On hearing that thousands of people around the world read my blogs, people often ask if anyone responds. "Do you think you are changing anything?" "Does anyone comment?" "Does anyone really care about injustice?"
I don't write expecting anyone to comment. If anyone does, it doesn't alter what I write. You see, I am not responsible for what anyone else says or thinks or does. I am only responsible for what I do. My mission is to report important information from many sources around the world and to present my views and share my experience.
My responsibility is to report truth and encourage justice.
In the 1980's, my husband, Cliff Carter, was playing at the Abacus Lounge in the Montreal suburb of Dollard des Ormeaux. Cliff was a talented pianist and a beautiful singer. He was a gentleman, a gentle man, and my sweetheart. He was Mr. Nostalgia. http://cliffcartermrnostalgia.blogspot.com.
In the evening, I would join Cliff at the baby grand piano and sing love songs for him. The audience probably thought I was singing for them but I never did. I always sang for Cliff.
One evening, when I came into the lounge, two well dressed men were at the piano listening to Cliff. I was surprised when they told me they had not planned to stay so long, but they had been talking with Cliff and he told them about me. They knew who I was. They had read many of my letters in the newspapers and they stayed because they wanted to meet me.
I learned that one man was a judge and his friend, a tax lawyer. They wanted to talk to me because it had been quite some time since they had last seen any letters from me in the newspapers.
"Why have you stopped writing?" they asked.
"Because, after all the years of writing letters and seeing them published, I felt I was just going around in circles. Hundreds of my Letters to the Editors of the Herald, the Montreal Star, the Gazette, the Lakeshore News and Chronicle, the North Shore News, the NDG Monitor and the Suburban had been published, but nothing seemed to change.
I told the two visitors that I was just knocking my head against stone walls -bureaucracy, irresponsible people in power, corruption. I was pleading for justice in all sorts of situations, but nothing changed. I stopped sending letters to the newspapers. My life was focused on my husband and our beautiful music.
That was when the two strangers opened my eyes.
"Do you realize who reads your letters, Mrs. Carter? Lawyers, judges, politicians. Your letters are important. You have to start writing again," they insisted.
And so I did.
In 1992, my beloved husband died, a few days before his 90th birthday, and my life stopped. Grief and darkness enveloped me. I was widowed, unemployed, homeless and, within a year, deathly ill.
Then, on October 7, 1996, I was attacked and robbed while living with my parents at 4995 Prince of Wales, in N.D.G. in Montreal.
The Montreal Police I called to rescue me, helped the thief instead.
The police took me out of my home and left me in the street without as much as a coat. There was no legal process. The Dawn McSweeney Crime Case -http://dawnmcsweeney.blogspot.com.
I found a tiny apartment and slept on a small mat on the floor for years. I had only the clothes in my back and my old Pontiac. I was erased from life. Friends kept me alive.
A decade passed. I was in limbo and fighting cancer, fighting for my life.
Then the computer age caught up with me and, in time, I learned how to blog. The world opened to me.
In the past, I had struggled to write my articles by hand and on a typewriter, with carbon copies. Erasing, deleting, rewriting. It was tedious, difficult.
Then I had to post the letters and wait to see if the editors would print them. All my work could be in vain.
But with the Internet and blogging, I write day and night. No one tells me what I should write or when I should write. No editor decides whether the people ever get to see what I have to say. People read my blogs in Russia and India, in France and Germany, in Africa and South America, and even in China. Most of my readers are in the United States, including Alaska.
I have no way of knowing if anyone is moved to action by my articles. All I can do is tell the truth and offer my opinion, and hope some good will come of it, somewhere in the world.