This one is in Shubie Park; one my favourite off leash parks in Halifax.
This tree deserved more than a cursory, admiring look.
There were notes on the tree ...
notes of support, and hope and caring.
But the notes were not really what grabbed my attention.
It was the ornamental glass balls ...
They had names on them.
Names and dates.
Names and dates and ages.
This was no ordinary tree.
When I got home I Googled "Jamie Hubley" and found an obituary in that name and a headline from a CBC news story: "Gay Ottawa teen who killed himself was bullied".
Jamie was 15 when he killed himself.
The only openly gay boy at his high school he was tormented and bullied. He changed schools; the bullying continued.
He'd been a championship figure skater but quit, after endless bullying and being physically attacked in grade 7.
Jamie loved singing and pop music. He just wanted to be accepted for who he was and to be allowed to love who he chose.
In the wake of Jamie's death, his father, Allan Hubley , a Councillor for the City of Ottawa, spearheaded a mental heath drive which raised $800,000. A year after his son's death as Mr. Hubley was talking about the need for LGBTQ support within schools, anti-bullying measures and the need for mental health supports, word came of the suicide of Amanda Todd in British Columbia.
Trees like this start conversations and raise awareness.
I just wish we didn't need them.
But since we do, let's talk...