I will start by saying that I always wanted to be famous. No seriously. Doesn’t everyone truly deep down in their heart, when they are being honest?

When I was young I wrote poems. The deep and dark kind of ones, that speak to a tortured soul and more often than not, the hormonal fluctuations of a moody teenager. You know the kind. Heck, you might even be living with one at this time. If you are, I feel for you. Really.

I was not a good writer. I was just good at getting my feelings out on paper. I also found out that I was tone deaf, could not sing or play an instrument and I couldn’t draw a picture if my life depended on it. You’d think I’d have just stuck with sports, the thing I was good at. But no. I joined all the school choirs, tried my hand at the violin, and wondered why the music teacher always put me in the middle and would signal for me to play or sing more ‘softly.’

I matured and with that came the realization that I was just not artistic  and I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. But I learned to talk and communicate and I found I was very good at it. I learned to tell my life from a comical stand point, and people enjoyed the stories. I found I could laugh at myself and predicaments and that I really sometimes can see the world very differently. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was creatively looking at my life.

A friend of mine died. Well, truthfully, she was murdered.  It was back in 1986 at a time when there were no guns and shootings in Toronto. The news was still in print and it made the second page, as did the subsequent trial a year later. In my grief, I only knew I wanted to immortalize my friend, to write something to honour her. Somehow, it seemed, her death wouldn’t have been for naught.

I never did it. Never wrote anything. Tried a few times, but “I’m not creative. I’m  not a writer, ” I’d tell myself. But it has always been there, at the back of my mind, almost like an unfulfilled promise. I think that was the initial impetus for me to think about blogging and it seemed easy to start after bringing photography into my life.

So, I may not be famous. I may never do anything that leaves a legacy behind. I may be the only one, besides my Mom who ever reads this blog. And the only reason she reads it is to see if and what I might be saying about her out in public lol. But today I am going to fulfil a silent promise I made to myself as a young and grieving person.

Margaret Bystriansky was murdered by her estranged common-law partner. She was only 42 years old and she left behind two beautiful children, Jacqueline (10 years old) and Jason (12 years old.) Her mother, Jessie Henderson and her partner Wally Thompson raised them in her absence. The family was devastated. She was my best friend. She picked me up during the worst time in my life and told me, showed me, and taught me that I have worth and am a lovable person. I was destroyed when she passed and she shall be forever missed. I have healed as much as one can from this. I visit her grave, where she is no longer alone. Sadly, she is joined by her mother Jessie and her child Jackie, who was only 35 years old when she died. I wish all the peace to Marg’s son, Jason,  whom I have not seen since. He has settled and teaches in Chicago. May we all rest in peace.

Graqve marker
Margaret (Henderson) Bystriansky, Jessie Henderson and Jacqueline Bystriansky.

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