Photoshoot2010 321

Boxing Day 2014.

The 10 year memorial for the 2004 Tsunami that hit Asia and changed my family’s perspective, and my career goal in music, forever.

Through the Canadian Christian Children’s Fund we were able to reach our foster son, Ishan, with letters and pictures a couple of times a year.

But that Christmas we real-eyes’d

that we all had


We needed for nothing.

We wanted to do more this particular year.

So my children and I packed up a box of pillows, blankets and gifts-to-give for Ishan, and his family, for Christmas.

We were so excited!

I’ll never forget the fun we had as a family filling that box as full as we could!

I’ll never forget the look of pride and anticipation on my children’s faces as we mailed it to him.

All the way to Sri Lanka from Edson, Alberta, Canada!


Then we heard about the Tsunami.


We were devastated!


He was only 5 with a baby sister!

He and his family had become a big part of our lives.

We were as frightened for them as we would have been for any one of our own family!

I called the CCCF several times.

All they could tell us was that their compound was destroyed and that many were evacuated, but no one could tell us about Ishan nor his family.

Everything was in complete disarray!


We waited.


And we waited.



one February afternoon,

we received a letter from Ishan’s Mother, translated for us, and included in the envelope.


They were all okay!!!


She wrote in beautiful script how very sorry she was that in all the chaos of the tsunami they had lost the picture of us that we had sent to them in a previous letter.

She was so grateful for our gifts that found them in perfect time sequence, despite the odds!


She described the children;

How the baby sister was sick, but thanks to us they had medical care.

How she herself suffered shock from the trauma they had to endure.

How Ishan was doing in school once again and how proud they were of him.

She wrote that he was always late for school because he would stop in all the gardens that he walked by and pick flowers for his teacher so that she would not be angry with him for being late.

She could not be angry with him.

But it only made sense that HE was to play the ‘Flower’ in the school play they had.

“And he played it so well” she said, “that everyone told him that he WAS a flower!”


Inside the letter was a picture that he drew for us.

An array of flower petals.

I keep it with me in my songbook where ever I sing!

He is constantly present with me to remind me of my gifts, and the blessings that support my use of them.


A few years later my foster care was no longer needed.

Through the years of our support, Ishan’s father was able to get work in a nearby city.

They could be independant and they were so grateful for the gift of our giving!


I was moved by her letter.


From it I was inspired to write my song, ‘Ishan’s Garden‘.


It feeds me!

It encourages me!

It reminds me to stop and smell the flowers,

to love what I DO have, even when it’s very little,

to appreciate the simple things in life,

to honor my gifts and talents by living them,


to feed one another,

be it through seed

or through deed.


Let us always, all ways, feed one another.


You can listen to ‘Ishan’s Garden‘ by Clicking on the flower below;

the beautiful, edible nasturtium seen here from my own garden.

I plant them every year to remind me of Ishan and his family.


With Love beyond measure,

Colleen Songs


The Shop at…Books and Music