Sunday, December 26, 2010

In Which I answer my First Batch of Questions.

Hello There Readers!
I hope everyone had an exceptionally wonderful day!
What a gift it is to be living in a country where I can celebrate the birth of my Saviour without fear of persecution.

Well, as promised, I am going to answer a few questions that I received by email!

What region would you like to live in the most? (forest, mountains, swampland, etc..)
Well, You know... I really have no idea! Living in Southern Ontario [even Canada itself] I have had the opportunity to see what all of the different landscape types are like. The Rockies are absolutely beautiful, and I would love to be living in an area where I could see them whenever I wanted. If I had any reservations about living in a certain place, it would be the Prairies.. too flat, and NO TREES! Also, I think that the mosquitoes in a swamp area would be unbearable in the summer. But, other than that... I wouldn't mind living anywhere.

If you had to choose one color you could never see again, which color would it be?
Good question... Uhm.. Chartrouse. :)

How many times a day do you look to the sky?

Also a good question! Now that I have thought about it.. I look at the sky alot. I love Love LOVE looking at stars. But the immensity of the sky in general always reminds me to be humble.. It reminds me of how small I really am, and how big the God who called it all into motion is.

Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind or never speak again?
 Both would be awful... Tact is one of the most important qualities for one to possess, and if I could only ever speak EVERYTHING that was on my mind, I think it would be safe to say that I would get myself into trouble.Who wouldn't? I would HATE not being able to speak, though. Anyone who knows me knows that. I think it would be an awful existence never being able to express yourself through speech.. Also, assuming that I cannot make any sound at all, I also would not be able to sing. Which would be terrible.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Love this question! I think telepathy and telekinesis would be my choice. Because if you have telekinesis, you could technically move your own body with your telekinetic powers... Flying would be easy! In regards to telepathy, I would like to be able to turn it on and off.. It would be rather exhausting, and even sometimes disturbing to always be able to hear everyone's thoughts! If you wanna read a FREAKIN' hilarious post about this very question, Click Here!

I hope I answered everything to your satisfaction!
More SPAMWOW of the email address with questions, guys!


Love Always,
Emma Cate

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In Which I Post About Questions.

Hi guys!
As Always, I want to thank you for reading!
You guys are the best!

So, I've decided to add a new feature to my blog: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS!
I want you guys to SPAMWOW my blog email address with questions you want me to answer...
I'll do my best to answer to your satisfaction.
Start emailing!


Love Always,
Emma Cate

Monday, December 20, 2010

In Which I Brag About the Handsome Blonde.

 This is A.

He makes me look good. And I feel like the most loved person in the whole world.

How did I get so lucky?

"Well, it seems to me that the best relationships - the ones that last - are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is... suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with"
- Dana Scully, The X-Files 

I Promise I'll post again later.

Love Always,
Emma Cate

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Which I Post More Photos.

When Aslan Bares His Teeth, Winter Meets It's Death.
C.S. Lewis - The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

These are edits I did on
I was reminded of how much I love Narnia this weekend.
I'll probably end up doing more!
Stay tuned.

Love Always,
Emma Cate

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In Which I Post My Second Photo Progression.

 Mimi/Streetwalker/Cuban Dancer - Guys and Dolls - December 2006 [Grade 9]

 Linus Van Pelt - You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - May 2008 [Grade 10]

 Ghost [Uncle Yorrick] - Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet - May 2009 [Grade 11]

Dorothy Gale - The Wizard of Oz - May 2010 [Grade 12]

Theatre is one of my passions.
There were so many shows I couldn't find photos for.
Hope you enjoy.
I'm already on a roll...
Maybe I'll post again later.

Love Always,
Emma Cate

In Which I Ponder Upon How Much I have Changed.

[Grade 9]

[Grade 10]

 [Grade 11]

 [Grade 12]


I'm always indecisive when it comes to choosing photos... I felt that these showed a cool progression.
Another thing I thought of doing was choosing a photo that best represented that year, but I just couldn't! It was too hard.. Too many memories to choose from.
I think that photo progressions are another thing that I'm going to do regularly.

I may post another one later tonight!

Love Always,
Emma Cate

Friday, December 17, 2010

In Which I Pass on a P4A Video.

Hello Again Readers!
I hope you all read my post about the Project for Awesome!
I just wanted to post again today to tell you to go and watch my friend Rae's [Author of Thoughts of a KleeWyck] p4a video!

Click HERE to see her video!

DFTBA, and please, Please, PLEASE participate in the Project for Awesome in any way that you can!

Love Always,
Emma Cate

In Which I Post About the Project for Awesome.

Hello Readers!
Today is very exciting because at noon, the 2010 Project for Awesome commenced!
Now, for those of you who don't know what the heck that is, make your way to the p4a website for more info.
This event is actually amazing... I love that all of YouTube is gathering together to help DECREASE WORLDSUCK.

The Project was first founded in 2007 by the Vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green. I discovered the Vlogbrothers just recently, and I have fallen in love with their vlog. Absolutely fantastic. If you haven't already checked out their YouTube channel, you really should! I PROMISE that you won't be disappointed. They are also the founders of an amazing group called the Nerdfighters of Nerfighteria. This is of course, a perfect group for me, considering how nerdy I actually am. See my post titled Avada Kedevra for more info on my nerdiness.

Once you've made your way to the p4a website, I encourage you to donate to the causes listed in the raffles section. You purchase a raffle ticket for different prizes, and the proceeds go to organizations like Make a Wish Foundation and World Vision! They have really cool prizes up for grabs, especially if you're an avid YouTuber, you'll recognize alot of the people donating items to be raffled off.

The next step is to make your way to YouTube and look for videos that have a thumbnail that looks something like this:
This is an image I created myself on, using the thumbnail images provided on

Now, not all Project for Awesome vids will have the thumbnail, but if they don't, they'll have p4a or Project for Awesome 2010 in the title. They're pretty easy to find!
Then, next you watch, comment, like, share, and favourite as many videos as you can! The goal is to get all the top videos on the homepage of YouTube to be p4a vids! I KNOW it's possible!

Now, because I am really terrible at making and editing videos, I decided to blog about the charitable organization that I wish to endorse.

Tattered Tiaras. 
Tattered Tiaras is an organization dedicated to the care of teenage girls. This is part of their mission statement:
Encourage: “to inspire with courage, spirit or hope”  
We are working to raise awareness and begin to talk about the different issues that girls today are faced with. As we break the silence, girls will realize that they are not alone and take the steps necessary to become healthy, strong women. By telling the stories of girls through our events and programs, we believe girls will be encouraged that they are not alone.

Empower: “to promote the self-actualization or influence of” 
We desire to see every girl realize that she can change her world, and that, in her uniqueness, she has the capability and creativity to follow her dreams. We are are committed to helping girls realize their potential. Our programs strive to show girls that they have the power to make a change in their lives and their world. 

Equip: “to furnish for service or action by appropriate provisioning”  
We are putting tools in the hands of girls so that they can succeed and make their dreams a reality. Out goal is to equip girls so they can go out and change their world, and repeat the process by helping other girls in the same way. 

Tattered Tiaras has an immense amount of resources available for girls, parents, and leaders hoping to run a TT program. Just this year, TT had a missions trip to Malawi, Africa. One of my close friends went on the trip and she had the time of her life working with the TT team, and making the world a little bit better for the people in Malawi.

Tattered Tiaras is currently working towards raising funds to build a Girls' Centre. Please donate!

Please visit the Tattered Tiaras Official Website and click here to view a video message from founder, Kimberlee Moran [who is an amazing woman, btdubs.], along with a video showing the kind of work TT does!

Also, an update: The HPA posted their p4a vid! If you're a Harry Potter fan like I am, PLEASE check it out!

Thanks for reading, and PLEASE pass it on! Join me in the fight against worldsuck, and favourite some vids today.

Love Always,
Emma Cate

P.s. I apologize for the amount of links in today's post... There were just too many awesome things that I had to make you aware of! Also, feel free to email me!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In Which I Begin My "Dear Friend" Letters.

Dear Friend,
Well, there's a lot that I wanna say to you... I just don't know where to start. Should I begin with how you always pick me up and brush me off, and tell me it will all be okay? Or with how much we've been through together? Or maybe with how happy being with you makes me? I'm not sure that any of these are appropriate ways to begin a letter that could go on forever with how amazing and wonderful you are, a letter that I just gotta work in the most important things. No, I think I'll start with your passionate heart for God... Yeah, that sounds right. You are absolutely one of the most influential people in regards to my faith. You are going to do extraordinary things in your ministry... The world is waiting for you! Waiting to hear the words that God has put on your heart for them. Don't ever lose your heart for people. You can save the world, even if it's just one person at a time. You will be a hero to someone... I know that you already are. You have been there for me in prayer, and in tears, and in laughter. YOU ARE ALWAYS HERE. Always... Even when I wanted to run as far away from you as I could. There is not one second of our friendship that I would trade for the world... Not even the times when I felt like there was a hole punched through my chest. Not even when I said and did awkward things. Not one single second. I will always love you. And I will always be here for you. Whenever you cry, whenever you laugh, whenever you need prayer, whenever you need me, whenever you miss me. I'm only a phone call away.
Love Always,
Emma Cate

Dear Friend,
Firstly, you live too far away. And I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't miss something about you. I don't know what it is, but there is this inexplicable thing that I have, that I feel like I can tell you anything. ANYTHING. And I have told you anything, nothing, and everything... And I have never regretted it. Not for one second. I love talking with you. and I love how you listen, but throw in your hilarious two cents every once in a while. Thanks for always making me laugh, even when I feel like crawling under a rock and not coming out. I also have this inexplicable need to protect you all the time... And I hate that I can't take the best care of you from so far away. I worry about you all the time. I meant what I said when I told you I'm always going to prayer-war for you. Nothing would make me happier than you being able to feel God's presence in your life. He is gunna use you to do amazing things. I know it might not feel like it right now, but He has incredible things in store for your life, and I can't wait to watch them unfold. Don't lose hope. You are amazing. And my life would not be the same if I ever lost you. Don't ever go anywhere. Please. I promise to always be here for you, no matter what happens. 
I also love writing about you:

"I liked the way he acted around me, like he was himself and that he didn’t have to put up any front to try to impress me"

“I don’t know. You just seem to have your heart set on L and B being together.”
“Okay, maybe I do. But I could never be angry with you about how you feel,”  Unless it’s me that you feel for, I corrected myself in my head. I realized how silly I was for even guessing that I was the object of his affection. Guys like him just don’t like girls like me. It’s that whole “leagues” thing. I don’t think that it always applies, I mean, sure, in movies the not so popular girl sometimes ends up with the quarterback of the football team, but in this situation, that was totally and completely not the case. I mean, B is completely his “type” or whatever… Silly me, with my head in the clouds. It made perfect sense that he liked her. He was the kind of guy who all the girls wanted but could never actually have, and she was the kind of girl who got the guy that all the girls wanted, but could never actually have. I fell into the category of “never actually being able to have”. You know, one of those girls that would always be just a friend. The whole “I-love-you-like-a-sister-thing” gets a little bit old sometimes. Who was I kidding? I could never measure up to B. She was one of those girls that other girls hated for taking all the guys’ attention. Of course. I loved her dearly, but it didn’t help the fact that she was still higher on the unwritten scale. You’re being ridiculous! I shouted at myself. I didn’t even like him as more than a friend. Why the heck was I reacting like this? My emotions were at it again; running all over the place, hot and cold, up and down, left and right. They did not even give me the courtesy of having a choice in their direction. Jerks…  “It’s not something you can control. How could I fault you for that?” I continued.
“I don’t know,” he replied as he looked down at his shoes.

Btdubs, friend, my theory is completely provable. I'm sure we'll talk all about it when I get that heart-to-heart you promised me. I just wanna tell you, because I don't say it often enough... I love you. You are really special to me, and I don't want you to EVER forget it. And maybe you should print this off and put it with your other E-Note in your Bible. Just so it's around whenever you need a reminder of how fantastic you are. :)

Love Always,
Emma Cate

More To Come Later...


Love Always,
Emma Cate

In Which I Encourage.

I don't know who this is for... But if You're reading this, The "You" that this post is intended for, I don't know who you are, or what you're going through, but you need to know...


By Your Side - Tenth Avenue North

Why are you striving these days,
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying?
Let me lift up your face;
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love?
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?
To where will you go child?
Tell me where will you run,
To where will you run?

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side.
They swallowed the grave on that night.
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in,
And give you life.
I want to give you life.

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

I'm praying for you, whoever you are.


Love Always,
Emma Cate

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In Which I Post a Photo of My Favourite Lion.

Hello Friends!
I know I haven't posted about any of the topics listed in my last post, yet, But I had to tell you...
This weekend, I saw The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3D.
And I loved it.

Lucy: "Aslan, will we ever meet with you in our world?" 
Aslan: "You shall." 
Lucy: "How?" 
Aslan: "Because there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."

It was absolutely incredible.

I promise my next post will be about one of the things I mentioned the other day.
Until then, DFTBA.

Love Always,
Emma Cate

Monday, December 13, 2010

In Which I Take Advice.

Hi guys.
So, I was talking to my lovely friend A. Mahon, and I asked her for some blog topic ideas.
And she gave me some great ones.
So, for my next few posts, I shall be blogging on one of the topic ideas that A gave me.

The topics are as follows:
1) Dear Friend letters [I'll probs do a few of these... One every once in a while, just to mix things up.]
3) Song lyrics with an explanation of significance [Again, I'l probs do a few of these.]

Stay tuned for my first A. Mahon inspired post!

This is A. She's beautiful, inside and out.


Love Always,
Emma Cate

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In Which I Post Another Essay.

Here's an essay I wrote for my Medieval Studies class about the relationship between Beowulf, The Song of Roland, and The Lord of the Rings.
If you're an LOTR nerd, like I am, or you just really love English and all that jazz, you'll find it fascinating... I hope.
Feel free to leave comments or email me!

Emma Catherine Morrison
Discovering the Middle Ages – ML 100
Dr. Renee Ward
Friday, November 26th, 2010

Aragorn vs. Beowulf and Roland: A Comparative Essay on Heroes
The ideas and qualities of the heroic character as seen in Germanic and Medieval literature, have been passed down through generations and present themselves in J.R.R. Tolkein’s classic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, through the character of Aragorn. Through comparison to the characters of Roland and Beowulf and analysis of similarities and differences between the three characters, Aragorn proves to be the best example of a knight and king.
Although Beowulf is a Germanic warrior, rather than a knight, he and Aragorn share some similarities. Aragorn shows characteristics of a king throughout the story, even before it is revealed that he is the heir to the throne of Gondor. His kingly qualities become more and more apparent as the story progresses. Similarly, Beowulf’s character grows from being a renowned warrior at the beginning of the epic, into the ideal king. Both characters are shaped into the ideal king figure through challenges that they face.
Beowulf’s character is shaped by the challenges of Grendel, Grendel’s Mother, and finally, the Dragon. At the beginning of the poem, Beowulf’s reputation precedes him in the land of the Danes. The poem opens with a description of Beowulf, “The son of Scyld, was renowned, his fame spread wide in the Scandinavian lands.” (Beowulf 17-18) Beowulf is celebrated as a skilled warrior and valiant fighter. The king of the Danes asks Beowulf to come to his kingdom and kill Grendel, who has been tormenting the kings’ people. The Poem goes on to describe Beowulf this way, “ He was of mankind the strongest of might… noble and mighty.” (196-198) This gives the reader the idea that Beowulf is the ideal warrior of this time.
Beowulf travels from his home in Geat, and comes to Hrothgar, king of the Danes’ Hall, Herorot. Hrothgar pleads with Beowulf to slay Grendel. Beowulf agrees and then goes on to tell the people in the Hall stories of his victories with pride, “Time and time again those terrible enemies sorely threatened me. I served them well with my dear sword, as they deserved.” (559-561) Before the battle against Grendel, Beowulf takes off all of his armour and says, “I consider myself no poorer in strength and battle-deeds than Grendel does himself; and so I will not kill him with a sword…” (677-679) Beowulf intends to defeat Grendel by pure strength alone, further proving his pride. Beowulf then goes onto defeat Grendel, by pulling off one of his arms. Grendel then goes away to die. This victory proved to be easy for Beowulf, even though the task seemed daunting, showing his strength and skill.
The stakes are raised when Beowulf is faced with Grendel’s Mother, whom after discovering the death of her son, take vengeance upon the Hall and kills Aeschere, who “was the dearest of heroes to Hrothgar”. (1296) Beowulf goes to her underwater lair, in order to kill her. Beowulf soon finds after arriving at this place, that Grendel’s mother cannot be killed with his own sword. He then finds a giant’s sword and slays Grendel’s mother with ease. This second challenge adds to Beowulf’s fame and reputation as a warrior.
By the time Beowulf faces his third and final challenge, he has been king in Geat for many years and has protected his people well. He has reached the state of ideal king, and he is loved and respected by all of his subjects. Beowulf faces the Dragon in full armour, but however, is defeated by the venom of the Dragon, after being bitten. Before his death, Beowulf wishes to see the treasure that was guarded by the dragon. Once he has seen it, he passes away. His people mourn him. The poem ends with a final description of Beowulf,
“They said that he was of all the kings of the world
the mildest of men and the most gentle,
the kindest to his folk and the most eager for fame.” (1380-1382)
This quote illustrates that throughout his life, Beowulf was seeking fame when he was completing his acts of heroism, in turn being a selfish action, rather than selfless.
Like Beowulf, Aragorn encounters challenges that prepare him to be king and shape him into the image of the ideal king. The first of these challenges is the fight at Weathertop, which occurs in book one of The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring. This is the first evidence of Aragorn’s knightly character. He is described as, “leaping out of the darkness with a flaming brand of wood in either hand.” (Tolkien, 256) Aragorn is presented as being very brave when facing the terrifying foe of the Nazgul, while defending Frodo.
The second challenge that Aragorn faces that shapes his character is the battle of Helm’s Deep, in book two, The Two Towers. At this point in the story, Aragorn’s identity as the heir of Isildur, and the rightful king of Gondor has been revealed to the reader and to the other characters.
 The people of Rohan are forced to retreat to the fortress of Helm’s Deep in order to escape from the armies of Saruman. The situation of siege seems dire, but in a time of distress, Aragorn continues to be an image of courage and strength,
“ ‘Is is not said that no foe has ever taken the Hornburg [Helm’s Deep], if men    defend it?’
‘So the minstrels say,’ said Eomer.
‘ Then let us defend it, and hope!’ said Aragorn.” (Tolkien, 700)
This quote is an excellent illustration of Aragorn’s kingly qualities. He inspires his fellow warriors to be brave even when the situation seems impossible, or the challenge seems insurmountable. This challenge further spurs Aragorn forward towards becoming the king he is destined to be.
            The third and final challenge that Aragorn is faced with is the Final Battle for Middle Earth against Sauron’s armies of Mordor in part three, The Return of the King (very aptly titled). Aragorn faces Mordor as a king;
            “‘Come forth!’ they [the heralds] cried. ‘Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Justie shall be done upon him. For wrongfully he has made war upon Gondor and wrested its lands. Therefore the King of Gondor demands that he should atone for his evils, and depart for ever. Come forth!’”  (Tolkien, 1162)

This quote shows the confidence of Aragorn in the face of almost certain defeat, also the faith that his men have in him. He has accepted his rightful place as king, and rides into battle prepared to die for his people, and his people will equally lay down their lives for him.
            While Aragorn and Beowulf have many common qualities that encompass the ideal warrior and king, their intentions are completely different. As stated in a previous paragraph, Beowulf’s acts of heroism were used to get him fame, whereas, Aragorn’s heroism is based on a desire to fight for the greater good of his people, and for the protection of Middle Earth.

            Roland of The Song of Roland also shares knightly qualities with the character of Aragorn. The heroic quality that is most prominent in both texts is that of bravery and courage. In the face of almost certain defeat, both men stand their ground and take the battle through until the end. Aragorn’s attitude about having hope and standing their ground during the Battle of Helm’s Deep is echoed in The Song of Roland, with Roland’s words: “Cursed be the heart that cowers in the breast! We’ll hold our ground; if they meet us here, Our foes will find us ready with sword and spear.” (Roland 80-82) This proves similarity in the knightly characters of the two men.
Another aspect of the character of Roland is his pride. The author illustrates Roland’s bravery and pride with lines 47-52, of stanza 85:
            “ No man on earth shall have the right to say
That I for the pagans sounded the Oliphant!
I will not bring my family to shame.
I’ll fight this battle; my Durendal shall strike
A thousand blows and seven hundred more;
You’ll see bright blood flow from the blade’s keen steel.”

This quote gives the reader insight into the character of Roland, and allows one to better understand his pride and bravery in the face of adversity. As stated above, Aragorn is also a perfect image of bravery. As previously discussed, Aragorn faces the challenges that he is subjected to with courage, very similarly to Roland.
            However, the difference between the two characters is that Roland had the chance to sound his horn (Oliphant), in order to call King Charlemagne and reinforcements to the battlefield to help in the battle against the Saracens. This would have in effect saved Roland’s life, along with the lives of his men. Roland’s bravery turns out to be arrogance, rather than the knightly virtue of courage.
Roland puts the lives of his men on the line in order to preserve his reputation and his honour to his family name and country, declaring, “I won’t betray the glory of sweet France! Better to die, than to learn to live with shame – Charles loves us more as our keen blades win fame.” (Roland 63-65) Roland’s most important goal is to keep the respect of his king, and win fame through dying an honourable death in battle. Roland is similar to Beowulf in this aspect of his heroic deeds being for personal gain, and not for the greater good, as Aragorn’s prove to be. Aragorn is selfless, rather than selfish, as the other two heroes are.
Aragorn does not have the luxury of calling on anyone else for help. The number of his men is small because they are the only men left. Aragorn, along with his men, is willing to step up and sacrifice himself to save Middle Earth from the tyranny and evil of Sauron. Aragorn once again proves to be the best example of the ideal knight and king.
Both Roland and Beowulf share virtuous qualities of knight and king with the character of Aragorn, but through comparisons and contrasts between these three characters, Aragorn proves to be the best image of the ideal knight and king. Beowulf and Aragorn undergo similar circumstances that allow them to become the ideal king, however, their attitudes and motivations are different. Aragorn and Roland both prove to be extremely brave when faced with a seemingly impossible battle, but Roland’s actions are self-serving and Aragorn’s are in effort to protect his world.
 Works Cited 
Fiero, Gloria K. "Reading 2.14 - The Song of Roland." Medieval Europe and the World Beyond. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw -Hill, 2006. 78-79. Print. The Humanistic Tradition.

Liuzza, R. M. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2000. Print.

Tolkien, J. R. R. "A Knife in the Dark." The Lord of the Rings Part One: The Fellowship of the Ring. London: HarperCollins, 2005. 256. Print.

Tolkien, J. R. R. "Helm's Deep." The Lord of the Rings Part Two: The Two Towers. London: HarperCollins, 2005. 700. Print.

Tolkien, J. R. R. "The Black Gate Opens." The Lord of the Rings Part Three: The Return of the King. London: HarperCollins, 2005. 1162. Print.

I will probably post again later tonight, or tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Love Always,
Emma Cate

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In Which I Eulogize.

Hi guys.
I realize I already posted today...
But I wanted to share another essay with you guys because the last one I posted got so many views.
This one is more of a personal paper.
It was written for me Evil and Its Symbols class [RE 104, if you're a Laurier student. It's a really interesting course. You should check it out if you're interested in the relationship between psychology and religion.]
The essay is about a personal experience of suffering.
Anyways, without further ado...

Strength Made Perfect in Weakness

I had never really experienced any loss in my life until this year. In January, one of my really close friends’ dad passed away suddenly of a heart attack.  It hit me really hard, but I did not get a taste of suffering until May. In a way, I’m glad that it happened because I learned a lot from the experience, and it allowed me to get closer to God.
I arrived at school one day to everyone talking about “what had happened” on the weekend. I walked up to my group of friends and inquired about what was going on. I was told that three guys who had graduated the year before, two of them being close friends of mine, had been in a horrific car accident. My two friends had not been wearing seatbelts and had been thrown from the car. My heart sank as I listened to the recount of the weekend’s events.
Cody DeNoble and Greg Bell were in my vocal class during my grade 11 year. Both boys were talented beyond all belief at playing the guitar. I loved listening to them play together.  There is nothing better than music made when two best friends play together.
Greg was goofy, and always got everyone laughing with his performances. His personality always came through in his songs, and that was the best part about listening to his music.  He was dating a friend of mine named Kelsey Marsh, that I knew through theatre. They were so happy together, and really cared about each other.
Cody was something else. I’ll admit, I had a huge crush on him. He was sweet, and talented, and not to mention devastatingly handsome. Cody and I worked together on projects throughout the semester, and I loved every second that I spent with him. It was amazing to watch him play the guitar. He was so passionate about his music and it was always inspiring. I loved just sitting and talking with him as well.
Cody and Greg had graduated at the end of my grade 11 year, after taking a second grade 12 year. I hadn’ t seen them around very often, but they stopped by the school to say hi every once in a while.
In my grade 12 music class, I had the opportunity to get to know Cody’s younger brother Dustin, who is the same age as I am. He, like his brother, was very passionate about his music. I enjoyed working with Dustin.
I left school that day feeling helpless. I wanted to do something that would make everything better, but I couldn’t. I was worried about Dustin. There was nothing I could say that would take everything away. I was trapped. It was like I was watching everything happen around me, but could not lift a finger to affect anything. This was the beginning of my suffering. The only thing I could do was pray. So that’s what I did. I prayed with every spare moment and breath I had. I left it in God’s hands.
Two weeks went by, and Leadership Camp came and went. Things started to get more and more busy with the musical, as I had the lead role. I wanted to go and see Cody in the hospital. It hurt to picture him lying in the hospital bed. He had been in a coma since the accident. There were some things that I needed to say; like how much he had affected my life by just existing.
 I never seemed to have time. “I’ll go when the play is done; that’s only one more week,” I decided. The doctors had been saying that Cody’s condition was improving. I knew I still had time.

On May 21st, 2010, I went to go see Taylor Swift in concert. It was one of the best nights that I had had in a long time. My friend Jon had gotten me the tickets for Christmas. There we sat, listening to our favourite artist perform. All of the stress of school, the play, and Cody melted away. I was euphoric.
Jon and I were on the highway to get home, when my cell phone buzzed. There it was, in black and white: Cody DeNoble died today. It was my friend Rachael, who had also gone to school with Cody (they were in the same year) texting me the news.
I’m not sure how to describe how I felt at that moment. Pain crept through my body, devouring any sense of happiness that I had ever felt. My throat ached and my eyes burned. Once the tears came, I couldn’t stop them.
I cried for the entire car ride home. Jon did his best to talk to me about it. What can you say? There isn’t anything that will take away the feeling of loss.
We went to my friend Ginessa’s house to hang out with our friends. I pretended nothing was wrong. I went on as though everything was fine. It helped to try to not think of Cody for a while. I can only imagine that I was still in denial that he had died; stage one of the grief cycle.
When we studied the story of Job in class, I immediately thought of how I felt when I woke up the morning of the concert. Why, God?  Why did you take Cody away from me? I was angry. I was heartbroken. I felt guilty. He never knew how much he meant to me, or how much I cared about him. Had I done enough to share my faith with him? I didn’t understand. However, the question of God being good and all-powerful that Harold Kushner presents when analyzing the story of Job never came to my mind. I knew that God had a perfect plan, and somehow, Cody passing away fit into that perfect plan. It wasn’t up to me to understand. I’m only human and cannot comprehend the greatness of God to its full extent.
The following Tuesday was the visitation. Walking into that room gave me a sense of finality. Everywhere I turned, someone was in tears, or hugging someone else. Dustin and his parents were so brave. I wished I could hold it together for their sake.
The next morning was my first show of the musical. The other music students and I decided to dedicate our performance to Cody. I knew that would be what he would want. I wanted to make him proud.
I took my bow, and then ran off stage, got out of costume, and headed out to the funeral. I arrived just in time to hear the sermon. Listening to his encouraging words, I started to feel better. I sat quietly in my seat and closed my eyes. Without speaking, I asked God for peace, and peace came. It washed over me like a tsunami. I still felt sad, but I wasn’t suffering anymore. When I surrendered my pain to God, he took it and gave me understanding. I now understood that there was something to be learned from the experience.  2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” (NIV) This verse has been a great encouragement to me, and I believe that it explains what I felt that day at the funeral perfectly.
Dr. Ross explained four meanings of suffering in Lecture 4, Theodicy arising from the Book of Job. The two meanings that explain my suffering best are instructional, and transformative.
Instructional applies to my suffering because I learned things from experiencing the suffering. I learned that you should always say what you need to say, because you never know when the chance may be taken away from you. I also learned that you should always live as though you’ll die tomorrow because we are human and do not know God’s plan and do not know when our time will come. Since having this experience, I make a point of telling the people I care about that I love them, so I will never again have to live with the pain of not being able to tell someone that I love them. I also learned about the power of prayer. Greg was not supposed to live, and even if he did, the doctors said that he would never be able to play guitar again, he may never be able to walk or talk properly, and would probably be in a diaper for the rest of his life. However, through God’s healing, Greg is alive and well, and fully functioning. It is a miracle. Although my faith was a little shaken because Cody had passed, I was reminded of how amazing God is when I received the news that Greg had woken out of the coma that was supposed to be his deathbed.
Transformative is another great way to explain my suffering. My world-view has been completely changed by this experience. I live every day to the fullest, and my faith has been greatly enhanced because of the miracles that God brought out of the tragedy. My God is bigger, and my God is stronger. I can use this experience to tell others about God. I am called to be a pastor, and I know that suffering is God’s way of perfecting me for His purpose. This experience will help me teach others about surrendering their suffering.
Cody’s parents decided to start a music scholarship in Cody’s name that will be awarded every year to a student at my high school who is planning on going to post-secondary for music. I love this idea. This is the perfect way to remember Cody. He will always be remembered through music. This passed June, the music department planned a benefit concert to raise money for the scholarship fund, and they are planning on making it an annual event. I hope that I will be able to be involved with the concert every year, as my way of remembering Cody.
I’ll remember Cody every time I pick up my guitar, and he’ll always remain a part of me.

Works Cited
Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. 1st ed. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2004. Print.

Richards, Larry, and Sue Poorman. Richards. "2 Corinthians 12:9." Teen Study Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1998. Print.

Ross, Christopher. "Theodicy arising from the Book of Job." Lecture 4 - RE 104. Wilfrid Laurier University, 23/09/2010. Lecture.

Again, please comment or email me with questions or suggestions! And please... Wear a seatbelt.
Love Always,
Emma Cate