A Community Care Supporter's Story - Catherine Gourdier
May 10th, 2022
'Since we bought our lake house in the summer of 2006, I’ve been supporting Community Care in Apsley. I remember seeing a poster at the "IGA" promoting a "Walkathon" fundraiser. I hadn't done a walkathon since the 27-mile (43.4 km) 'Miles for Millions' walks in the 1970s!
The Community Care walkathon, much to the delight of the walkers, was a mere 4km. There were only about eight or nine of us walking for the three years that I participated, but it was always an enjoyable event and a good opportunity to meet local residents while supporting a worthy cause.
When the walkathons ceased I continued to make annual donations, I contribute items regularly to the Thrift Shop. Over the years, I've purchased Canada Day t-shirts, glassware, books, and shawls. Sometimes you can find a used item that's a real gem!'
The eldest of eight, I was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. When I was 18 years old, I moved to Toronto to attend Seneca College. After 16 successful years in sales and marketing, I made my 'dream' career change to the film and television industry, working as an assistant director, producer, writer and occasionally as an actor. A favourite gig was working as the Rehearsal Manager for 'Chicago', scheduling the song and dance rehearsals for the celebrity cast. In 2004, I wrote and produced a film, entitled Some Things That Stay, based on the bestseller by Sarah Willis. Working in the film industry and happily married to my producer husband, life was good. Until it wasn't.
In the fall of 2009, my large immediate family were happily gathering for our youngest sister's surprise horror-themed birthday party, when, moments before the party was to begin we received devastating news. While walking home from church that evening, my mother and sister had been struck by a car and succumbed to their injuries. Several weeks later my father died of what I believe was a broken heart.
The following spring, still reeling from my losses, I sat in my comfy cottage chair at the lake and began unloading my pain- by writing about my journey through and beyond grief. No one was more surprised than I when HarperCollins offered to publish my story. In May 2021, my book, Breathe Cry Breathe -From Sorrow to Strength in the Aftermath of Sudden, Tragic Loss, was released.
Some friends dealing with the decline of their parents' health would say to me, 'You know how it is,’ (driving them to doctor appointments, cooking for them, etc.) No, I didn't know. My parents died before they needed elderly care. One thing I know for certain is that my parents would have wanted to stay in their home as long as possible.
By supporting Community Care we all can help give the elderly in our district the opportunity to live their final years in the comfort of their own homes. It gives me great pleasure to contribute to such an open-hearted and friendly community of residents.