When A Parent Dies

No matter what kind of relationship we have or don’t have with a parent, everything changes when a parent dies.

Dad in Washington, DC Cropped Image

My dad, Oscar John Trepanier, who passed away three years ago today, had a complex relationship with me though he was not a complex man. Forces beyond his awareness or control shaped the choices he would make that caused him to regret a lot of his life.

Thrown together by circumstances in his last several years, our relationship finally found an even keel and we could see each other more clearly as the individuals we had been and were becoming.

Being his personal care manager and part-time support worker, on call 24 hours a day, was one of the most stressful and challenging times of my life, but because of the healthy, happy changes in our relationship, I would not change a thing.

Even the fifteen thousand dollars debt I incurred so I could be available for him to meet his care needs and to provide him with things and experiences to make his quality of life better than it could have been, I would do again.

Why? Because no matter what happened and didn’t happen between us, he was my dad.

As for me, I knew it was just going to be a matter of time before I would clear up the debt and get my own finances in good shape, even better than ever before. Another valuable lesson taught to me by my dad … learning from his mistakes created by his low “Respect Level” for his self for reasons he did not understand and therefore could not control … but I do and will, breaking a chain, or what the Bible calls a generational curse.

Thank you Dad. Miss you and pray you are finally at rest peacefully.

Your eldest daughter,

Kaitlin, once known as Debra

March 20, 2018


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Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

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“How to Retain More of Every Book You Read”

By James Clear


Great tips on digital note-taking too!


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March 19, 2018


Transitioning …

Sometimes we have to be willing to look like a fool for awhile to allow room for the empowering change we need to become all that we really are.

March 18. 2018


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At age 32, Kaitlin clearly demonstrated her learning passion, plus her abilities by achieving Honors in Business Administration, while also serving as elected Student Council Treasurer and Newsletter Editor. On the eve of graduation, Kaitlin discovered the teaching staff had selected her to receive the Chi Eta Scholarship for her Outstanding Student Cooperation.

Though one of her other passions, writing, was also curtailed in her early years by the admonishment writing was not a real job, writing resurfaced as her confidence grew from her job experiences, promotions, academic achievements, plus peer and teacher recognition.

After her graduation, her husband’s transfer from their small town to the city of Toronto resulted in Kaitlin securing a Junior Accountant’s position at Howard Johnson’s corporate head office. New to the city, Kaitlin had not been aware of the frustrating challenge of commuting from one end of the city to the other, but in the sweltering heat of summer in the city, the congested expressway drive in an old non-air conditioned Camaro, loaned to her by her executive sister-in-law, she knew the commuting and the boring job to her, recording and balancing ledgers only, had to end so she resigned.

Seeking employment closer to home, plus a more challenging, engaging, and diverse role, Kaitlin sought the advice of a recruiting agency. “You’re just what they look for,” the young woman told Kaitlin before sending her to the Canadian corporate head office of the international Levi Strauss & Co. corporation.

Another seven years flew by.

Indoctrinated into the Business Planning department, Kaitlin came on board as part of the annual and five-year business planning team. Developing spreadsheets from mainframe database downloads for more effective business plan reports, she also logged and prepared monthly management capital expenditures reports.

Within a year, excellent work performance resulted in her being recommended to the Operations Planning department to serve as the Operations’ Contractor Planner.

Kaitlin avidly took on the role of liaising daily with contractors in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia to ensure production requirements were being met or troubleshooting when they were not, as well as, liaising with several internal departments. She also visited the national contractor facilities as an inventory auditor and as a trainer for system reporting.

Her proposal, development, co-implementation, and co-training of the automated monthly planning tool reduced the monthly planning cycle by one week every month garnering her global recognition in the company’s international newsletter for her Above and Beyond the Call of Duty performance submitted by her supervisor.

Concurrently, Kaitlin served as a Fit Test Model and for five years, she volunteered as Treasurer for the company’s Community Involvement Team, as a member of the community grant application review team, as company events’ volunteer, and she worked with the company’s Public Relations and Communications Officer on special projects.

Growing restless because of having maximized opportunities in Operations, an opportunity to learn more about Human Resources shifted her focus. However, it was the company’s policy on professional development, combined with her yearly performance rating, raises, and salary, and the mentoring of an outside professional that motivated Kaitlin to apply to York University with the goal of eventually securing a Ph.D. in psychology

Evening university classes began exposing Kaitlin to a whole new world and quickly began shifting her life course once again as she rediscovered and reclaimed her passion for writing as a way to help and inspire people.

She was a far cry from the sixteen year old high school drop-out who didn’t believe the guidance counsellor when she was told she should go to university. By then, with her self-esteem perilously low, she had developed what is called “Learned Helplessness,” but fortunately, at least professionally that was beginning to change.

Hungry for more, Kaitlin took the safe step and applied for the new job at Levi’s in the Human Resources. The role was to support head office and facility Humans Resources Assistants and the Salary Manager, plus liaise with the HRIS system provider, process executive expense reports, manage the employee awards program, and upload/verify the annual salary budget. Her role also required Kaitlin to serve as secretary to the company’s Job Grading team.

Within a month after her transfer, Kaitlin proposed a team-building workshop to the HR Director. Working with an outside consultant, HR teams from five facilities engaged in a successful two-day team-building workshop, but it was the company’s Aspirations program that pushed her out the company door to follow a different path, maybe even create her own.

Go to “About Kaitlin Ann Trepanier” to also read ACT 1 and stay tuned for the ACTS to follow!


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Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

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March 16, 2018

Role Models And The Reasons Why

This role model list was written at the time of the publication of the first “Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle” version printed limited edition book in June 2015.

There are many people who influenced and inspired me over the years; however, these people listed below are the ones who have inspired me to be all I really am and to do the work I am called to do, the Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle global initiative, though if I wanted to take the more normal route, I would just be a writer and an artist, but God did not let that happen because I had other work to do first. Maybe writing and art making will become my last work once Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle is doing its job without me.

Anyway, here are the reasons why each person was originally added to this list …

Jesus … for how he treated others, especially those rejected by society, and since I am follower of Christ for his sacrifice on the cross to make God accessible to everyone without having to sacrifice as they did in the Old Testament

Albert Einstein … not just for his brilliance and contributions to humanity, but also for his compassion, respect, and humor

Alfred Nobel … for turning the negative consequences of the dynamite his family created and sold into the positive by publicly recognizing and rewarding excellence in fields of study and peace-making

Alice Miller … for her forerunner work in psychology to help us understand that how people are treated when they are young has a powerful impact on what they will become later in life and the valuable lessons I learned so I could heal from my experiences. Because of Alice’s own origins, Hitler was one of her key subjects in her research and study of the impact of neglect, abuse, and violence

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle … introduced to these three key philosophers in my first year of university at York as a mature student, they too played a role in developing the “Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle” concept, company, and global initiative

Henry David Thoreau … as someone who did not go to high school, (but has returned to school many times since) his seminal book, Walden, that I also discovered in university opened the door to writing and the idea of stepping off of the beaten path and creating one’s own, which I have been doing ever since

Ralph Waldo Emerson … another individual, whose writing to this day, still moves my soul with its content and eloquence, challenging and inspiring us to be more than we think we are

Gandhi for his choice to act against oppression and taught us much about freedom

Mother Teresa … the woman who became a nun to fulfill her desire to ease the pain and suffering of those rejected by society

Joan of Arc … a young woman of great courage who acted on her beliefs regardless of the consequences

The Dalai Lama … a modern man with peaceful views, ways, and shared wisdom by acts in a world torn by conflict

Abraham Lincoln … a man with tenacity, perseverance, and drive to become the American president who would begin the process of freedom for all Americans

William Wilberforce … a man whose heroic long-term efforts to banish the English slave trade succeeded, even though his family’s financial legacy could have provided him with an easy, affluent lifestyle

Martin Luther King, Jr. … a man demonstrating exceptional peaceful leadership to push the freedom door further open in America

John F. Kennedy … a bold voice speaking up against oppression and tyranny

Nelson Mandella … quiet patience strengthened this believer in freedom and walked with respect, inspiring others not to give up or give in to those who try to keep people down

Oprah Winfrey … a woman of curiosity, boldness, and seeker of truth lit the way for many of us to see ourselves as we truly are … much more than what we believed for so long

Alan Cohen … the author of Dare to Be Yourself was a key influence on my path to discovering and reclaiming who I had become underneath all the masks I wore to feel safe and accepted. His words also cracked open my jaded, hardened heart about God and Jesus

Robert Schuller … Why Bad Things Happen to Good People cracked opened the door to believing in God wider

Joel Osteen … inspired and still does hope and belief about God the good versus God the punisher

Joyce Meyer … shared down-to-earth experiences helped me to heal from my own abuse and violent background, while also teaching me God forgives and forgets

Warren Buffet … admired for his perspective on not just handing his family the wealth he has accumulated, but chose instead to leave enough for their education and perhaps a bit more, but not to set them up for life

Bill Gates … initially admired for the foundation to help people, but there is so much more that could be done and then there are some business practices that are in conflict with “Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle”

Richard Branson … admired for adventurous, entrepreneurial spirit and desire to help people

Updated March 16, 2018


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How A Nation’s Children Are Treated Reflect The “Respect Level” Of The Nation

“14K empty shoes outside the US Capitol, to represent every child killed with a gun since the Sandy Hook Massacre.”


Thank you for creating and sharing this powerful visual perspective. May the magnitude be grasped add more weight to increasing America’s “Respect Level” for life.


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Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

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March 15, 2018