Earlier this year, Canada suffered its worst military tragedy in over a decade, when six servicemembers were killed in a helicopter crash.

Every news outlet covered it.

None of them covered the amazing thing that happened afterwards.

A thread.

(it’s about the meaning of love)
On April 29th, six Canadians serving on a @NATO peacekeeping mission were on board a Cyclone helicopter when it crashed into the ocean off the coast of Italy.

All of them were killed.

Among them was Sub-Lt Matthew “Matty” Pyke.
Matty was born in Truro, a small town in Nova Scotia.  It’s a part of Canada famous for its fishing, cold winters, and warm maritime tradition.

Matty played guitar, was a volunteer firefighter, and in the military’s words “As East-Coasters are known for, he loved a good time.”
The crash was a national tragedy.  Canadians woke to images of caskets draped in red and white.  Flags were lowered to half-mast.

The pain cut deep, but there was someone who was hurting the most: 

His fiancée, Helen.

His last message to her was the morning of the crash. 💔
Helen and Matty had known each other for years, before it became romantic.

He was the first to say “I love you.”

It’s the kind of simple, ordinary romance that never makes headlines, but often leads to the best kind of love.

They didn’t plan it.  It just happened.
This is how Helen described their relationship.

It's a single, heartbreaking sentence.
Before deploying, they did what they call a “pre-engagement”

They knew they were getting married and were planning to buy a house.

They didn’t set a date, and like many military spouses/partners, Helen knew she’d have to be strong while he was serving overseas.
If you spend a lot of time with servicemembers, you know it can be rare for them open up emotionally on deployment.  If you admit you’re missing your wife/gf, it can make you look weak.

Not Matty.

He didn’t care. He couldn’t stop talking about Helen.

Everyone knew about her.
During his repatriation, Canadians lined highway overpasses to pay their respects.

For his Navy family though, it was a different grief.

They’d lost a friend and a brother, and it hurt to know Helen would never see him again.

That’s when they decided to do something special.
During his deployment, Matty told everyone he was going to give Helen a ring.

Even the most senior ranking officers on his ship knew about it.

So to honor his life, they made a decision:  They decided they were going to buy the ring in his name.

And guess what?

They did!

This is what it looked like.

For Helen, it was an emotional time.  To lose your loved one, someone you’d known for years in the blink of an eye, can be the most painful thing in the world.  All you want is to know that things will be okay.

The Navy wanted her to know that, too.
For some people, rings are just bling.

But for Canada's Navy family, this was much more.

It was their way of telling her she’s not alone.  That they’ll always be her family.  And that Matty would always be in their hearts.

When I asked her what it meant, this is what she said:
Helen doesn’t have many photos with her wearing it, but she did send me this.

Today, if you walked past her, you’d never know the story behind it – the love, the memories, or the nation filled with gratitude for their sacrifice.

Sometimes a ring can be more than a ring.


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More from @MuhammadLila

15 Jun
BREAKING: New eyewitness video shows Toronto-area police officers repeatedly beating an elderly black couple in their 60's, to point of nearly becoming unconscious.

The couple had just left the hospital.

No charges have been laid.

You can hear the grandmother shrieking in the background as police beat her husband.  He, in turn, screams “murder, murder!"

A hospital official threatens the eyewitness and demands he stop recording. 

He doesn’t.

The officers – both white – repeatedly elbowed and punched the man in the head.  Medical reports show he suffered cuts and bruises on his eyes and back of his head. 

The officers’ defense?  He was reaching for their gun 🤔

(CC @faisalkutty)

Read 10 tweets
24 Mar
In a world filled with so much #Covid19 fear, it's the smallest acts of kindness can have the biggest impact.

I'm about to share a story that can change the world.

Keep reading – and I’ll explain.

It all starts with a single loaf of bread.

A Thread.

(all via @Goodable)
This is Green Blade Bakery, in Klamath Falls, Oregon. 

It’s been a family owned business for thirteen years. They have pastries, cakes, bread, you name it.

It’s kind of place that hits you with a giant whiff of delicious, bakery goodness everytime you open up the front door.
A few days ago, they wanted to do something to help the community.

So they made nine special, discounted loaves of bread for out-of-work hospitality workers. 

All you had to do was walk in, show your ID, and the bread was yours (hungry yet?).

Here’s what happened next.
Read 14 tweets
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A while ago, I posted a story about how random strangers came together to help a little Syrian boy, in a small Canadian town, who dreamt of playing hockey.

Guess what?

It just got better. Here's a Thread - with a heart-warming twist.

(via @Goodable)
First, a recap:  This is Yamen.  He’s 8.

Yamen wanted to play hockey just like his friends, but he didn’t have any equipment.

When a local hockey dad named Michael (@CJPDoyle) found out, he went online and asked if anyone could help.

He had no idea what was about to happen.
The next day, people started leaving equipment at his house. Bags, sticks, you name it.

Soon, strangers started sending money.

Within days, random Canadians had sent enough for Michael to get brand new hockey equipment for Yamen – all for kid they’d never even met.
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18 Jan
Something amazing just happened, and it didn’t make a single headline.

It happened in a place you’ve probably never been, to a family you’ve never met

And it's the best story you'll read.

A Thread.

(Hint: It involves sports, refugees, and what it means to be Canadian.)
This is Yaman.  He’s in Grade Three.  He’s just like any other kid except for one thing:

His family are all Syrian refugees.

No biggie, after all Canada admits a lot of refugees, right?

Wait, keep reading.
When refugees come to Canada, it’s usually a happy time. Your plane touches down to a new life and new beginnings. When Yamen’s family arrived, it was bittersweet.


Because their father never made it out of Syria.

Think about what that does to a family.
Read 22 tweets
9 Jan
I’ve been trying to put into words how big a tragedy the Ukraine Airlines crash is for Canada.

To say it’s huge or massive just isn’t enough.

So forget the details.

Here’s what it FEELS like – in communities across the country.

[A Thread]
In the morning, I learned a family friend had passed away. My parents had known him for decades.

When I WhatsApp’d my mom to tell her, this is what she replied.

(ilwil is an abbreviation for “to God do we belong and to him we return” – Muslims say it when someone passes away)
Around 9am, my son went to school.

When he got there, the admin announced one of his schoolmates was on board. Students were in tears. They made counselors available.

Today, the flag at school is flying at half-mast.

He was only 18.
Read 10 tweets
31 Oct 19
Every once in a while, you come across a story so touching that it needs more than just a tweet.

This is one of them.

A thread.

[Hint: It’s about a kid, a hospital, and Canadians doing Canadian things]

@Goodable This is 9-year old Carter Dery.

He lives with a genetic condition that’s so rare, doctors don’t even have a name for it. By the time he was 9, he’d already had 15 surgeries.

That’s not a typo: Fifteen.

Imagine what that does to a kid.
@Goodable This Halloween, all Carter wanted was to dress up as a football player (that's him in the pic).

For a kid, Halloween can be a great equalizer. When everyone’s wearing a costume, no one knows that you’re different.

But suddenly, everything changed.

Doctors found another cyst.
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