How Anova has impacted my life goes beyond a simple explanation: I believe life offers us all a paradox of experience; how, when, why and where things will turn out will be of our own decision making process. Each one of us will walk our own path. While on this path, the journey will be lighter when those who walk with us are brave.

During a counselling session 14 years ago, my amazing counsellor shared with me a resource that would change my life forever. She introduced me to Anova, what was then, Women’s Community House.

Coming from a dysfunctional childhood of sexual, physical, emotional and psychological abuse, generational poverty, foster homes, homelessness, abusing alcohol as a teen and experiencing several abusive relationships, there came a time in my life when my body and mind just couldn’t do it anymore.

I had lost one son to a genetic abnormality, but was blessed to have three beautiful children to nurture and keep safe. The one thing that kept running through my mind over and over was the circle of abuse has to end with me. I knew in my mind when I left my relationship and moved into a shelter, both my life and the lives of my children would change. How that change would happen is and continues to even surprise me to this day.

Since then I’ve earned two college degrees and been a passionate community collaborative volunteer supporting many different non-profit organizations throughout the City of London. One of my favorites is serving, cleaning tables and dishwashing for Hospitality Meals.

My eldest daughter was just accepted for her Master’s Degree in Calgary, my youngest daughter is registered for Police Foundations at Fanshawe College and my son has just recently surprised me by showing interest in studying Divinity. I am at my Dojo three nights a week as a brown belt working hard to reach black in Shotokan Karate. My most favorite time spent is sharing the love with my two beautiful grandsons.

I now work with a team of courageous women who assist women who are experiencing homelessness and involved in street level sex work to secure permanent housing.

What Anova has supported, advocated, educated and encouraged was how to come out of the shadows: How to be brave, how to love myself, feel worthy and become vulnerable to reach goals and dreams I never thought possible. I now embrace the light and refuse to stay silent when my integrity nudges for honouring truth whatever it may look like today, tomorrow and in my old age.

In every aspect of my life I try to plant seeds of hope, courage, creativity and bravery and I would like to say Thank you to Anova for entering my world and impacting it in the most meaningful of ways!

- Wendy

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