Posted by: POWERof52 | August 28, 2015

LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE. THE WORDS ASHLIE PLATEK CARRIED AROUND WITH HER EVERYWHERE SHE WENT.

HER LAUGH IS THE THING I’LL REMEMBER MOST. SHE WAS SO DARN FUNNY EVEN IN HER FINAL HOURS.

‘YOU LIKE MY HAIRDO? DIDN’T TAKE LONG TO DO,” SHE JOKED, LYING ON HER HOSPITAL BED, SPIRIT SHINING BRIGHTER THAN EVER. SHE LOOKED SO INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL IN THE LAST FEW DAYS – NO HAIR, NO MAKEUP – JUST BEAMING WITH PURITY LIKE THE ANGEL THAT SHE WAS.AshlieStrong

THEN ALL TOO RAPIDLY BEFORE OUR EYES, SHE WAS GONE. BUT I WOULDN’T BE DOING ASHLIE JUSTICE IF I DIDN’T TELL YOU HOW HARD SHE FOUGHT IN THOSE FINAL WEEKS, HOW FEROCIOUSLY SHE STARED CANCER IN THE EYES AND SAID ‘BRING IT’! WE CALLED HER OUR WARRIOR PRINCESS BECAUSE SHE REFUSED TO BELIEVE SHE WAS GOING ANYWHERE. BUT ON AUGUST 23RD, SHE TRADED IN HER HIGH HEELS AND DRESSES FOR HER GOLDEN ANGEL WINGS AT HEAVEN’S GATE.

SHE WAS SURROUNDED BY A CONSTANT FLOW OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY AT HER SIDE, ENCIRCLING HER WITH THE LOVE THAT SHE SO UNCONDITIONALLY GAVE TO US.

11703119_10155766670570394_907691084478343029_nTHE REASON I WAS EVEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE ASHLIE IN MY LIFE IS BECAUSE MY OLDEST BROTHER ROB SWOOPED HER OFF HER FEET IN 2010 AND OFFICIALLY MADE HER MY SISTER-IN-LAW. THEIR LOVE RAN DEEP AND SHE REALLY WAS (AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE) ROB’S BIGGEST FAN. SHE NEVER DOUBTED ANY OF HIS DREAMS AND WAS QUICK TO CHEER HIM ON AS HE WORKED TIRELESSLY TOWARDS THEM.

WE ALL WATCHED AS ASHLIE TRANSFORMED MY BROTHER INTO A BETTER MAN – HE BECAME MORE OUTGOING, STYLISH AND JUST STRAIGHT- UP COOL – OVER THEIR DECADE-LONG RELATIONSHIP. THEY BALANCED EACH OTHER BRILLIANTLY. ASHLIE AND ROB WERE THE PERFECT PAIR, FINDING JOY IN SIMPLE THINGS LIKE SNUGGLING UP ON THE COUCH TO WATCH THEIR FAVOURITE TV SHOWS. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THEIR TWO FUR BABIES MISS HER COUCH CUDDLES TREMENDOUSLY – RICKY (THE DOG) AND LUCY (THE CAT).

ASHLIE WAS A WIFE, A DAUGHTER, A SISTER, A TALENTED ESTHETICIAN, A BEST FRIEND, AN AUNTIE AND MY DAUGHTER’S GODMOTHER. WHEN KINGSLEY WAS BORN EARLIER THIS YEAR I KNEW EXACTLY WHO I WAS GOING TO ASK TO WITNESS HER CHRISTENING. I TRULY BELIEVE THAT KINGSLEY’S BAPTISM IN EARLY APRIL, THE DAY AFTER ASHLIE’S 35TH BIRTHDAY, WAS ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST DAYS IN HER LIFE.IMG_2002

SHE WAS JUST RADIATING AS SHE PLEDGED TO GUIDE MY BABY GIRL THROUGH HER FAITH. NOW SHE’S A TRUE GUARDIAN, WATCHING OVER HER NEPHEW AND FOUR NIECES. I’LL FOREVER REMIND KINGSLEY OF HER FAIRY GODMOTHER ASHLIE – A WOMAN WHO RELISHED IN LIFE’S SIMPLE PLEASURES AND HELD HER FAMILY ABOVE ALL ELSE.

THE LAST FEW DAYS, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SHARING STORIES AND MEMORIES ON ASHLIE’S FACEBOOK WALL. THEY ALL SHARE A COMMON THEME – HOW KIND ASHLIE WAS, HOW SHE GAVE FRIENDSHIP A FAIR CHANCE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. HOW SHE LOOKED EVERYONE IN THE EYES, WITH THE SAME RESPECT, AND MADE THEIR DAY BRIGHTER, JUST BY BEING IN IT.WE’RE SO LUCKY THAT ASHLIE BECAME A PLATEK. SHE FIT INTO OUR POLISH FAMILY PERFECTLY AND WE’RE ALL BETTER BECAUSE SHE CAME INTO OUR LIVES. HER QUIRKY SENSE-OF-HUMOUR WILL BE MISSED AT CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER, EASTER BREAKFAST AND ALL THE GATHERINGS IN BETWEEN. WE’LL MISS THE WAY THAT ROB USED TO PLAYFULLY TEASE ASHLIE, AND THE WAY SHE ALWAYS KNEW HOW TO ZING HIM BACK. WE’LL CONTINUE TO SET A PLATE FOR HER, JUST IN CASE SHE WANTS TO JOIN US FOR SOME WILD MUSHROOM SOUP AND PIEROGIES – MAMA BARBARA’S SPECIALTY. IT JUST WON’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT HER.

Ashlie-Wedding1ASHLIE WAS OUR DIAMOND, OUR SHINING SISTER, OUR GLOWING GEM. WE’LL MISS HER DEEPLY AND CELEBRATE HER LIFE FOR AS LONG AS WE’RE HERE. LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – JUST AS SHE PREACHED. WE’LL CARRY THESE WORDS WITH US EVERYWHERE WE GO. MY BROTHER MAY HAVE PUT IT BEST WHEN HE SAID OUR ASHLIE WAS AN ANGEL, WALKING THE EARTH FOR 35 YEARS. AFTER GRACING US WITH HER BEAUTY SHE FINALLY GOT HER WINGS.

ASHLIE, WE LOVE YOU – SHINE ON, SISTER. UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN.

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Posted by: POWERof52 | August 28, 2015

A Tribute to Our Sweet Ashlie

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LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE. THE WORDS ASHLIE PLATEK CARRIED AROUND WITH HER EVERYWHERE SHE WENT.

HER LAUGH IS THE THING I’LL REMEMBER MOST. SHE WAS SO DARN FUNNY EVEN IN HER FINAL HOURS.

‘YOU LIKE MY HAIRDO? DIDN’T TAKE LONG TO DO,” SHE JOKED, LYING ON HER HOSPITAL BED, SPIRIT SHINING BRIGHTER THAN EVER. SHE LOOKED SO INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL IN THE LAST FEW DAYS – NO HAIR, NO MAKEUP – JUST BEAMING WITH PURITY LIKE THE ANGEL THAT SHE WAS.

AshlieStrongTHEN ALL TOO RAPIDLY BEFORE OUR EYES, SHE WAS GONE. BUT I WOULDN’T BE DOING ASHLIE JUSTICE IF I DIDN’T TELL YOU HOW HARD SHE FOUGHT IN THOSE FINAL WEEKS, HOW FEROCIOUSLY SHE STARED CANCER IN THE EYES AND SAID ‘BRING IT’! WE CALLED HER OUR WARRIOR PRINCESS BECAUSE SHE REFUSED TO BELIEVE SHE WAS GOING ANYWHERE. BUT ON AUGUST 23RD, SHE TRADED IN HER HIGH HEELS AND DRESSES FOR HER GOLDEN ANGEL WINGS AT HEAVEN’S GATE.

SHE WAS SURROUNDED BY A CONSTANT FLOW OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY AT HER SIDE, ENCIRCLING HER WITH THE LOVE THAT SHE SO UNCONDITIONALLY GAVE TO US.
THE REASON I WAS EVEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE ASHLIE IN MY LIFE IS BECAUSE MY OLDEST BROTHER ROB SWOOPED HER OFF HER FEET IN 2010 AND OFFICIALLY MADE HER MY SISTER-IN-LAW. THEIR LOVE RAN DEEP AND SHE REALLY WAS (AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE) ROB’S BIGGEST FAN. SHE NEVER DOUBTED ANY OF HIS DREAMS AND WAS QUICK TO CHEER HIM ON AS HE WORKED TIRELESSLY TOWARDS THEM.

WE ALL WATCHED AS ASHLIE TRANSFORMED MY BROTHER INTO A BETTER MAN – HE BECAME MORE OUTGOING, STYLISH AND JUST STRAIGHT- UP COOL – OVER THEIR DECADE-LONG RELATIONSHIP. THEY BALANCED EACH OTHER BRILLIANTLY. ASHLIE AND ROB WERE THE PERFECT PAIR, FINDING JOY IN SIMPLE THINGS LIKE SNUGGLING UP ON THE COUCH TO WATCH THEIR FAVOURITE TV SHOWS. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THEIR TWO FUR BABIES MISS HER COUCH CUDDLES TREMENDOUSLY – RICKY (THE DOG) AND LUCY (THE CAT).AshRicky

ASHLIE WAS A WIFE, A DAUGHTER, A SISTER, A TALENTED ESTHETICIAN, A BEST FRIEND, AN AUNTIE AND MY DAUGHTER’S GODMOTHER. WHEN KINGSLEY WAS BORN EARLIER THIS YEAR I KNEW EXACTLY WHO I WAS GOING TO ASK TO WITNESS HER CHRISTENING. I TRULY BELIEVE THAT KINGSLEY’S BAPTISM IN EARLY APRIL, THE DAY AFTER ASHLIE’S 35TH BIRTHDAY, WAS ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST DAYS IN HER LIFE.

SHE WAS JUST RADIATING AS SHE PLEDGED TO GUIDE MY BABY GIRL THROUGH HER FAITH. NOW SHE’S A TRUE GUARDIAN, WATCHING OVER HER NEPHEW AND FOUR NIECES. I’LL FOREVER REMIND KINGSLEY OF HER FAIRY GODMOTHER ASHLIE – A WOMAN WHO RELISHED IN LIFE’S SIMPLE PLEASURES AND HELD HER FAMILY ABOVE ALL ELSE.
Ashlie-Wedding1THE LAST FEW DAYS, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SHARING STORIES AND MEMORIES ON ASHLIE’S FACEBOOK WALL. THEY ALL SHARE A COMMON THEME – HOW KIND ASHLIE WAS, HOW SHE GAVE FRIENDSHIP A FAIR CHANCE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. HOW SHE LOOKED EVERYONE IN THE EYES, WITH THE SAME RESPECT, AND MADE THEIR DAY BRIGHTER, JUST BY BEING IN IT.WE’RE SO LUCKY THAT ASHLIE BECAME A PLATEK. SHE FIT INTO OUR POLISH FAMILY PERFECTLY AND WE’RE ALL BETTER BECAUSE SHE CAME INTO OUR LIVES. HER QUIRKY SENSE-OF-HUMOUR WILL BE MISSED AT CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER, EASTER BREAKFAST AND ALL THE GATHERINGS IN BETWEEN. WE’LL MISS THE WAY THAT ROB USED TO PLAYFULLY TEASE ASHLIE, AND THE WAY SHE ALWAYS KNEW HOW TO ZING HIM BACK. WE’LL CONTINUE TO SET A PLATE FOR HER, JUST IN CASE SHE WANTS TO JOIN US FOR SOME WILD MUSHROOM SOUP AND PIEROGIES – MAMA BARBARA’S SPECIALTY. IT JUST WON’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT HER.

ASHLIE WAS OUR DIAMOND, OUR SHINING SISTER, OUR GLOWING GEM. WE’LL MISS HER DEEPLY AND CELEBRATE HER LIFE FOR AS LONG AS WE’RE HERE. LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – JUST AS SHE PREACHED. WE’LL CARRY THESE WORDS WITH US EVERYWHERE WE GO. MY BROTHER MAY HAVE PUT IT BEST WHEN HE SAID OUR ASHLIE WAS AN ANGEL, WALKING THE EARTH FOR 35 YEARS. AFTER GRACING US WITH HER BEAUTY SHE FINALLY GOT HER WINGS.

ASHLIE, WE LOVE YOU – SHINE ON, SISTER. UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN.

By Monika Platek, Sister-in-Law

Posted by: POWERof52 | August 12, 2014

From Idea to Action: The Power of 52 Journey

By Monika Platek

We were sitting on the couch on New Year’s Day, recuperating from the party the night before as you can surely understand, when this idea came out of the blue. Instead of turning his brain ‘off’ for a few hours, Todd was busy thinking of something cool we could do in 2013. We had been married just a few months and the honeymoon phase was still in full swing. Heck, it still is, almost 2 years later!

“Let’s do something BIG this year. Something challenging…but really fun,” he started. “Every week we can do a different adventure…and also an act of kindness. For 52 weeks.” Just like that, out of Todd’s zest for life and my willingness to join in, the ‘Power of 52‘ concept was born. We loved the name of it right away and it inspired us to start working on a list of adventures and acts that very night!

Fast forward and here we are…52 weeks later, while it all *may* have taken longer than the ‘year’ we expected. During this whole thing, I was working on the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, which meant fewer weekends to focus on the Power of 52, and planning for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Our 52-week journey wasn’t as fluid or consistent as we would have liked, but the point is that we STUCK to it and saw our vision through! I always said, “It doesn’t matter if we don’t finish within the year, as long we cap off 52 weeks…eventually!”

So what are the 3 lessons I learned from this fun ride?

1. If you’re stuck looking for inspiration, you actually have to be willing to CREATE it! Life can become so routine and drab…but by committing to the Power of 52, we were ‘forced’ to constantly think of new adventures to do together and MORE importantly, discover new ways to give back to the community and those closest to us! The inspiration flowed from actively pursuing it.

2. If you set a goal, do whatever it takes to complete it, even if time isn’t on your side. Some may think it wasn’t challenging to make time for the Power of 52 – but in a world where work and social media and chores and you-get-the-point take up 99% of the day – sticking to goals is becoming harder than ever. Especially goals that aren’t for fame or money or career advances – this mission was all about betterment and growing and getting the most out of the year! Shouldn’t we aim to set more goals like that, anyway? The types of goals that result in us feeling really, genuinely and soulfully happy?

3. Don’t ever stop exploring. This is ALL we did when we were kids. We sought out the next adventure and saw the best in the world. Then life happened and we got bogged down by responsibility and we accepted that life can be boring. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING! That concept is at the core of the Power of 52 and more importantly, our marriage. Explore your neighborhood. Explore your city…and if you have some extra cash, splurge on a trip to the next adventure. It is always worth it.

A big thanks to my daily inspiration and real-life superhero – my hubby Todd. Can’t wait to see what we think of next…just sitting on our couch, on New Year’s Day.

BlackWhiteGrey

Posted by: POWERof52 | July 29, 2014

Best News to Cap it all Off!

By Monika Platek

As we cap off this incredible year (and a half) of positivity, I haven’t had as much time as I had hoped to share the best news stories. So, here’s one of my faves that I came across lately to remind us all to pay close attention to those around us and find inspiration everywhere.

Posted by: POWERof52 | July 26, 2014

Act Of Kindness #52: One Year Of Inspiring Quotes

quote 2

Throughout our 52 Week Journey one of our goals was to inspire and spread positivity. What better way to do so than give our followers and each other encouraging and motivating quotes.

We tried to spread this through different vehicles: social media, emails, and even the old school chalk board in the kitchen.

It has been one incredible ride and am so blessed to have completed this with my loving and beautiful wife. This was indeed the POWERof52 but I can not wait to spend forever with you making a lifetime of memories, see the world and take on every challenge/adventure that comes our way.

“The only thing better than the PowerOf52 is the Power of Forever” – Monika

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Posted by: Todd Cooney

Posted by: POWERof52 | July 23, 2014

Adventure #52: Zippin’ Around for the Grand Finale!

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By Monika Platek

Are you scared of heights? Hesitant to jump off tall platforms? Wouldn’t want to spent hours suspended over lush jungles…with nothing but a few cords holding you up?

Well then you wouldn’t like zip lining! Good thing we LOVE all of the above. We wanted to top off The Power of 52 with a grand adventure, soaring to success. Zip lining in Mayan Rivera was the perfect answer. Lucky for us, this was the longest zip line in ALL of Latin America. We spent hours upon hours just climbing up steps to get to new platforms and heights! We raced, pushed each other off, went through waterfalls and streams, and laughed the whole way through.

Way to cap off an amazing 52 adventures…let’s do it AGAIN!

Posted by: POWERof52 | July 17, 2014

Act of Kindness #51: Hockey Helps the Homeless

Collage

By Todd Cooney

Took our Charity Efforts down the 401 to London for the Inaugural Hockey Helps The Homeless Tournament. Such a well run organization and tournament for such a great cause. We were lucky enough to be asked to participate as team. My office CBRE put together a great squad with some fantastic pros that joined the dynamic group. Two Leaf greats in Mike Gardiner and Wayne Primeau joined the championship squad and we look forward to next years tournament.

The entire tournament raised over $260,000 which is a record breaking result for any Inaugural #HHTH event.

Posted by: POWERof52 | July 17, 2014

Adventure #51: SO-CAL Riding

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By Monika Platek

We grabbed some old cruisers and set out for a ride along the Coast with our ‘bike gang’. This was all part of our visit to Southern California. The only thing stopping us after hours of riding was the setting sun.

Posted by: POWERof52 | July 15, 2014

Act of Kindness #50: It’s On Us!

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By Monika Platek

This was Todd’s adorable idea. We put a toonie inside each of these little baggies and taped them to vending machines. As someone goes to buy a snack, they’ll be surprised to see that they get a treat ‘on us’ and the Power of 52.

Posted by: POWERof52 | June 4, 2014

Adventure #50: Jungle Ride on Amphibian Vehicles

Adventure #50: Jungle Ride on Amphibian Vehicles

By Monika Platek

What a wild ride! While we were in Mexico, we wanted to explore the jungle. These vehicles could drive through anything – caves, waterfalls, streams and rugged terrain. I was holding on for dear life as Todd was trying to beat SOME sort of jungle racing record. Anyway, I think he got it, we sped through the jungle like nobody’s business.

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