Young mom spreads kindness through painted rocks
COLWOOD -- Emily's relationship with rocks changed after her baby stopped breathing and was rushed to the pediatric intensive care unit. "It was the hardest time," she recalls. "You're just there for your son and that's all you can really do."
Her three-month-old spent two weeks in hospital. After he recovered, Emily was inspired. "I really tried to put the love back out," she says. "Because those doctors saved my son at the time."
She started painting rocks with messages of gratitude on the back and hiding them around the hospital for the staff to find. "There is so much they do for us every single day," Emily says. "They're very rarely thanked enough for it."
Emily also places rocks at road construction sites on Sunday nights, so workers can start their Monday mornings feeling appreciated. She shows me a rock with a bright yellow excavator painted on the front. On the back she's written a message about how thankful she is they work so hard in the heat or rain. "It's easy to forget to give a simple thank you."
Emily says she's placed countless hundreds of rocks all over the city. They usually include an invitation for people who find them to post pictures on the 'Victoria Kindness Rocks' Facebook page. The page includes pictures of rocks ranging from double-double thanks (a painting of a Tim Hortons storefront) to don't-ever-ever give-up (a butterfly unfurling its wings to recognize Suicide Prevention Day).
"Depression is something that hits almost everybody at one time or another in their life," she says.
Emily knows that all too well. Her relationship with rocks started, when she wanted her life to be finished. "I was really down and out," Emily says.
She was a teenager, struggling with depression, and just happened to look down and notice a message written on a rock. It said, 'don't ever give-up on yourself'.
"I just got such shivers down my spine. I couldn’t believe that I had found it," she recalls. "It was like it was really meant to be."
It was a profound message of hope for Emily, that she is now striving to reciprocate. To remind you, as her rocks say, 'your story isn't over' and 'it does get better.'
"There's so much to live for," she smiles. "Sometimes you just need a little reminder of something positive in your life that you're not expecting."