a little money that he had but I said no you keep buy stuff you need. He was really happy, it makes me happy when I can make someone else happy."

If I could make one suggestion this Christmas Day, it would be to take some time to reflect on life in general -- thinking about what you have and don't have and what you want out of your life. Reality is that we are here on earth for a short time and if you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be? Sometimes all it takes is a "Hi -- how are you?" or "What can I do to help you?"

We all think of Amanda but we need to remember that all she really wanted was for someone to stop and ask how she was doing or to help make her bullies stop. I received a post on my YouTube wall that I am trying to find the source of. I will write about it in the next couple of weeks. Until then, all it takes is a CARING SMILE and a HELPING HAND.

#Kindness365 #KindnessCounts #here4u



Amanda Todd