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Poem: Carlie


We are all products of our experiences as children. I was asked by my coach a few years ago if I could get my Father to describe me as a child in one sentence or less. My father described me as “the most courageous little boy I ever knew, and the most vulnerable; both at the same time”~a paradox. This process inspired a search for the little boy inside of me, named Carlie.


Where did Carlie go, did he disappear?

As I stop and remember those long lost years.

Holding hands, gumboots traipsing puddles; mesmerized

I would have stared at your reflection

if I knew it was our last moment together

Salt and peppershaker in hand for a birthday suprize

Grandma would soon see our accomplishments of the day

The only grandfather I knew

The hushed sounds, the whispers, something was wrong

the untalking was profound

The story of the sunlight blinding your eyes, the truck, the accident,

my grandfather disappeared

Talking late into the night; your life lesson stuck to me like a permanent scar

“Tell people you love them, the moment you know it, as time is unforgiving” you said

You were the love of my life, my rock, and my grandma

The one who protected me from a world not ready

When you saw me leave, you called my name

We had so many stories to tell, I needed so much more of your wisdom

Did you know you were dying, did you forget to say goodbye?

Was “Carlie, I love you,” the last words you wanted me to hear?

Did you not think you broke my heart?

Was I the chosen one to find your lifeless body?

I’ve been searching for you the remainder of my life

Why did you leave me so alone in this cruel world?

Or was it perfect timing, to ease your suffering?

Did you open up a space for me to flourish?

Was there not room for both of us, with our strong, surviving ways?

You didn’t tell me

Winds blowing, stars lighting the sky, laying on the dock

Wondering about you, are you out there; was this gods plan?

Was your hand always holding mine?

Were your arms always around me?

Did I forget to look within me?

I want to be found for a day, a week maybe a moment or two,

As the little boy named Carlie, will keep me eternally connected to you

Carl Meadows

March 18, 2013

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I was born in Prince Rupert, BC and I grew up in Port Coquitlam, BC within metro Vancouver. I was a non-conventional boy winning awards for choreography, dance, and led many school performance numbers before grade 6. I also competed as a figure skater and was notorious for doing cart wheels on the ice. I was bullied all through my school years and ended up going to 3 different High Schools and didn't graduate as a result. This was the era of no Gay Rights in Canada. I struggled with visibility, identity and self-esteem. I am one of the lucky survivors as most of my friends died of AIDS or committed suicide. I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1993 and it was the proudest achievement in my life. It taught me that despite hardships, I could overcome insurmountable challenges. I am committed to making the world more compassionate and doing my part by celebrating LGBTQ contributions to the world. In 2014 I responded to a call to sponsor two Syrian Gay refugees to come to Canada. This launched the beginning of a national Charity called the Rainbow Foundation of Hope. I was the founding President. n my professional life, I am a Registered Nurse and a Healthcare Executive. I live with my husband and our dog Rocky in Penticton BC

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