David’s Boots

My husband, Steve, and I started this blog last January. We wanted it to be a forum for street safety as well as a place where people could open up about the trauma of losing a loved one.

Several weeks ago, Edmonton writer Tim Querengesser spoke of that loss eloquently in his podcast, “Walkcast: Episode 2: How We Talk About Motorists Who Hit Pedestrians.”


The piece had a huge impact on me. I am so tired of hearing media reports about “a car in collision with a pedestrian.”

In fact, what we’re really talking about is a driver hitting a vulnerable human being, often with deadly consequences.

That is what we live with every single day, three-and-a-half years after a driver hit and killed our son, David Finkelman, while he was crossing Whyte Avenue on a green light.

Today, Thursday, September 14th, David would have celebrated his 31st birthday. I am sharing an entry from my personal journal, written a year ago, when David was about to turn 30.

Not much has changed since then.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016:

I have been frozen for weeks. Unable to write more than a handful of words.

It began with your boots. The shiny, black leather boots that laced up to your ankles. You were fastidious with those boots, always polishing them, buffing them, to a high luster.

You had them on the day you were killed. The police returned them to us in a hospital-issue plastic bag. Continue reading “David’s Boots”

Clare’s Story

Part of the reason we started our blog was to give voice to others who have lost loved ones. The following was submitted by Mary Riley in memory of her daughter, Clare.

On June 30th 2013, our daughter Clare Ann Riley Patershuk was killed by a drunk driver.

Clare was 26 years old and earlier in the month had been granted a Masters degree in Educational Psychology from the U.of A.

Clare and Calvin

There are so many things we want you to know about her. She was loving, intelligent, beautiful, wise, caring and funny. She painted and drew. She loved animals, particularly horses, and spent a lot of her leisure time on the back of a horse. She was the daughter we longed for, the daughter we loved so much.

Continue reading “Clare’s Story”

Don’t have a cow over photo radar

This photograph was featured prominently in the Edmonton Journal.

At first glance, it looks harmless enough: A little girl and a man standing by the side of a snowy road. The man appears to be waving and the girl is holding up a large cardboard cut-out of a cow.

But look closer and you see the word, “Radar” printed across the cow’s body.

The man  is Jack Shultz, Edmonton’s infamous photo radar denier, warning motorists of a nearby photo radar location. The cow, of course, is a tool to trumpet (or perhaps moo) Mr. Shultz’s oft-repeated message that photo radar is a cash cow, the city’s way of lining its coffers.

For some reason, Mr. Shultz feels it’s his duty to inform the masses of the wrongs he believes are being perpetrated upon them by photo radar. He insists enforcement of the practice doesn’t work. He says there is no evidence showing it slows drivers down.

Mr. Shultz is wrong.

Continue reading “Don’t have a cow over photo radar”

The Snow Queen and I share a most precious possession

The Snow Queen swept through Edmonton overnight, riding in on the north wind to claim the city as her own polar realm.

Ice crystals, like the broken pieces of a thousand mirrors, glint under street lamps. Tree branches bow beneath a layer of hoarfrost. My breath bursts from my body in puffy white clouds, before vanishing into the early morning blackness.

A winter wonderland, some might call it. Not me. That description is far too benign for the Snow Queen’s handiwork. Continue reading “The Snow Queen and I share a most precious possession”