Friday, July 31, 2009

Montreal to Trois Rivieres

July 31
Repentigny, the home of Celine Dion was our meeting point this morning and there were a lot of us to meet. Andre, JP, Eric,Robert,and Martine, Carl, Dave, JF,and Samuel, Robert, Luc and Simon as well as Mel and Lindsay -14 in all. We were seen off by a small group of family memebers of the riders as well as well wishers. Shortly before it was time to go Andre came over to us. "Here." he said. "I was explaining The Ride to her the best I could and she gave me this." and he held out a handfull of coins and a few bills. See? That's what I'm talking about.

It was a beautiful long and leisurely ride to Trois Rivieres. Oops, did I say leisurly? It was fast - so fast we had to slow down because we were too early for the reception at our destination. We stopped for a few moments at the Auberge overlooking Lac St-Pierre to cool our jets and cool our thirst before heading into Trois Rivieres.

Don't worry Nicole, Robert had not given away any details of the event but we heard the band as we approached, then we saw the flags and the people gathered outside Les Suites Laviolette. What a welcome, from the cadets and Dragon Boat Ladies who provided the valet parking for the bikes to the Mayor's representative and a famous local artist.

In addition to a handsome cheque made out to le Fondation des maladies mentales, a special presentation was made to Lindsay. She received a unique handmade stylo de bois by the renowned artisan from Trois Rivieres, Denis Lefebvre. The pen is in recognition of Lindsay's writing, especially the story she has shared on The Ride.

Later we went out to dinner where we had the opportunity to speak with two representatives from the Anna et la mer (Anna and the Sea)a non profit group that creates, promotes and implements services for children living with a parent affected by a mental illness. All too often when a parent is ill with a mental illness, young children are not included in explanations for their parent's behaviour. Their world is turned upside down, they generally suffer in silence, unable to verbalize their emotions. They feel guilty and somehow responsible. Studies tell us that children of a parent with a mental illness are at risk for emotional. behavioural and intellectual difficulties. They are at greater risk for mental illness themselves. Anna et la mer serves to minimize these risks and to provide emotional support for these children.

Many thanks Nicole for organizing a special welcome to Trois Rivieres.

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