Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Go, Doreen!

I was so excited to read this great piece by Doreen Haddad, Kelly-Anne's mother. 

Head on over and read it... Side note... Kelly-Anne loved CBC. 



Saturday, October 03, 2020

When I learned Kelly-Anne had been stabbed and was in the hospital in early October 2004, my legs went out from under me as I sunk to the floor. Things only got worse as I realized she was brain dead and wouldn't recover.  

I thought that I'd never get through it at the time. That none of us would get through it. The grief was just so overwhelming and all encompassing. When your best friend is murdered at 24, it changes your perspective forever. 

Time has marched on, and every year the first days of October sneak up on me, bringing a fresh wave of grief as I remember all that was lost that day so many years ago.  

This year, I want to give a shout out to the Concordia Stingers, who have chosen to honor Kelly-Anne's memory as they always do, with the Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup (with a virtual twist courtesy of COVID). 

These young women were just little girls when Kelly-Anne lost her life.  They didn't know her personally.  But they still try to get her story out there. And they are inspired by her legacy more than 20 years ago on her team. This year they've even produced a video explaining what they are up to.  And frankly, that's the kind of thing Kell would have done, which makes it all the sweeter.  

You can watch the full video on Facebook here.  

Thank you to the Concordia Women's Rugby team for keeping Kelly-Anne's memory alive so many years later.

Thursday, October 03, 2019


A decade and a half has passed since the day Martin Morin-Cousineau took Kelly-Anne Drummond's life.  In one final act of violence, he stabbed her in the head with a steak knife, effectively rendering her brain dead.  She was removed from life support on October 5 and died shortly thereafter.

She was 24.

So many good things have happened over the past 15 years, for all of us.  But the shadow of Kell's tragic death is a a haunting specter that looms large.  She is still missed by those who loved her.  And she missed out on experiencing so much that I know would have brought her great joy.  Weddings, babies, careers, sporting achievements, and many other milestones.

I think of Kelly-Anne all the time. I wonder what she'd be doing. I talk about her too.  It's a little uncomfortable to bring up such a tragic event from so long ago with people who didn't know her, but I often feel compelled.  I like to say her name. 

No one is guaranteed a tomorrow.  That is a cruel reality of life.  Losing Kelly-Anne so tragically at such a young age was a formative experience for me.  I try to remember that I don't know how many tomorrows God will give me and to live each day like I would if it was my last.

I don't always succeed.  I have some regrets.  But mostly I've tried to work hard, do something that matters, be principled, love those around me, and be loyal.  These are things that I know she would love.

I think, too, about forgiveness. 

I might be thinking more of forgiveness because I watched the trial and conviction this week of Amber Guyger, the Dallas police officer who entered the wrong apartment and tragically shot to death Botham Jean, an innocent, unarmed man sitting in his own home. Completely terrible, tragic, and senseless.  So many things went wrong for this police officer to not realize she entered the WRONG apartment and then kill the person sitting there.  Horrendous, to say the least.

But take a look at what Botham Jean's brother, Brandt, shared during his victim impact statement. 

Would you be able to express this kind of love and compassion for someone who shot and killed your beloved brother for no reason?  I certainly could not have. But it is clear that the murderer made a tragic, inexplicable mistake and for which she has expressed shame and remorse.  She has said repeatedly she wishes it was her who was killed that day. 

To my knowledge, Morin-Cousineau still denies responsibility for Kelly-Anne's murder.  He has never expressed remorse or asked for forgiveness.  I find that so sad.  How could you be unrepentant for 15 years?  Is he so troubled as to be unable to accept responsibility for his actions, even as he pays his debt to society?  He appealed his conviction.  That appeal was denied.  Yet, he still denies responsibility. 

There should be a very high price for what he did.  He took the life of a vibrant, innocent 24 year old in cold blood.  The price for that crime should be life imprisonment.  Instead he is already eligible for parole.  He doesn't deserve the chance to harm anyone else--now or ever. 

At Martin's last parole hearing, the commissioner of the parole board asked him "what would Kelly-Anne say if she were here?" His tone-deaf response was "I hope she would say good things about me."  Kelly-Anne was indeed a loving person.  She believed in giving people the benefit of doubt.  She was trusting.  She would turn the other cheek.  But she did not expect to have her life taken from her on October 3, 2004, by a man who professed to love her. And she would not hesitate to say that he should not be given the chance to harm anyone else. 

I do not wish the man who killed Kelly-Anne ill.  I hope he rebuilds his life, to the extent possible from behind bars, and seeks treatment for the violence and anger problems that caused him to harm Kelly-Anne in the first place.  After she was murdered, her family and I heard from a number of people who had experienced anger problems and violence from this man.  While I don't believe he can be trusted to be in society again, I hope he finds peace, seeks forgiveness, and develops a real relationship with God. 

It won't, of course, bring back Kelly-Anne. But maybe it would bring a little more peace for those who loved her.

Rest in peace, Kelly-Anne.  You are never forgotten.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Kell and I went through school together--from kindergarten through high school.  Strangely, we were only in the same class once.  Third grade.  It was a memorable year. 

I can remember when Kell and I were little, pouring over our parents' dusty yearbooks.  We read the messages and looked at the photos and found it all hilarious.  Kell decided then that once we got to high school she would write messages in our yearbooks for our kids.  It was pretty goofy, but something I'm enormously happy she did now. 

I was home recently and decided to pull out my own dusty yearbooks.  I was so happy to see Kell's messages.  Here is the one she wrote in our final yearbook, complete with colorful illustrations.  

She had so many hopes and dreams.  Travel, career, love, children.  So optimistic about the future.  "If I move away, just look for me on  TV or on the radio or in the newspaper."  That was classic Kelly-Anne.

Thanks for being the best friend I ever had, Kell.  I miss you. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


This is a sad week for all of us who knew and loved Kelly-Anne.  When the calendar turns to October, we our forced to confront the reality of what happened this week 12 years ago when Kelly-Anne was taken from us. 

The reality is, we all still miss her every day.  But we still find a way to find joy in our lives.  Which is what Kelly-Anne would want. 

And we see things that remind us of Kell on a daily basis.  A beautiful ocean.  A group of girls playing rugby.  Concordia University's campus.  A lifeguard.  Someone with beautiful dark curly hair.  Small but significant things that make us smile and remember our dear friend. 

I can't really believe I've been keeping this blog for twelve years and that's how long Kell has been gone.  Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday when I was hanging out with her in Montreal for the last time.  But so much has happened.  She's missed out on so much of our lives.  But, more importantly, she missed out on so much of her own adventure. 

We'll never get the pleasure of seeing how Kell's life turned out, which is a terrible tragedy. But we're grateful for each and every day we got to spend with her during her time on earth.

We love and miss you, Kelly-Anne.  

Monday, October 05, 2015


A darkness falls at this time of year that I never quite anticipate before it arrives. It catches me when I don't expect it. Eating at the edges of my happiness. Crowding out the light. 

The calendar changes to October. I remember what's been lost. The last postcard. The last phone call. The last visit. The last conversation. The last day. Her last breath. 

Kelly Anne died at 24. She took her last breath on this day eleven years ago. She had a great life but yet never had the chance to do so very much. 

Kelly-Anne was loyal and hardworking. She was funny and adventurous. She was determined and friendly. She was spontaneous and selfless.  She cared about people around her and invested her community. 

She was there for me in good times and bad my whole life. We were neighbors, classmates, best friends.  

I miss her.  

There's a void in my life that only she could fill.  She can never be replaced.  Kelly-Anne brought me joy and adventure for twenty years of friendship.  She was like the sister I never had.  

I wonder sometimes what she'd think of all she has missed.  I'm sure she'd be proud of how we managed and delighted we have tried to keep her memory alive.  I know she'd be OVER THE MOON to be an aunt to beautiful Paige and proud of the woman, wife, and mother Kimmy has become.  

My memories of Kelly-Anne are some of my most treasured.  I laugh sometimes when I think of a silly adventure.  Once in a while I see someone with her amazing curls and I smile.  I catch my breath when a friend says something in the same way she would have.

Oh, and I watch the video we made for her funeral.  It no longer causes me to cry every single time I see it.  Sometimes I can even laugh and smile at the memories.  I watch the end and listen to her voice and see her face light up as she talks about the adventure to Italy just before she died. 

Kell ran a good race.  She fought the good fight.  Her time on this earth was short but she left an indelible impression on those around her.  

Friday, October 03, 2014


Ten years ago today, Kelly-Anne Drummond was murdered.

October 3, 2004, was a day that none of us will ever forget.  For those of us who loved her, it felt like our hearts were ripped from our chests.  Losing someone you love is never easy, but losing someone you love to a preventable violent act committed by someone who supposedly loved her is unbearable. 

In the days and weeks that followed Kell's death there were many times I thought I wouldn't be able to go on. The pain and sorrow I felt were immense.  There was also a sense of guilt.  Each passing minute, hour, day, and year were a reminder of how lucky I was to be alive--and a reminder of Kelly-Anne being gone.

And so, Kelly-Anne is frozen in my mind at age twenty-four.  I didn't have a chance to see how her life would turn out.  Because it was cut so tragically short.  Sometimes I think about the adventures I know we would have had together.  Sometimes I think of who she would have married, how many kids she would have had, and what she would be doing with her career.  Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to have her standing by my side at my wedding, serving as my maid of honor, just like she should have.

I still miss Kelly-Anne as much today as I did ten years ago.  But somehow it is different.  The feelings aren't as raw or intense.  But this kind of tragedy sure can help you figure out who your real friends are.  Who are the people in your life who would go out of their way for you if you experienced a loss, illness, or other difficulty?  Who are the people in your life who would simply fade away because they were unable (or unwilling) to help?

Perhaps most importantly: What kind of person are you?

Coincidentally, this is my 200th post on this blog.  Thank you all for reading along and helping keep Kelly-Anne's memory alive these past ten years.  The photos, stories, tributes, etc. are much appreciated.

Finally, if you have a moment today, please say a prayer for Kelly-Anne.  And please pray for her family as they mark the tenth anniversary of this tragedy. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Adventure through Travel

I ran across this interesting piece in Thought Catalog about the benefits--and drawbacks--of travel and adventure.  It made me think about Kelly-Anne's San Diego experience.

After completing her coursework for her bachelor's degree, Kell was looking for a change of scenery.  Jobs in her chosen field of communications were hard to come by and things on the home front felt unsettled.  So left Montreal for a few months, traveling to San Diego with her dear friends Caro and Martin to live, work, and adventure.  She loved the experience and had a wonderful time.  While she was there she worked for a catering company, trained for her lifeguarding competitions, and dated a boy she met from England.

All in all, it was a pretty big adventure for Kell!

But then it was time to come home.

And reality came crashing down.  Everything Kell had left behind in Montreal was still exactly how she left.  Jobs in her field still weren't plentiful and things on the home front were not as she had imagined.  Good friends were moving into different stages of life (either in jobs, relationships, or school).  Readjusting to life in her hometown was not easy--I can vividly remember talking to Kell during this time period about how she hoped things would change when she was away and how disappointing she was upon her return.

Eventually, it all settled down and Kell was back into the swing of things.  But I definitely think she would have related to article posted in Thought Catalog.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Circle of Life

Kelly-Anne loved children.  Before her death she was a teacher at a noted preschool on the West Island.  She taught them to swim.  She taught them to learn.  She taught them to adventure.  She taught them to play air guitar.  She taught them to love life.

She loved all kids--big and small--and they loved her just as much.

I think it is safe to say that there's no kid she would have loved more than her beautiful niece, Paige.

Paige pays a visit to Auntie Kell's grave.  Very sad, of course--but but beautiful as well.  Photo courtesy of Paige's mom.

Paige will grow up knowing all about her beloved Aunt Kelly-Anne.  Her mother, Kim, and her grandparents, John and Doreen, will make sure hears about Kell.  I will show her the messages Kell wrote to our future kids in my yearbook.  We will make sure Paige knows what Kell looked like, what she acted like, what she believed in, what motivated her, and how much she would have loved her beautiful little niece.

They'll tell her stories, show her photos, teach her lessons, and honor her memory.  And that's the way it should be.  It is important to speak of the dead.  They should not be forgotten and it is the duty of the living to make sure that is so.

I believe we should also pray for the dead and I have not forgotten Kelly-Anne in my prayers these last ten years.

If you aren't sure how to pray for the dead.  Here's a pretty good start.  From Catholic Online.

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Lovin'

Kell and Kim after and evening of adventuring in Montreal.

Another summer has rolled around and it is hard to believe we've reached 2014--the tenth anniversary of Kell's death.

So much has changed in all of our lives.  And throughout it all we've missed Kelly-Anne.  She would have rejoiced in the good things and mourned the bad things and been there to support her family and many friends.

We've all found ways--big and small--to keep her memory alive.

As we head toward the tenth anniversary of Kell's death, please stay tuned for a series of posts that try to honor her memory in the best way I know how.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Advent reflections

I love Christmas and I love the lead up to it as well.  I love the deep and meaningful scripture readings, the carols and hymns, the decorations, the baking, the gingerbread houses, the purple robes at mass, the advent wreaths and candles.  The list goes on. 

I don't love the business, the commercialism, the stress, or the running around.  But frankly it is a small price to pay for a beautiful season. 
2013 Gingerbread Creations--tree by my mommy and house by me

I wish Kell was here to celebrate Advent with me just like old times.  She'd have been game to decorate a gingerbread house, listen to Christmas music, and get some Christmas baking done anytime.  I bet I'd have even been able to get her to come visit me and do all of those activities. 

Miss you, Auntie Kell!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Livin' on a Prayer...

November 28 is Kelly-Anne’s 34th birthday.  Hard to believe this is the tenth birthday we couldn't celebrate with her in person. 

This year, American Thanksgiving also falls on November 28. The last time this happened was in 2002 when Kell turned 23--check out a small sampling of e-mails between Kell and me that day...
Dear Kelly-Anne,
Happy Birthday, I can't believe you are 23 years old. So OLD!! Just kidding. I am so sorry that I can't be with you today, but I miss you and love you. I hope you have a fun day. I will try and give you a call later today, if you want you can call up here too, I heard you called yesterday actually.  Happy Birthday Keddy! This is the 17th birthday I have celebrated with you!!
Love, Raye  

Hey Raye,
I miss ya. Can you tell. I am calling you all over the USA!
It is okay that you are not here. I am really not doing too much. I am just working from 4-10. It kinda sucks, but I don't mind too much.
This weekend I will be shooting the documentary, so I will be occupied, but Monday I will be able to chill with you the whole day.
That is all for now...
Love Keddy--the older one now!

I’m celebrating both of these occasions with family and friends in the States.  If Kell were alive, I’m pretty sure she’d be with us.  She’d have found a way to join this celebration. 

But, since she couldn’t be here in person, I had to find a way to celebrate.  And I’m pretty sure I’ll never top this…

We brought down the house with a rousing karaoke rendition of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer.  And, it wasn’t just any old guy singing with me.  It was Alex Barbieri the lead singer from 1 Wild Night, the NYC area’s premier Bon Jovi Tribute Band.

I introduced Alex for the song and I told everyone that it was my best friend’s birthday and although she couldn’t be here in person, I was pretty confident that there’s nothing she would have loved better than us singing “Livin’ on a Prayer,” one of her very favorite songs from her favorite band, in her honor. 

I love and miss you, Kell.  Happy birthday. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Welcoming Paige as a part of God's Holy Church!

Nine years ago on Thanksgiving weekend we buried Kelly-Anne.  Not a day has gone by since that we haven’t thought about her and missed her.  Kell’s funeral was officiated by Rev. Canon Joyce Sanchez, a longtime family friend of the Drummond family.  It was a sad, sad day and it left an indelible mark on all of us, but Joyce did a wonderful job with a difficult situation, somehow leaving us with the hope of a risen Savior. 

Today, nine years later, we celebrated another important Drummond family milestone on Thanksgiving weekend.  We celebrated new life in the baptism of Kim’s beautiful baby, Paige Heather.  The service was once again officiated by Rev. Joyce Sanchez.  She once again did a wonderful job on this happiest of occasions.  The New Testament scripture—Philippians 4:4–9—was especially befitting for today’s occasion.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Paige wore a lovely custom designed baptismal gown.  And she wore her Aunt Kelly-Anne’s gold cross around her neck. 

It was a joy to celebrate with Kim and Joe and to meet Paige for the first time.  She’s a beautiful girl—alert, bright, well mannered, and inquisitive.  She has brought a lot of well-deserved joy to the Drummond family.  I’ve never seen Doreen, John, or Kim looking happier. 

Paige, may God grant you a long and healthy life full of love.  May you come to know our faithful and loving God and trust in Him to direct your paths and meet your needs.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Nine years

Kelly-Anne was attacked nine years ago today.  Nine years ago someone who supposedly loved her robbed her of her future.  So many others were robbed that day too.  Kelly-Anne's parents, John and Doreen, were robbed of their beloved daughter. Kim, Kelly-Anne's sister, was robbed of her closest confidant and best friend.  Kell's many friends were robbed of their trusted sidekick, adventuring buddy, and teammate.  The world was robbed of a truly good person.  

Nine years.  Or--if you are counting--3,827 days.  

Those 3,827 days have been filled with beautiful memories of Kelly-Anne.  Amazing tributes.  But those memories can't bring her back.  They can only console those of us who remain.  And frankly some days they aren't all that much consolation.  

But we've managed.  Somehow.  Everyone who knew and loved Kelly-Anne put one foot in front of the other and went on.  Because that's what she would have wanted.  Because we couldn't allow this heinous act to destroy any more than it already had.  

And so we've done our best to keep Kelly-Anne with us.  I've got a photo over my desk that reminds me of her every day.  But I don't need that physical reminder.  Because the 20+ years I spent with her as my best friend will stay with me forever.  That's the kind of thing you don't forget no matter what.  

And as long as I'm alive I'll do my part to tell others about Kelly-Anne. About her joie de vivre and her can-do spirit.  About her love of adventure and travel.  About her amazing, amazing curly hair.  About her commitment to athletics.  About her determination and grit.  About how she pushed herself and never gave up.  About how she loved and was loved.  

And I'll never stop telling anyone who will listen about how quickly situations can spiral out of control.  About how volatile people can snap in an instant.  About how the last thing you would have ever expected was for someone as strong willed and confident as Kelly-Anne to end up trapped in an abusive relationship with a violent man.  About how to this day, nine years later, I can't believe Kelly-Anne didn't leave before that fateful night on October 3, 2004.  And about how Kelly-Anne deserved so much more than to be murdered in the blink of an eye. 

I do this because its the only thing I can do.  And because I think its what Kelly-Anne would want.  I hope one day it makes a difference to someone in a similar situation.  I bet it already has.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Falling into the fall

Another year has gone by and yet again the tragedy of this time of year has snuck up on me like a thief in the night.  Last week I was offhandedly wondering why I felt a bit down in the dumps.  Then I looked at the calendar and remembered.

The last weekend of September.  The beginning of fall.  The changing of the seasons.  All remind me of Kelly-Anne and her untimely death.  Hard to believe it has been nine years already.

Miss you, Kelly-Anne.  Today, tomorrow, always.