Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

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Family Portrait for the Nanster

Posted on | July 6, 2011 | No Comments

Nanster pic 252x300 Family Portrait for the Nanster

Marion Eva Kimber (1918-2011)

Family Portrait for the Nanster

This poem was originally titled poem for a beautiful midget

But that isn’t exactly accurate, is it

She was an artist

You couldn’t miss it

This is for my nanny and the millions times we use to visit

For your beautiful artwork and store bought pies

Original recipes and your beautiful blue eyes

My friend Verena met you and realized

The strong hands that made gift wrap bows out of our family ties

Looking at all these pictures I can still remember being in your arms

Glancing at your eyes with my childhood mind and knowing that I was safe

I remember the toy old man with the shotgun over the fireplace

Your porcelain kettles and life time of treasures collected behind glass

The sound of your ever present laugh

Your candy bowl I’d fill my pockets with

Your Christmas presents I’d give you chocolate with

Small gifts on the birthday of my bro and sis

Easter Egg bunnies, sweaters and avon gifts for Christmas

Sunday was Nanny’s day, walking into Union Street with my little feet

The smell of meat and mashed potatoes making me so hungry I could eat

And then that was a feat

Because I was a mini mini me who rarely eats

Unless it was peanut butter and jelly

But by god did I love the grease

Crazy for mashed potatoes with gravy, hamburger and onions, mouth watering sizzle

Masterworks on the walls, showing us Nova Scotia writ small

Wildness of mixed colours and the following of shades

Winter falls on these evergreen glades, brushwork with arthirtic fingers

Drawing beautiful landscapes made this woman’s handshake

Lifted the world so many times it takes a little bit more to do it now and she does it

Slightly odd that she asks for a paper shredder, Russian spy with a thousand baby pictures and when she drinks wine her cheeks get redder

Enquiring minds go through the inquirer to discuss royalty with our family Queen

She knows about Diana and all of Charles schemes

She was so happy on Emily’s Wedding, she looked like royalty

She’s got eyes for details and archives of memories in albums

Trying to memorize every part of our lives because she loved us too much to miss a moment, telling her that’s unrealistic, she flips a book of news clips and gives Dad back his life she gave him in the first place

Where is Matthew, if you want to know in a moment ask Nanny

Can’t stop laughing at what she said, “Matthew when you going to get rid of those dreads?

Making short jokes about my mom that were going over our heads

See the details of this 93 year old woman, master of email, an amazing portrait of this century’s female, proud and kind, honest, hilarious and tiny, this Nanster of mine

With her little mischievous grin, her internet transmission, her skill at Donkey Kong smashing Back in the day we had sleepovers with Kentucky Fried Chicken,

Endlessly curious to know what I was thinking

I guess I got a lot of thanking to do

For whatever it is that you do that gave me a great father who was always there

And for being like a second mother to mine when she’s needed you

And showing us the world of our cousins babies too

For always pushing for more from me, because you knew the best things weren’t easy

For how you always knew how to tease me

We are a family because of you

Thank you

For holding me when I couldn’t walk

For listening to me when I never shut up when I learned to talk

For when you had trouble walking up the stairs

And you fought because you had to be there

For Christmas and the cracker crowns

For holding us up even when you were falling down

For your multicolored neckless and the times you were the class clown

For making me unafraid to get old, because until the last day you were still around

Your artist’s eye gave detail to the people you love

This is a family portrait and without your arthirtis we wouldn’t have the paintbrush

Thank you for loving us so much





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  • About

    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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