Reflections On My 74th Birthday

Well, it's that time of year, again. Yet another year older. As is said "getting old is a privilege denied to many", so, although it's been a really tough year I guess I have to be grateful that I'm still here, especially this year. My intention, as always, was to post this on my birthday, but things got complicated with things like getting an eviction notice which scared the crap out of me. The wait time for an affordable apartment is now five to seven years so I figured I'd be homeless. I consulted a lawyer at the local legal aid clinic and he said not to worry because the Landlord and Tenant Bureau is so backed up it would be years to hear my case. I'm still not comfortable about it but I can't worry about something that might never happen. Such is life.

Last year while I was videotaping a band at the Caribbean Festival I suddenly felt like I was going to fall down. Not dizzy. Not faint. Just lost my balance. I stumbled back to the building behind me, with everyone around asking if I was okay, which I wasn't. I managed to get back down the street holding the buildings all the way until I came across the auxiliary police officers. The lovely Brittany and another officer got me down to the bus terminal and spoke to the driver and I got home okay. Since then I have been nearly falling in the shower and bumping into the walls of my apartment. Scary stuff.

I spent at least twenty hours in Emergency over the next few days getting everything from bloodwork to a CT Scan, which thankfully came back normal. I was told to go to my doctor, which, of course, like millions of other Canadians I don't have, so I saw a doctor at the Bayview Clinic across the road from the hospital. One of the most frightening experiences was trying to cross the road to catch the bus. I felt like I was going to fall down in the middle of the road and get run over, but I made it. The doctor at the clinic had given me an "urgent" referral to a neurologist.

Luckily my name finally came up and I was given an appointment at the Belleville & Quinte West Community Health Clinic and saw nurse practitioner, Stephanie Nickerson and Jessica Tweedy, who spent an hour with me going over all my meds, my diabetes, and this balance issue. Stephanie suggested that my considerable weight loss of thirty pounds on Ozempic might be the cause. She promised to follow up on the referral to the neurologist and she got me one to Dr. Mercier in Nappanee. Too much analysis is paralysis as they say so my research on why you see a neurologist turned up all kinds of scary things, like MS and more, but luckily Dr. Mercier said that my balance issues were because my peripheral neuropathy was getting much worse after all his testing. He explained that the signals weren't getting to my brain for my balance. He also asked if closing my eyes in the shower when I washed my hair interrupted the visual signals as well and that's why I thought I was going to fall. It all made sense and, of course, I was glad it wasn't anything worse.

The saddest part of this year has been losing friends. When I lived here in Belleville before moving to Mexico I had what I thought were good friends. Doral was one of my first here and we did a lot together. She used to take me to the dances Saturdays at the Trenton Legion. She had a trailer in a park north of town and I helped her for many hours. Before COVID her and another good friend, Kate, used to take me to the breakfast at the casino before they shut down. Kate was also an amazing dance partner and we were pretty good together. Prior to leaving for Mexico Bob Cottrell, the President of All-Together Housing, helped me a lot, especially after I moved into the group home on Forin. He let me store all of my things in storage bins in the basement at Forin when I first planned to only stay in Mexico for my six month tourist visa. After things changed and I planned to get married and stay in Mexico I had to come back to apply for my temporary residency in Toronto. Bob helped me move all my stuff to the hotel to sell, which was a total disaster. At Forin I also met a guy who would become my best buddy, Rob.

When I came back I was very lucky that Doral managed to pick me up where the bus surprisingly dropped me off out of town, and she stuck with me until I found emergency housing. Since then though other than the occasional dancing with me if we run into each other she has dropped me as a friend. She wouldn't take me the Trenton Legion anymore because, according to her, her insurance didn't cover me, which is ridiculous. She has moved to the north area of town, a long way away from me, so she never offers me a ride anywhere now. Kate has also dropped me and we haven't danced together since March, when we only had one dance. She rarely messages me as well.

After I was very lucky to get my current apartment and moved out of Forin for some unknown reason Rob didn't contact me for a year, then one day I was outside having a smoke and he came walking up. He had got an apartment around the corner from me, but he acted as though it hadn't been a year since we talked. He suggested we go for coffee which we did many times. He also agreed to be my Executor after I did a new will, introduced him to my landlady and went over all kinds of instructions on how to deal with my website business, my various accounts like my hosting, and hopefully notifying my kids that I was gone. That all fell apart last August when we had a major misunderstanding about a doctor appointment at a local clinic. He had asked if he could come with me to get the doctor fill out some paperwork for him. After waiting hours as usual, and after I spent less than a minute with the doctor he told Rob my time was up and kicked him out. Both of us were obvious furious, but Rob blamed me, told me to F off and lose this number. I wrote a letter to the doctor saying how unprofessional what he did was, and made the mistake of giving Rob a copy so he would know when the clinic hopefully called him to come back, which they did. For some unknown reason Rob somehow got the impression that I was threatening him in the letter and even called the police about it. He said he was going to return my will and all the paperwork we had agreed upon, but he never did. I pleaded with Bob Cottrell to talk to him to try to get it sorted out, but he lied to Bob and said he returned the paperwork to me. He didn't, and this has left me in a terrible mess without an Executor now.

Without any solution with Rob I appealed to Bob to help me to find an Executor and for months he kept promising to help me, but never did. I've known Bob for many, many years. I designed the original logo for All-Together Housing and built the website for free. I always considered Bob to be a good friend, but I guess I was wrong. He's clearly dropped me just like everybody else.

I also met Jassmin, a friend who went biking with me last summer. We also did the cheap Tuesday at the show. I bought the tickets and she gave me a ride. Sometimes we grabbed a burger before the show. That all ended this year. We never once went biking, although with my balance issue I didn't think I could ride without falling over. I messaged her several times about upcoming shows, but she either said she was busy or just ignored me. She had also added a post that she was dating, so that might have had a lot to do with it. I did message her asking if I had done something to upset her, but she just said she had been busy.

One of my longest term friends from back in BC, Linda, who I've always called Lenny for some reason, a friend of more than twenty-five years, would sometimes call me, usually when she was drunk. It's hours behind in BC so she would call me around midnight my time, but we'd still talk for hours. She'd catch me up on many of the friends we had when I lived there, with one story really upsetting me, although it explained why some of the friends I had didn't connect with me anymore. My dear friend, Bianca, who was a really close friend and was amazing after my father died, jumping on a plane to come to help me with my Dad's memorial, had spread a rumor that I had borrowed seventeen thousand dollars from her and never paid her back! An absurd and total lie! Yes, over my sincere objections, warning her that she could easily lose her money, she had insisted on investing two thousand dollars to buy into my website business in Panama. My local site for Boquete was starting to gain some traction and I was making inroads with some large grocery chains to advertise on my websites. Like anything on the web it could go viral and she would make a nice return, but it comes with risk. Unfortunately things fell apart on me and I was forced back to Canada so the business was gone. I apologized to Bianca, explaining what had happened with losing ten grand on the renovation I had been doing for a guy in Kelowna, who screwed me. I had no money and was forced to flee to my dear cousin's place in Toronto, who saved me. Although this was all not related to the website business, I had clearly warned Bianca that there was no guarantee, but she had insisted saying she wanted to help and that she could afford to lose her investment. I still tried hard to talk her out of it. As is said, with friends "never a lender or a borrower be". Had I been able to continue all my hard work in Panama I would have been only too thrilled to share my success with her.

Lenny was a shocked at this rumor as I was, and said she never believed it because she knew me. This ugly, untrue rumor included not to lend me any money when I asked for it, but I had never asked for a dime from anyone in the fourteen years I lived in the Okanagan. Another dear friend, Laura, who believed all this crap from Bianca, and even more lies from my idiot brother sister, got a detailed email from me explaining the facts, but she didn't care enough to respond. My best buddy of fourteen years, Wade, also stopped talking to me. Other than Lenny it appears that the only one who hasn't believed all this is my dear "wifey" Karla, who still is in touch.

Anyone who knows me and is still in touch with me, like my dear friend, Annie, in Mexico, knows how much I hate being stuck in Belleville, the last place on earth I ever thought I would live. After living in the Okanagan, Panama, Ecuador and Mexico, and despite some very rough times in those foreign countries, I still loved the adventures, the cultures, the local people, the music and on and on. I also loved living in the lakes and mountains in every one of those places, including BC. I did travel around BC a lot, and never had a car in any of those other countries, but I always had friends who took me around, or Ubers and buses that were very cheap. Belleville is beyond boring in every sense. Horrible transit system. Nothing much to look at other than the path along the bay.

I wrote a long message to Lenny asking for her help getting back to the Okanagan, but she didn't answer me. I know life would be alot different for me. My parents are gone. I don't have all the toys I had before, like my dirt bike, my snowmobile, my boats and I wouldn't be skiing or rollar blading now, but I could still hike. My idiot sister also lives in Kelowna now so I hope I'd never run into her or I'd be tempoted to strangle her for what she did.

I wish I could go back to Mexico even though it would mean giving up on ever seeing my kids or grandkids again, but it's just not possible. I would lose my one pension again and my meds cost a fortune. My sweet friend, Annie, even offered to marry me so I stay and not have to go through the residency process again, but she would lose the pension from her late husband, so that doesn't work unless I could find a way to support both of us. Her family is delightful and it would be wonderful to have a family again after what my kids have done to me. Every time I've gone anywhere I've always worried about never seeing my kids again, but they've had years and years to reconnect with me and tell me why they abandoned me, but they never have. Annie and I have spent hours and hours chatting about what happens if we get married and I am then have permanent residency. The issue is my medications. She was kind enough to go through my list of medications and check the prices with a pharmacy, but they totaled almost thirteen hundred dollars Canadian! There is a question as to whether I might be covered under their public healthcare program, called IMSS. My research shows it should be unless my diabetes is a preexisting condition and I would be disqualified. There is also a question about Annie's coverage because she says she loses it if we get married, but the is still a Mexican citizen so that makes no sense.

Although it's been four years since I got dumped by text message with no reason given by my fiancée, and it nearly killed me when I felt so worthless and just wanted to swim out in the lake far enough not to make it back, I did survive and didn't give up on finding love again. I just went through what I hoped was love again, but I was so very wrong. I've been accused of falling in love too quickly and I did it again. It's coming up on five years since I came back from Mexico and in all that time I haven't been so much as kissed. I've never been this lonely in my entire life. I really miss having someone special in my life. Being stuck in Belleville, the last place on earth that I ever thought I would live, just makes me feel like I waiting to die.

As a matter of record, and as I've said many times, I miss the adventures of living in other countries, although they were certainly challenging at times. When returning to Mexico didn't look like it would happen I started researching other countries again and found Costa Rica, a country I had visited several times when I lived in Panama and had to leave every three months to renew my tourist visa. I found a great place called Atenas and watched a wonderful video tour of the city centre. The climate looked perfect and, most importantly, their residency income requirement was only a thousand dollars, which I would qualify for even after I lost the GIS pension. I checked the flights which were reasonable and contacted a few Realtors in the area about apartment rentals, but there was nothing even close to my budget of about five hundred a month. There were not many one bedroom apartments but they started at eight hundred USD a month! Some were also plus plus. Not a chance.

At this point in my life I have no clue what I am going to do. Winning the big lottery would be nice, but that's not likely. I know that I am very lucky to have a reasonably affordable apartment, but life is still a struggle when my pensions are below the current poverty level. For months now I have been complaining to very political leader that it's our own money, so please give us enough to live with some dignity. No Vision Care. No Dental Care. Inadequate Health Care. Add no affordable housing anywhere. We are the ones who built tis country and have paid every imaginable tax all our lives. It's disgraceful! Federal politicians get big fat pensions after only four years of service so they have no clue what it's like to struggle.

 

 


A lament. The perils of loving the wrong person.

No question that I have been guilty of constantly falling in love with the wrong person. I have always been a hopeless romantic who wears his heart on his sleeve. Love means opening your heart but it also means a risk of getting really hurt. Every time that happens you lose your faith in love and think you will be alone forever.

As a teenager I had my fair share of girlfriends. I was in a band at sixteen and had more than enough "groupies" but they were never anyone I cared enough to ever love. The several girls I called girlfriends were always more friends than lovers. That was until I met my future wife. I was at a party with my then girlfriend, Bev, but when Janice walked down the stairs it was love at first sight. At the top of the stairs I learned that her friend, Lynn, had warned her about me. That I loved blondes. I dropped Bev's hand and went over to Janice and asked her to marry me. I should have taken the clue when she told me to F-off. She had a long term boyfriend, Doug, but I didn't care. After we came back to her parent's place one night he came racing up ready for a fight. He made the fatal mistake of spitting in Janice's face after her mother had come out to see what all the ruckus was about. That ended it for him.

After we spent some time at my parent's place alone because they had gone on vacation the inevitable happened and we slept together and she got pregnant. It didn't matter to me because I loved her and was ready to marry her anytime. Her father was very angry but agreed that we should get married right away, which we did on August 16th, 1969. The wedding and the reception at her parent's place was a hoot, but what happened after was not, and a clear sign of the trouble to come.

My Dad with his warped sense of humor had rented us a room at what was the Thunderbird Motel and he had put a rattle toy under in the mattress, thinking that it would startle us when we made love. Very funny, Dad. It didn't matter because I spent the night sitting on the floor at the foot of the bed. It was the first time that I learned that her getting pregnant was entirely my fault and I was going to be punished for that forever. The only funny part was that when we left on our supposed honeymoon the next morning I had forgotten about the toy in the ripped mattress for which my Dad would pay. I went back to the room and removed it, then had to walk through the lobby with the toy rattling.

The next twenty-three long years were spent in a loveless marriage. I tried and tried, but it was always a better car or a better house or more money for her. She wanted nothing to do with making "love". About the only times we had sex were the three times she got pregnant, until she insisted that I get a vasectomy. My son, Chris, was obviously not planned. My daughter, Heather, came along when Janice didn't tell me she went off birth control. I think she realized that I was going to leave this disaster of a marriage so she got pregnant to keep me. She aborted the third pregnancy without even discussing it with me so I knew the marriage was over.

I will be the first to admit that in the last few years of our marriage I was unfaithful many times. I traveled a fair bit and always seemed to find someone who treated me nice and gave me what I longed for. I hadn't even slept with my wife for five years so it worked for me to feel better about myself. I came very close to leaving my marriage a couple of times and I wish I had. Sticking around for the kids turned out to be useless. Heather told me to go out west when my mother was diagnosed with fifth stage melanoma. She knew my marriage was long over and it was time to give up, but this was the last time she ever talked to me for almost thirty years now. Neither she or Chris have ever given me a reason for abandoning me. Many friends, some of them girlfriends at the time, have said that my now ex had told lies about me and they tried to get in touch with them but always failed.

During my fourteen years in the Okanagan I had lots of girl "friends" but only one real love, Tracy. She had three great kids who I also fell in love with and my relationship with all of them was perfect. That is until her school girlfriends warned her about our age difference and she asked me to leave. It was as hard to leave the kids as it was her. First major hurt, breaking my heart in a million pieces. More to come.

After the renovation from hell my doctor said I was a poster boy for a heart attack and had to get away. I researched other countries with a lower cost of living and chose Panama. There was lots of good and more bad but I did have a girlfriend, Magaly. We had fun together and she slept at my place a lot and we had great sex. With the age difference and the language barrier I don't think I would call it "love" but it was good and I felt bad for her when I was forced to return to Canada.

Back in Canada, saved by my dear cousin, Joan, I lived with her for several months. I met a girl from London on the internet, Denice, and ended up moving to London to be with her. She was married but was in the same position I had been, knowing she had to leave the marriage, which she did. We had some fun times and I loved her daughter, Emily. We never lived together but it all came crashing down when I found out she had lied about a weekend trip. Instead of going to a cousin's baby shower she flew to Ottawa to be with yet another guy she met on the internet. Second time crushed.

Yet again searching for a lower cost of living somewhere off I went to Ecuador. Again more bad than good but just when I was again being forced to go back to Canada I met Patricia. We were good together and spent some very romantic time together. We tried to keep it going after I came back but it wasn't working. Then she started saying she couldn't pay her bills and asking for money, so that ended that. This time my friend, Heather, who had worked for me decades before, offered me her son's place north of Belleville for free because he was renovating it and she thought I could help based on my years of experience. When I got there he had installed a pellet stove, a fridge and stove and even laid in some food for me. It was okay but then the pellet stove failed and I froze my buns off for five days and ended up falling apart at the Salvation Army in Belleville. They were incredible and helped me to get into the first of many group homes.

After finally working my way to living on Forin my rent went up a hundred bucks a month for just a room so again I searched for somewhere with a lower cost of living and this time found Ajijic, Mexico. I left in September, 2017, hoping to finally find that elusive place. I fell in love with it the day I arrived and my plans quickly changed to finding a way to stay there forever instead of just checking it out. Then within a couple of weeks I met Elba, who quickly became what I thought was my true unconditional love. We quickly moved in together and started planning our future together. Her large family accepted me right away. We got engaged at our favorite place, Adelita's, and were congratulated by all our friends. Her two sons asked if it was okay if they called me Dad. Then yet another huge mistake.

My six month tourist visa was about to expire so I had to return to Canada to apply for residency. Although I had my return ticket, I now had to get a ticket to come back. I told Elba that I would miss her and she wanted to come with me, but I was honest and told her I couldn't afford to pay for her ticket. She said she always wanted to visit Canada so she would pay for her own flights. What I was too stupid to realize was that if she married me as planned I would automatically get residency and would not need to go back to Canada to file for it. Our trip back was the trip from hell in every way, but we struggled through it and I didn't see any change in her, but the minute we got back she wasn't coming back to our apartment. Instead she went to hers in Guadalajara, saying she had a meeting with her lawyer in the morning. I knew that was a lie and something was very wrong.

Then she came to our apartment when I was out and packed up all her shoes and clothes. When I came home and asked her what was going on she said she knew we were moving to a smaller place so she was going to sell most of her clothes and shoes. Again, I knew she was lying. That night at Adelita's she was very distant. She didn't sit with me or dance with me. I kept asking her what was wrong but she kept saying nothing was wrong. I thought we were going back to my apartment but she surprised me saying she was gong back to Guadalajara with her son. Now I knew something was really wrong.

That night was a moment that changed my life. She sent me a simple text message that our relationship was over. No reasons given. It struck me like a lighting bolt. I fell apart crying my eyes out. I begged her to tell me why but she refused. For the first time in my life I wanted to just swim out in the lake far enough not to make it back. With her my self confidence could not have been any higher. She told me she loved me several times a day. She said I was the best relationship she had ever had. When we went out she told me how handsome I was, something no one had ever said to me. Every minute together was incredible. Then in a heartbeat I was worthless and saw no reason to go on. If it weren't for two of my friends, Violetta and Don, who talked me down and convinced me to go on I wouldn't be writing this now. In my panic texts I begged Elba to talk to me, but she sent only one text telling me to "disappear". Don actually ended up marrying Elba shortly after I returned to Canada. He had money. I didn't.

Back to Canada in November, 2019 and another series of group homes. I eventually got my current geared to income apartment where I am now. My friends from before when I lived in Belleville had abandoned me for reasons I don't know so life was very lonely and I never met anyone who I might fall in love with, until now.

Call it fate if you want. My neighbor took me to the last concert of the Concerts On the Bay series at West Zwick. Just like any guy I hate to ask a girl to dance and get a "no". You never know what to say after that. I saw this cute girl dancing with a guy, then another guy, then another guy. As I walked passed her I tapped her on the shoulder and said I saw her dancing with a bunch of guys so who was she with? She said she was single. When I said I would love to dance with her she held her arms out. We had some wonderful dances and she asked me if I wanted to take dance lessons with her. Of course I did so we managed to meet at the Quinte Mall and go to the lesson in Trenton. For some unknown reason we instantly clicked but she got me talking and talking, far more than I should have. I kept saying that I was sorry that I was probably boring her but she said she was interested. Hours later when she dropped me off I felt so guilty that I knew almost nothing about her. Was she divorced? Did she have kids? Did she have brothers and sisters? We talked long enough that I should have known. My bad.

More and more connections followed, but I soon discovered that she was a deeply religious girl, and I'm not. At first I thought this would be our undoing but she said that we could debate anything about religion, so that was good. As we spent more and more time together my feelings for her were growing despite not wanting to after how Elba hurt me so badly. I sent her a religious bangle for her birthday, hoping she would be okay getting it from me, and she was. I ran around at the mall getting her birthday cards, a teddy bear, a birthday balloon, a flower, which I somehow lost on the way home, and put together a gift bag for her. I hoped she would let me take her out for a birthday dinner, but she declined. She did come over and spread out a blanket to have a picnic. She opened the gift bag and loved everything in it. Things were good with us.

Then I blew it. I professed my love for her. I sent her a very long, romantic poem in which I acknowledged that she just wanted to be the dreaded "friends". I did still hope that she would eventually feel the same for me though. I loved every minute that I spent with her, could not stop thinking about her and missed her every minute that we were apart. One day when she came over we talked for four hours, then she phoned me later and we talked for another four hours! Never in my life have I ever talked to any girl for eight hours in one day! I told her that I had probably talked with her more than I had with my ex of twenty-three years.

After making the huge mistake of telling her that I loved her all the joy of our relationship was sucked out. At our last dance lesson she was leading very strongly. As I have for many, many years I had told her the three lessons of dance. One, the guy leads. Two, whatever goes wrong is the guys fault, and, three, have fun. Over the last thirty years I have taken ten years of lessons in country dance and competed in several competitions. I must have danced with several hundred women and in four countries. If the girl is leading after I gave her the rules I tell her that she's leading and usually she stops. If she doesn't listen I will stop on the dance floor to give her the choice to quit or pay attention. Never in all those years have I ever had a problem. In Kelowna at the OK Corral I probably taught thirty young girls to dance because their boyfriends were too stupid to take lessons.

In the lesson she refused to stop leading so again I stopped to give her the same choice I've given all the other girls. She was then really upset because she said other people there would think she was a "controlling bitch". The first and only girl to ever think that. Our lessons were over. After the lesson we had a great hike up a local mountain so I still had hope for us. Boy, was I wrong.

We did have a wonderful day together at the O'Hara Homestead for their two hundredth anniversary, but still had issues. She didn't take her phone for some reason and kept ordering me around to take photos as though I had never done that thousands of times. After I joked at the tea party we went to that men have no such thing as equality but we accept it to keep peace, again she said it made her sound like that controlling bitch. Apparently I am no longer able to make jokes about anything.

It was around this time that I realized she had never gone to my Facebook page or, more importantly, this website. She also dictated that she would no longer use Messenger which we had used a lot. She also insisted that we only use texting despite the fact that I had told her I hate typing on my phone. It was becoming more and more clear that she wasn't interested in me at all, even as a friend. I knew I couldn't just stop loving her so I hoped we would make it through all my growing doubts.

The next day she was going to a friend's birthday party in Madoc but she surprised me by inviting me to go. I wasn't sure who this friend was so I felt a bit awkward going if she didn't know me, but it turned out I did know her and had even danced with her at the lessons. There were a lot of friends from the dance class there so that was good and I felt comfortable. When we danced though she started pushing me around the dance floor again, telling me what to do. Obviously she didn't pay any attention to what I had said about the guy leading. Dancing with her was not fun anymore.

The birthday party was the good part of the day, as was what we did exploring the local shops and stopping to look at a guy's paintings by the road. The horrible part of the day was the start.

After picking me up she started the worst attack I've ever had in my life. Even my ex wasn't as cruel. I had told her that my loveless marriage was nothing but verbal abuse for everything I said or did. No matter how hard I tried I could never make it any better. Better house. Better car. Nothing worked. And I said clearly that I vowed to never put up with that again. For me respect and equality are fundamental to any good relationship. Her vicious attack found fault with everything I had done or said. No mention of the love I had shown her. No respect for the way she knew I felt about her. She even said friends are supposed to make each other happy and we weren't doing that. Much as I didn't want to I fought back disagreeing with her that I was worthless. She countered that I was playing the victim, which I clearly was. She had me on the verge of tears. Not only had I given up on any loving relationship with her and was struggling to just be her friend, now that was gone too. You can't be friends with someone you find so many faults with.

Today wasn't just a conflict about going or not going to the dance lesson. It was a full on attack. To quote:

"I won't be calling you when I get home to listen to you ranting and raving about how you miss today even though yu said you didn't want to come anymore...I don't play mind games. And when you tell a person you don't want to go somewhere anymore. And then you say tell me what time you're picking me up. That's playing mind games...if you don't believe me please run it by your friend anna"

If you're not coming that's one hundred percent your choice. I just don't want to hear about it for an hour and a half the next time I see you. It's the end of the subject. If you said oh I changed my mind and I'd like to come now, that's different, but when you say what time are you picking me up? That's passive-aggressive because the last news I had was that you didn't want to go anymore. Did you look at the communication videos I asked you to? I never did mind games in high school and I don't do them now. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It's really simple and avoids confusion. Please don't twist my words."

"Again you're talking head games. Let me know if I'm not coming with you today please. I don't let anybody know what they're doing. I'm not a control freak like you think I am. You're a big boy, you know, whether you want to go or not. You're manipulating the situation and forcing me to make the call for what is happening. That should be a decision mutually made by two grown adults. All you had to say was "Hey (name). I changed my mind and I'd really like to go today. You don't realize it but instead you manipulated the situation to try to get me to make a decision for you. That's controlling but I know you don't realize it."

"Even by saying you screwed up the best friendship you ever had is passive-aggressive because I never said that. I had no idea that our friendship is over but I guess apparently it is according to you. I think maybe you just experienced most things in a grandiose way, like kind of overexaggerated in your experience with the situation. Have you ever been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder?"

The facts of this whole situation are that, yes, after friends supposedly thought she was a controlling bitch after I stopped on the dance floor I wasn't enjoying the lessons after that and said I probably wouldn't go again. For me, much as I cared for her, dancing is supposed to be fun and it wasn't. Sunday when she dropped me off I said I would think about it regarding going to the lesson. I also said that I was down to my last bus tickets and couldn't afford to get more so that was also an issue. She said she would pick me up but I said that I would meet her again at the mall. I did and realized both how much I enjoyed dancing with her and just spending time with her. I accepted that I would let her do all the leading she wanted to and not object. Early this morning I asked her not what time she was picking me up, rather what time she wanted to meet at the mall as we had done before. I needed to shave and shower and catch the two buses to get to the mall in time. Clearly I wanted to go. Instead of simply answering me she sent me all the bus schedules that I already knew from riding the buses in town for years and years, then went on the diatribe you see. I have no idea why.

Yet another wrong woman to fall in love with. I get that I express my love too soon, but I am a painfully honest guy and I am always honest about my feelings. For me, to be in love with someone and not tell them is just wrong, but yet again I have been hurt badly by doing this. If I ever fall in love again it will be very hard not to express my feelings honestly, but I'll try. I probably don't have much longer to live so I guess I will be alone.

 

 

 

 

 


Reflecting on life.

Clearly no one cares, but, as always, I find writing is a little therapeutic for me. When life gets me down more than I can handle I’ve reached out for help from both “friends” and mental health organizations like the Enrichment Centre here in town and others, but nobody responds. Healthcare in general is a total mess right now in Canada, but mental health is by far the worst. People are waiting months for desperately needed appointments. Sad.

As I have said in other life reflection posts I feel totally trapped here in Belleville and feel like I am just waiting to die, which, thanks to my apparently not so urgent medical issue, might be closer than I think. It’s now been a year since the doctor at the walk-in clinic supposedly gave me an “urgent” referral to a neurologist in Kingston but I haven’t heard a word yet. As is said, too much analysis is paralysis, so I’ve stopped researching why you go to a neurologist. There’s no simple reasons. All of them are downright scary.

No question that Belleville is the very last place I ever thought I would live. Many years ago I ended up here after things didn’t work out for me in Ecuador and my friend, Heather, a former employee of decades ago, offered to let me stay at her son’s house outside of town which was under renovation and she thought based on my years of renovating several houses that I could help him. That turned into a total disaster when the pellet stove he installed failed and I froze my ass off for several days. I ended up breaking down in tears at the Salvation Army and they managed to get me into a group home. Yet another disaster.

After far too long I managed to get into another group home, this one run by All-Together Housing, where I met the President, Bob Cottrell, which was the start of a years long relationship. Back in 2017 when my time was about up at the group home, plus my rent for my room went up a hundred dollars, plus I now had an absurd amount on my credit card, I made the decision to give Mexico a try. Although it sure was an adventure, including falling in love with the love of my life and getting engaged, it was yet another disaster when I lost one of my pensions, about a third of my limited income, I couldn’t afford my very expensive medications, and I got dumped by text message and she married my best friend, who had money, way more than I did. I was forced back to Canada and tried to go back to the Okanagan where I had spent fourteen wonderful years, but it proved impossible to find anywhere affordable to live and I had no choice but to return to Belleville.

When I lived here before I found several good friends, but things have sure changed now. One was a guy I lived with at the last group home. We did a lot together, like going out for dinner, going to the show, visiting parks in the area, and going to Kingston several weekends, but when I came back he had moved to Winnipeg. Although I don’t remember where I met her, Doral was a good friend when I first came here. We used to go every Saturday to the Trenton Legion to see the bands. I helped her at her trailer north of town many times. We worked the Elvis Festival in Tweed. We helped a buddy move. We went to the casino for breakfast a few times with another good friend, Kate, all before the virus shut everything down. When I came back from Mexico the bus from Toronto dropped me off miles out of town and I was panicking. I called Doral and she was kind enough to pick me up and rescue me. I called for emergency housing and she got me connected to take a cab to Trenton to stay in a motel for the night. After that I barely ever see her other than once in a while at dances here. She won’t take me to Trenton for some reason and has nothing to do with me anymore. It’s the same with Kate who has been a dance partner for some eight years now, but she has abandoned me as well. I also met Jassmin and we went to Cheap Tuesdays at the movies. I bought the tickets and she gave me a ride, but she too has stopped responding to my messages. With all these “friends” I don’t know if I’ve done something to upset them and have no clue why they’ve dropped me.

I don’t know if it’s a post COVID thing or me, but people seem to be a lot less friendly now than they used to be. I’m in the Quinte Singles group which has close to eight hundred members now, but they don’t come out to any of the events. A recent corn roast/pot luck event only had twenty-four people show up. There’s a dance coming up soon so hopefully lots of members will show up.

For me the summer has been a total disaster. Not only have I never been to a dance in Trenton because Doral won’t give me a ride anymore, but I can’t get a ride to anything. There’s been some great bands playing at the casino Friday nights, but the last bus home is at 9:40 so I miss most of it. One of the bands that I built a website for, Back Swing, was there recently but I couldn’t go. There’s also great concerts at the Lions Pavilion at West Zwick park, called Concerts On the Bay, every Wednesday and Sunday nights, but the buses don’t even go there so I’ve not been to one concert. I’ve never been anywhere near a beach this summer. Never been to Kingston on the weekends. Even the Saturday night dances at the ANAF club are impossible because the buses don’t run on Saturday nights and it’s impossible to get a cab even if I could afford it, which I can’t.

Hard as I try my website business, something I’ve done for decades and in many countries, has failed to make a dime. What I used to get four or five hundred dollars for is now down to a hundred and twenty-nine dollars and I do a lot more work for it, like registering the domain name, building a much more complicated website, and free hosting. I did build a couple of band sites for even less money. I also invested about three thousand dollars worth of time building out one of the most complicated sites ever, my mistake, yes, but the client turned out to be an idiot and ended it just insulting me.

Life is certainly not good now. I did just manage to connect with my son from another mother to tell him about my health issue because it might affect him someday. His mother told me never to contact him again but I felt I had an obligation to let him know because he is my biological son and he thanked me and asked me to keep him posted so I will.

As much as I would be giving up on ever seeing my kids or grandkids before I die, I still wish I could go back to Mexico to live out what’s left of my life. My dear friend, Annie, said she would marry me so I can stay in Mexico, but I would again lose one of my pensions when I am out of the country for more than six months and I could never afford my diabetic medications, which are free here in Canada. I told Annie that if my eventual diagnosis with the neurologist is fatal I will sell everything and come back to live out what’s left of my life with her and her wonderful family.

Should anyone care, stay tuned.


Advice to the young

Someone asked what advice I would give to someone twenty years old so this was my response -

1. Don't just get a job. Take a course like Personality Dimensions (True Colors in the US) to discover your passion. You will spend the majority of your life working so do what you love and it will never feel like work.
2. Find someone special to share your life. Your heart can be tricked and your brain will know something's not right, but trust your gut. A great relationship is based on mutual trust, respect and equality. Never let anyone control you.
3. Travel the world while you are still young. You will learn so much by experiencing other cultures. Take a month every year and travel to different places in the world.
4. Take lots of photos and videos of your life, especially of your kids if and when you have them. You will treasure those when you are old and look back on the memories, especially if you are alone.
5. Never let anything come between you and your family. Blood is thicker than water. Always take the high road and be the one to forgive no matter what they do. Don't let petty issues fester until they are gone and it's too late.
6. Difficult as it is to talk about, know your parents financial situation and their wishes when they are gone. If you avoid it you will face many problems when they are gone.
7. Don't do anything criminal and get trapped in the horrible justice system because it can ruin your life.
8. Regardless of where you are born consider living in other places, even other countries. Look at business opportunities, weather, language, Real Estate to find your own version of paradise.
9. In everything you do pay attention to your health and mental wellbeing. Don't smoke. Don't drink. Don't do drugs. Have adventures but don't take unnecessary risks getting hurt. Stay safe.
IMHO 😀


2022 Year in Review

Over the course of the almost twenty years I've maintained this personal website I've often done a review of the previous year highlighting some of the major things that have happened and looking forward to the next year. Most often it seems like I am always hoping that the next year will be better. My site motto is the "good, the bad and the ugly" and it appears that the bad and the ugly usually win out.

2022 was mostly about my health. As we grow older our health becomes more and more important. The ravages of age can be cruel. For me as I’ve gotten older I have sensed my own mortality more as I draw closer to the ages of my parents. My Dad died in my arms when he was eighty-one and my Mum, who had advanced Alzheimer’s, died at eighty-four, so that’s not a long time from now even if I make it that far. I am also diabetic and a smoker so that’s two strikes against me already. A couple of months ago I was shooting video of a band down at the Caribbean Festival, holding my phone up over the heads of the crowd, when I suddenly felt like I was going to fall down. I wasn’t dizzy or faint, just lost my balance. I stumbled back to grab onto the building, then managed to get to my bus home with the help of the auxiliary police. After that I spent hours and hours in the Emergency Department getting all kinds of tests, including a CT scan, all of which came back negative. A doctor at a local clinic gave me an urgent referral to a neurologist; however, there are none in Belleville and the closest one is in Kingston and I have no idea how to get there. I’ve been waiting weeks for the call, but I’m told it could be months. Thankfully it has gotten better. I'm still a little shaky in the shower but I'm not banging into the walls of my apartment. I've even managed to dance again.

There are two related issues with this condition. First, and clearly the most critical, is not knowing what is causing this loss of balance. As usual too much analysis can be paralysis. Back when the CT scan was scheduled I researched why you get one of your head and the results were not great. Everything from a brain tumor to aneurysm or a stroke. Scary stuff! Thankfully the results of the scan showed nothing abnormal, but being referred to a neurologist was just as scary. My research points to vestibular balance disorders because it can be a result of diabetes and one of the symptoms is tinnitus which I suffer from. Obviously self diagnosis is dangerous so I won't know until I actually get to see the neurologist.

The other major issue with this situation is with my kids. Not to be overly dramatic but if whatever this is turns out to be fatal I didn't want my kids to find out I was gone from some random Facebook post. I felt they had the right to know about my condition. As I have lamented many times over the years my kids all abandoned me for reasons I have never known. My wonderful daughter, Heather, has not connected with me in almost thirty years now. My son, Chris, connected with me back in London, Ontario is 2009, but blocked me on Facebook soon after. My other son, Andy, from another mother, hasn't blocked me but has chosen not to have anything to do with me. As far a grandkids go I just recently learned that my daughter had another son back in 2019 but nobody told me. Heather now has three kids who don't know anything about me. Chris has three daughters, only one of which I had contact with. When I lived in Mexico she messaged me on Facebook, saying she was so upset that her parents didn't let her make her own decision about me. We chatted back and forth for a while and then she was coming to Mexico for a friend's wedding and she would let me know where and when. Then suddenly she blocked me too with no reasons why. It's all so very confusing.

I tried to let my kids know. My cousin in Toronto doesn't have any contact with my kids and didn't want to get involved anyway. Friends, like Annie in Mexico, had her daughter message Mackenzie to contact me, but her mother sent me an angry message telling me to stop having anyone message her daughter. At one point Andrew's mother, Pat, had put Chris and Heather in touch with him and they met each other, so I was hoping that he might let them know about my situation, but I asked Pat if it was okay if I told Andrew and she blew up at me and told me not to contact Andrew, so there went that idea. I had made arrangements with my Executor to access my Facebook account and have someone do a post that I was gone, but we had a stupid fight about something he completely misunderstood so I don't know if he's going to be my Executor or not. After the fight he said he was going to return all the paperwork to me but he hasn't done that yet, so I don't know if I have anyone to look after things or not. It's all such a mess and so stressful.

Besides the health issue my life over the last year has not been great.

Without question this has been the most boring year of my life. Being stuck back in the most boring city I’ve ever lived in is bad enough, but even compared to my previous years here this is by far the worst ever. Before I made yet another fateful decision and moved to Mexico for two years my life here wasn’t all that bad. Although I lived in various group homes and never had a place to call my own, I did have friends and did a lot. With my friend, JC, at the group home on Forin, we went down to Kingston several weekends, and went over to Wolfe island. We went to Sandbanks to swim. We had a most interesting day visiting the monarch butterfly exhibit. We also went out to dinner a few times and went to the show. When I returned to Belleville in 2019 he had moved to Winnipeg. Although I ended up in Forin again, nobody had a car so we never went anywhere.

Someone who was a good friend was Doral. She took me to the Legion in Trenton many Saturdays for their dances with great bands. I also helped her at her trailer several times. She also took us to volunteer at the Elvis Festival in Tweed, which was a fun weekend. She and our friend, Kate, also went to the Monday brunches at the casino before they shutdown for COVID. I also helped Doral with a flea market event at the Trenton Legion. We danced at all the various music events at the Belleville Legion and the concerts at the Lions pavilion on Wednesdays and Sundays. When I returned in 2019 of course the world went into lockdown when the virus hit so there were no dances or events to go to. Now that things have slowly recovered Doral has written me out of her life. I saw her at the Canada Day event at Zwick park and asked her about going to the dances in Trenton again but she said she was too busy selling her clothes at various festivals and jamborees to go. She’s never called about going to the casino either.

Someone who has helped me more than anyone in my life is Bob Cottrell, the President of All-Together Housing, the charity who ran the group homes I stayed in over the years. When I went to Mexico he let me store all my storage bins in the basement at Forin and when I came back to apply for residency in Mexico he brought all the bins to the hotel for us to sell everything, and this despite having a heart attack the day he was to meet us. After I was forced back from Mexico he managed to get me into Forin again and even paid an invalid collection from the housing corporation in London, Ontario so that I could qualify for more permanent housing, without which I’d be on the streets now. After I moved out to my own apartment he basically wrote me out of his life. I had spent hours on a major shipping container apartment project and asked to meet him to go over it and see how we could get funding and approvals for it, but he never responded. A couple of months ago I was in a very rough state of depression and I wrote him a very pleading email for help from the mental health folks here, but, again, he didn’t respond. Then I had a major issue with someone who’s been my best buddy and I asked Bob to speak to him, and he said he would, but that was months ago now and he’s done nothing.

Probably the biggest challenge this year has been what happened with my best buddy, Rob. After I moved out of Forin we lost touch for almost a year and I had no clue why. Then one day while I was out front of the building having a smoke he comes walking up and starts chatting as though nothing had ever happened. He told me he finally got his own apartment just around the corner from me so he came to see me. I was thrilled that we connected again and we went for coffee at Tim’s several times. When I faced this new health issue that could end my life I realized that I needed someone to deal with selling and donating my stuff. Bob Cottrell was my Executor and I knew he wasn’t going to handle things anymore, so I asked Rob if he would be my Executor and he agreed. We spent the next couple of weeks getting my new will updated and signed, having him meet my landlady, and going over all the things to do with my websites and so on. I was so relieved that everything would be handled by someone I could trust.

Then Rob asked me if the doctor at the Bayview Clinic would fill out his paperwork for ODSP so he could get more money. I was visiting the clinic to get my referral to the neurologist so I asked Dr. Maraghi if he would complete Rob’s paperwork and he agreed. Rob asked me to go with him to introduce him to Dr. Maraghi and I agreed because I said I was going to ask Dr. Maraghi if he got my medical records from the hospital. When we met at the clinic I went in with Rob, introduced him and asked Dr. Maraghi if he got my records and he said to check with the front office. No sooner had I gone outside than Rob came out very pissed at me. He said after I left the doctor Dr. Maraghi had throw his paperwork back at him and said the appointment was over because I had used the time. Rob hurled insults at me, finally telling me to f*ck off and that he was going to drop off all the paperwork we had signed for my will. He told me to lose his number and never call him again. I was really upset at what had happened.

When I got home, still very upset, I realized that the fault here was Dr. Maraghi. Why would he treat Rob with such disrespect simply because I took thirty seconds to ask him a question? I sat down and wrote a three page letter detailing what had happened and asking him to be professional and call Rob to come back in again and complete his paperwork as he should done the first time. When I met Rob again to give him back some money he had loaned me I gave him a copy of the letter so he would know why the clinic was calling him. To my considerable surprise he called me later to tell me he had shown my letter to a police officer because somewhere in the letter he got that I was threatening him. I read the letter again and for the life of me couldn’t see where he got this. As he was yelling at me he did mention that the clinic had in fact called him to come in again, but he had gotten his paperwork completed somewhere else. It didn’t matter. The friendship was over. Although at this point, weeks later, he still hasn’t returned my will I doubt he will handle things if I drop dead.

A recurring issue this year has been not being able to get a ride anywhere from anyone, including my offers to give gas money. I have not gone to a single Wednesday or Sunday Lion’s concert at Zwick because no buses go there. The buses in this town stop running Saturday nights and early on Sundays and not at all on holidays so that’s not an option. For every single event I have posted an offer of gas money on Facebook but not a soul has responded. If I still drove I would offer anyone a ride and not ask for gas money because I’m going there anyway. Belleville must be the most unfriendly town anywhere.

Maybe also related to the whole “friends” thing is what happened with a neighbor here in the building, Dave. He had previously lived in the apartment I now live in and we had chatted when we saw each other. One day he asked me if I was interested in playing shuffleboard at the Legion. Although I had not played in years I said I would try so he told me to meet him in front of the building and we would go together in his car. I enjoyed it and joined the league. After a couple of weeks we went to the local fish and chip shop for dinner and I paid to thank him for the rides to the Legion. He also took me out to the reserve to get my smokes, for which he wanted twenty dollars so I paid him. Every week we went to Tim’s on the way and I always paid. Then one week I was waiting for him in the lobby but he didn’t come, so I called him to ask when we were going. He said he had already left and when I asked him why he said because I never gave him any money for gas! He had never asked me for gas money to go to the same place he was already going. I guess he forgot about the expensive dinner I had paid for and the Tim’s every week. We have barely spoken ever since. I have heard that he’s spread the story about me not giving him gas money to other tenants. He sees me taking the bus every week and drives to the Legion himself but never offers me a ride or says anything to me. A nice lady at the shuffleboard, Nancee, often offers me a ride home and won’t accept gas money.

A few other people affected my life this year. Jassmin is someone I met on Facebook. Back in 2021 we met for dinner at Signal Brewing, went to the cheap Tuesday movies at Cineplex a few times, biking along the lake twice, and planned to go to a beach somewhere. So much that I bought a lawn chair, a cooler and a backpack, but we never ended up going. This year I emailed her before every Tuesday asking her what movie she’d like to see, but she was always “too busy”. She never once asked me to go biking and nothing about going to a beach.

Back in 2020 I also met Sornia at the Trenton Legion. When I got up the courage to ask her to dance it was just incredible. She was one of the best dance partners I ever had in my life. People who saw us dance would ask us how long we had been married. In my dreams! I really liked her and hoped for more, to at least get to dance with her, but she never once responded to my message on Facebook about upcoming dances and she posted videos from various dances she had gone to, so clearly not interested in even dancing with me, let alone anything more.

Yet another disappointment was with my dear and oldest friend, Linda, who I have always called Lenny. We were the best of friends during the fourteen years I lived in the Okanagan and we had many adventures together. She is the one who phoned me from Turkey on my birthday many years ago. This year, out of the blue, she called me and we talked for hours, mostly about memories and where friends were now. One very upsetting thing she told me was that someone who had been a very close friend, Bianca, had told her never to lend me money. When Lenny asked her why she said she had leant me seventeen thousand dollars when I lived in Panama and I had never paid her back! This shocked the heck out of me because it was a total lie! It’s a very long story but Bianca had pressured me about investing in my website business in Ecuador. I had registered domain names for several cities and was building the first site, WelcomeToBoquete, as the model for other sites. I had just hired a local Panamanian girl to work with me as a reporter and sales person and she got an exclusive interview with the mayor. I was also making inroads with a large grocery chain, Romeros, and several banks to advertise on all my sites. After much discussion, most of which was me warning Bianca that it was a very risky investment which could either pay off huge or she could lose it all, I finally agreed to sell her ten percent of the company for two thousand dollars. When I was forced to return to Canada the business fell apart, obviously, and just as I had warned her. It was never a loan and certainly not seventeen thousand dollars. I have no idea where this amount came from or why she would lie that it was a loan. I would never have borrowed any money from her or anyone else.

The one and only constant friendship I had throughout the year was with Annie in Mexico. We chatted on Messenger almost every day as we have since I returned to Canada in November 2019. She has always wanted me to come back to Mexico but I would again lose the GIS pension after six months so we would have to figure out how to survive. At one point she even offered to marry me so I could stay in Mexico, but then there were issues with her husband's pension which she would lose if we got married. Annie is that person in your life that whenever something really good or really bad happens they are the first person you want to tell. She is literally the only friend I have in the world.

Another not so great part of the year was getting scammed by girls on Facebook. Two in particular were really bad. Okay, I'm stupid to fall for them but I'm just too trusting. With both of them we had chatted for hours and hours and they both said they wanted to visit me, and making offers hard to refuse. Both were gorgeous if the photos they sent were really them. The first, Mary Hannah, lived in Toronto. She said she would borrow a car from her friend and come and stay with me for a "few days". It was too tempting and by this time I trusted her. She wanted thirty-five dollars for gas but I told her that would not get her to Belleville, so I offered her fifty but told you that was all I could afford so she would need to get herself home. She agreed. She was going to shower and head off to see me. About an hour later she texted me that she was stranded at a gas station, out of gas, apparently because the car was not good on gas. Not wanting to see her stranded I sent her more money. About an hour later she again texts me that she's in Belleville but out of gas. I ask her where she is and she gives me an address where there is no gas station. I tell her to give my number to the gas station attendant and tell him to call me to get my credit card for gas, but she says he refuses to do that. I tell her that the address she gave me is around the corner from me so walk over, but she doesn't want to leave her car there overnight. Now realizing that she's still at home I refuse to send any more money. She responds with pleas that it's not safe for her to sleep in her car. Just more and more lies. I tell her we're so done.

Lesson learned? No. Next a friend of a friend contacts me on Facebook and we chat for hours. Sandra Scott is in Ottawa and wants to come and visit me. Of course she sends photos to encourage me and makes offers too good to refuse. At first she says she's going to take an Uber to me, which is insane because it would cost hundreds of dollars. Then she's going to borrow a car and needs gas money, of course. Do I yet again fall for it? Well, first I go back to the friend I've known for months and ask her if this Sandra can be trusted and she says she really wants to visit me and she can be trusted. I send Sandra fifty dollars. She cashes the gift card and disappears on me. A day or so later she comes back and messages me that she's so sorry. She had a "medical emergency", her period, and needed pads and medications. Again she promises to come, but by now I am very suspicious so I go back to my friend, who tells me that Sandra had messaged her saying how sorry she was about what happened and how much she still wants to meet me. I fall for it and send her another fifty dollars. She says she's on her way. I had given her my address and asked if she knew how to get here and she said the car had GPS so she would find me. A few hours later she texts me that she can't find me. I ask where she is and she gives me a street about a block away from me. I give her directions. Far too long later she gives me a different street, further away. She adds that the car has broken down but there's a guy who will give her a ride for fifty bucks. I tell her that's ridiculous to come a couple of blocks and I will send her a cab. I ask her to give me a specific house address where she is. Her response is her phone is dying so hurry up and send the fifty bucks because the guys are looking scary. Instead I call a cab telling them it's urgent and we go to the street where she said she was. Of course there's no car and no guys. All lies. Add another twenty bucks for the cab to my losses.

Naturally I go back to the friend who had told me to trust Sandra and she says she is so pissed off that she scammed me. She says Sandra is very sorry and will pay me back. Yeah, right. I am so angry I tell Sandra that I am going to file a report with the RCMP Fraud Centre is she doesn't pay me back within twenty-four hours. She not only doesn't respond she isn't even bright enough to delete our chat which clearly shows she scammed me. I copy the chat and submit it along with her supposed photos to the fraud centre, although I doubt they will do anything. I also do a post on Facebook with her photos warning people not to fall for her scam.

Since this happened several other girls who have friended me also asked for money. Not to visit me, but for photos and videos, but I've told them that I have been scammed badly before and I will never ever send money to anybody again. Some have said that it's not fair to not trust them because of what happened with someone else, which may be true, but I'm firm on not doing it again. Period.

Yes, as per usual, I hope 2023 is better. A lot better. Just surviving another year would be a bonus.


Why do people do this?

There's no shortage of internet scams and frauds, and the police or the RCMP Fraud Centre seem powerless to stop them, but how can people be so cruel to do this to innocent victims? Yeah, I was dumb enough to fall for it, but there's a lot of history on this.

I could literally write a book on some of the strange experiences I've had with various girls who I've met on Facebook Messenger, Google Chat and WhatsApp. There was Thana, who said she was trapped in Afghanistan with her nine year old son. Her husband, a soldier, had been killed and left her with millions of dollars in a bank account in Turkey that she couldn't access without physically going to the branch, but she couldn't leave the country. Over a long and complicated process I was to contact the bank and tell them that Thana wanted to come to Canada to marry me and I needed access to her money to fund her and her son's trip. At one point I had to give my bank information for the bank in Turkey to deposit one million dollars, something I was very nervous to do, but she convinced me that she loved me and really wanted to be with me, so I gave my bank information to her "bank manager". Within minutes she had cleaned out my account. I reported this to my bank and luckily they reversed the charges and reported all the transactions as fraud. Of course she denied ever doing this, but that was the last time I heard from her.

Then there was Adrianna Grace. Again she chatted with me over several weeks, eventually saying how much she loved me and wanted to be with me. She said she really wanted to video chat with me but she needed a new phone. She said she lived north of London, Ontario so I spent an hour online with cell phone carriers seeing what kind of deal I could get for her. Then in one of our many chats she said she wasn't feeling well because she was starving. I said I had a fifty dollar gift card from one of the grocery stores and could send it to her if she gave me her address, which she did and off went the card.

Days later, after I asked her if she got the gift card okay, I guess in a rare moment of honesty, she told me she didn't live where she said she did, in fact, she didn't even live in Canada! She was somewhere in the States. I asked her why she had me spend all the time with Canadian cell phone carriers, and who got the gift card? She was sorry and her friend enjoyed the gift card. Never heard from her again.

Then there was Mary Hannah, although I doubt that was her real name. She friended me on Facebook then we started chatting on Google Chat, and for hours and hours. She was one of those girls who wanted to sell her sexy videos and I offered to help. Like many of the women who sell their videos she also shared one of her naked, playing with her pussy. I suggested that this is not what men really want so over the course of many hours I wrote a script for her telling her exactly what to do and what to show. She loved the concept and said she would record the video and send it to me "right away". Hours later of course she came back saying she had done the video but needed money for her internet to upload it to me. I sent her the twenty bucks she asked for, but, naturally, got no video. She said she lived in Toronto and wanted to come and visit me in Belleville, but she needed money for gas and asked for twenty or thirty dollars. With the current price of gas I said that would not even get her here, let along back home, but she said she had gas in her car and just needed more. I sent her the money and she said she was on her way. An hour or so later she messages me telling me she is out of gas and if I send her some more money she will be here soon. I ask her to tell me exactly where she is but she can't tell me, probably because she's still at home. Later she tells me she's here in Belleville but stuck at a gas station because she needs more gas. I ask what gas station she's at and she gives me an address where there is no gas station, of course. Then she sends a bunch of messages saying she will be forced to sleep in her car if I don't send more money for gas. I tell her to get the gas station attendant to phone me, but she says he refuses to call. I tell her leave her car and get a cab to my place but she says the driver won't take her unless she gives him twenty dollars. I tell her to have the cab driver phone me, but she says the driver doesn't have a phone. I tell her that every cab driver has a phone for dispatch. Finally she says she's not coming and going back home. I ask how she'll do that if she has no gas? End of story. Nothing but lies. She was never here.

The final straw was the worst. A long term friend on Google Chat, Sarah Logan, told me her friend, Sandra Scott, who was "like a sister", wanted to meet me. She put us in touch on Chat and we started chatting. Over the course of the next few hours she said she really wanted to meet me. She sent several very attractive photos to tease me. She just needed "gas money" to come, of course. I explained that I had just been ripped off by someone else who wanted to visit me, so I wasn't going to fall for that again. Over several hours it got so bad that she said she was booking an Uber to come and needed a hundred dollars. She promised to spend several days with me if I would just help her out. I asked if I sent her a hundred dollars to get her how was she going to get home? I was clear that I had no more money to give her, but she said she would borrow money from a friend to get back home. The story was getting more and more fishy, but I really wanted her to come and stay for a few days. The minute I finally sent her the money she disappeared.

I went back to Sarah and told her what her "friend" had done to me. She was livid and said she would contact Sandra. She came back saying she was furious with Sandra and that she would return my money. The next day Sandra came back on chat to say she was really sorry, but she had a "medical emergency" and needed ninety dollars for meds. She insisted that she would pay me back, but I didn't believe her and ended our chat.

Oh, but there's more to the story!

Several days later Sarah contacted me again to say that Sandra was so disappointed that she hadn't come to spend some time with me. Despite what had happened she insisted that Sandra could be trusted, saying that if I sent "gas money" to Sandra again, and she didn't come, Sarah would pay me back. At one point I was chatting with both of them, arguing back and forth about sending her the money. I told Sandra to come and the minute she showed up I would get her the gift card for a hundred bucks. No deal because she needed "gas money" to come. Over the next few hours she made all kinds of juicy offers to sleep with me, which only made me more suspicious, but throughout this chat with Sandra there's Sarah telling me it would be the best thing I could ever do because there could be more with Sandra. She could be the girlfriend of my dreams and stay with me. I broke down and sent the money. Sandra said she was on her way. At least this time she didn't disappear on me after she got my money.

About two hours later I get another message saying she's run out of gas. She even includes a map showing where she is and that she's thirty-six minutes away. She says she needs thirty dollars but I send her fifty because we're going to use her car for the next few days that she's here with me, doing all the things we talked about. About an hour later she messages me telling me where she is, but she can't find me. The street name she gave was about a block away so I give her directions and tell her she's five minutes away. Awhile later I get another message saying that her car has broken down and she's on a street miles from where she just was. She says there's a guy there who will bring her to me for fifty bucks and to send it right away because her phone is dying. I tell her there's no way I'm going to pay some guy fifty bucks when she's only minutes away from me. She replies that there's a bunch of "bad guys" there and she's in danger. Her phone dies, so I call a cab and we wander the street she said she was on, but there's no car broken down and no her. I got back home and suddenly her phone is magically charged and she attacks me saying she is going to need to get a motel now and she "hates me".  I guess she hates me for realizing that she is still in Ottawa and not here.

I've had enough. I email Sandra telling her that I have our chat records. I've contacted Google who say they have her IP address and will release it to the police. I have her Google Chat information and will get her account suspended with Google. I have spoken with Amazon and they will suspend her account for "suspicious activity". I will file a report with the RCMP Fraud centre within twenty-four hours if she doesn't return the money she extorted from me. I will also publicly expose her on Facebook to warn others about her. No response from her. I file the report and here's the post.

Be warned!

 

 


Yet another birthday

Just turned 73. Feeling very old this year, but, as is said, getting old is a privilege denied to many. Normally I review the posts I've done on previous birthdays just to see what stage I was at and what were my thoughts going forward. Regardless of the setbacks I normally try to remain optimistic for the future. Not so much this year.

As we grow older our health becomes more and more important. The raves of age can be cruel. For me as I've gotten older I have sensed my own mortality more as I draw closer to the ages of my parents. My Dad died in my arms when he was eighty-one and my Mum, who had advanced Alzheimer's, died at eighty-four, so that's not a long time from now if I make it that far. I am also diabetic and a smoker so that's two strikes against me already. This birthday I am dealing with a new issue of great concern.

A couple of months ago I was shooting video of a band down at the Caribbean Festival, holding my phone up over the heads of the crowd, when I suddenly felt like I was going to fall down. I wasn't dizzy or faint, just lost my balance. I stumbled back to grab onto the building, then managed to get to my bus home with the help of the auxiliary police. After that I spent hours and hours in the Emergency Department getting all kinds of tests, including a CT scan, all of which came back negative. A doctor at a local clinic gave me an urgent referral to a neurologist; however, there are none in Belleville and the closest one is in Kingston and I have no idea how to get there. I've been waiting weeks for the call, but I'm told it could be months.

Over the many years I've maintained this website I've often done a year end review, but seeing as how I might not still be here at the end of this year I figured I'd add a bit of a review here instead.

Without question this has been the most boring year of my life. Being stuck back in the most boring city I've ever lived in is bad enough, but even compared to my previous years here this is by far the worst ever. Before I made yet another fateful decision and moved to Mexico for two years my life here wasn't all that bad. Although I lived in various group homes and never had a place to call my own, I did have friends and did a lot. With my friend, JC, at the group home on Forin, we went down to Kingston several weekends, and went over to Wolfe island. We went to Sandbanks to swim. We had a most interesting day visiting the monarch butterfly exhibit. We also went out to dinner a few times and went to the show. When I returned to Belleville in 2019 he had moved to Winnipeg. Although I ended up in Forin again, nobody had a car so we never went anywhere.

Someone who was a good friend was Doral. She took me to the Legion in Trenton many Saturdays for their dances with great bands. I also helped her at her trailer several times. She also took us to volunteer at the Elvis Festival in Tweed, which was a fun weekend. She and our friend, Kate, also went to the Monday brunches at the casino before they shutdown for COVID. I also helped Doral with a flea market event at the Trenton Legion. We danced at all the various music events at the Belleville Legion and the concerts at the Lions pavilion on Wednesdays and Sundays. When I returned in 2019 of course the world went into lockdown when the virus hit so there were no dances or events to go to. Now that things have slowly recovered Doral has written me out of her life. I saw her at the Canada Day event at Zwick park and asked her about going to the dances in Trenton again but she said she was too busy selling her clothes at various festivals and jamborees to go. She's never called about going to the casino either.

Someone who has helped me more than anyone in my life is Bob Cottrell, the President of All-Together Housing, the charity who ran the group homes I stayed in over the years. When I went to Mexico he let me store all my storage bins in the basement at Forin and when I came back to apply for residency in Mexico he brought all the bins to the hotel for us to sell everything, and this despite having a heart attack the day he was to meet us. After I was forced back from Mexico he managed to get me into Forin again and even paid an invalid collection from the housing corp in London, Ontario so that I could qualify for more permanent housing, without which I'd be on the streets now. After I moved out to my own apartment he basically wrote me out of his life. I had spent hours on a major shipping container apartment project and asked to meet him to go over it and see how we could get funding and approvals for it, but he never responded. A couple of months ago I was in a very rough state of depression and I wrote him a very pleading email for help from the mental health folks here, but, again, he didn't respond. Then I had a major issue with someone who's been my best buddy and I asked Bob to speak to him, and he said he would, but that was weeks ago now and he's done nothing.

Probably the biggest challenge this year has been what happened with my best buddy, Rob. After I moved out of Forin we lost touch for almost a year and I had no clue why. Then one day while I was out front of the building having a smoke he comes walking up and starts chatting as though nothing had ever happened. He told me he finally got his own apartment just around the corner from me so he came to see me. I was thrilled that we connected again and we went for coffee at Tim's several times. When I faced this new health issue that could end my life I realized that I needed someone to deal with selling and donating my stuff. Bob Cottrell was my Executor and I knew he wasn't going to handle things anymore, so I asked Rob if he would be my Executor and he agreed. We spent the next couple of weeks getting my new will updated and signed, having him meet my landlady, and going over all the things to do with my websites and so on. I was so relieved that everything would be handled by someone I could trust.

Then Rob asked me if the doctor at the Bayview Clinic would fill out his paperwork for ODSP so he could get more money. I was visiting the clinic to get my referral so I asked Dr. Maraghi if he would complete Rob's paperwork and he agreed. Rob asked me to go with him to introduce him to Dr. Maraghi and I agreed because I said I was going to ask Dr. Maraghi if he got my medical records from the hospital. When we met at the clinic I went in with Rob, introduced him and asked Dr. Maraghi if he got my records and he said to check with the front office. No sooner had I gone outside than Rob came out very pissed at me. He said after I left the doctor Dr. Maraghi had throw his paperwork back at him and said the appointment was over because I had used the time. Rob hurled insults at me, finally telling me to f*ck off and that he was going to drop off all the paperwork we had signed for my will. He told me to lose his number and never call him again. I was really upset at what had happened.

When I got home, still very upset, I realized that the fault here was Dr. Maraghi. Why would he treat Rob with such disrespect simply because I took thirty seconds to ask him a question? I sat down and wrote a three page letter detailing what had happened and asking him to be professional and call Rob to come back in again and complete his paperwork as he should done the first time. When I met Rob again to give him back some money he had loaned me I gave him a copy of the letter so he would know why the clinic was calling him. To my considerable surprise he called me later to tell me he had shown my letter to a police officer because somewhere in the letter he got that I was threatening him. I read the letter again and for the life of me couldn't see where he got this. As he was yelling at me he did mention that the clinic had in fact called him to come in again, but he had gotten his paperwork completed somewhere else. It didn't matter. The friendship was over. Although at this point, weeks later, he still hasn't returned my will I doubt he will handle things if I drop dead.

A recurring issue this year has been not being able to get a ride anywhere from anyone, including my offers to give gas money. I have not gone to a single Wednesday or Sunday Lion's concert at Zwick because no buses go there. The buses in this town stop running Saturday nights and early on Sundays and not at all on holidays so that's not an option. For every single event I have posted an offer of gas money on Facebook but not a soul has responded. If I still drove I would offer anyone a ride and not ask for gas money because I'm going there anyway. Belleville must be the most unfriendly town anywhere.

Maybe also related to the whole "friends" thing is what happened with a neighbor here in the building, Dave. He had previously lived in the apartment I now live in and we had chatted when we saw each other. One day he asked me if I was interested in playing shuffleboard at the Legion. Although I had not played in years I said I would try so he told me to meet him in front of the building and we would go together in his car. I enjoyed it and joined the league. After a couple of weeks we went to the local fish and chip shop for dinner and I paid to thank him for the rides to the Legion. He also took me out to the reserve to get my smokes, for which he wanted twenty dollars so I paid him. Every week we went to Tim's on the way and I always paid. Then one week I was waiting for him in the lobby but he didn't come, so I called him to ask when we were going. He said he had already left and when I asked him why he said because I never gave him any money for gas! He had never asked me for gas money to go to the same place he was already going. I guess he forgot about the expensive dinner I had pad for and the Tim's every week. We have barely spoken ever since. I have heard that he's spread the story about me not giving him gas money to other tenants. He sees me taking the bus every week and drives to the Legion himself but never offers me a ride or says anything to me. A nice lady at the shuffleboard, Nancee, often offers me a ride home and won't accept gas money.

A few other people affected my life this year. Jassmin is someone I met on Facebook. Last year we met for dinner at Signal Brewing, went to the cheap Tuesday movies at Cineplex a few times, biking along the lake twice, and planned to go to a beach somewhere. So much that I bought a lawn chair, a cooler and a backpack, but we never ended up going. This year I emailed her before every Tuesday asking her what movie she'd like to see, but she was always "too busy". She never once asked me to go biking and nothing about going to a beach.

Back in 2020 I also met Sornia at the Trenton Legion. When I got up the courage to ask her to dance it was just incredible. She was one of the best dance partners I ever had in my life. People who saw us dance would ask us how long we had been married. In my dreams! I really liked her and hoped for more, to at least get to dance with her, but she never once responded to my message on Facebook about upcoming dances and she posted videos from various dances she had gone to, so not interested in even dancing with me, let alone anything more.

Yet another disappointment was with my dear and oldest friend, Linda, who I have always called Lenny. We were the best of friends during the fourteen years I lived in the Okanagan and we had many adventures together. She is the one who phoned me from Turkey on my birthday many years ago. This year, out of the blue, she called me and we talked for hours, mostly about memories and where friends were now. One very upsetting thing she told me was that someone who had been a very close friend, Bianca, had told her never to lend me money. When Lenny asked her why she said she had leant me seventeen thousand dollars when I lived in Panama and I had never paid her back! This shocked the heck out of me because it was a total lie! It's a very long story but Bianca had pressured me about investing in my website business in Ecuador. I had registered domain names for several cities and was building the first site, WelcomeToBoquete, as the model for other sites. I had just hired a local Panamanian girl to work with me as a reporter and sales person and she got an exclusive interview with the mayor. I was also making inroads with a large grocery chain, Romeros, and several banks to advertise on all my sites. After much discussion, most of which was me warning Bianca that it was a very risky investment which could either pay off huge or she could lose it all, I finally agreed to sell her ten percent of the company for two thousand dollars. When I was forced to return to Canada the business fell apart, obviously, and just as I had warned her. It was never a loan and certainly not seventeen thousand dollars. I have no idea where this amount came from or why she would lie that it was a loan. I would never have borrowed any money from her or anyone else.

The one and only constant friendship I had throughout the year was with Annie in Mexico. We chatted on Messenger almost every day as we have since I returned to Canada in November 2019. She has always wanted me to come back to Mexico but I would again lose the GIS pension after six months so we would have to figure out how to survive. Annie is that person in your life that whenever something really good or really bad happens they are the first person you want to tell. She is literally the only friend I have in the world.

Nothing makes me sadder than the situation with my family. My three adult kids and what I only recently learned my six grandkids. I knew about five but my daughter, Heather, had another baby back in 2019, but nobody bothered to tell me. For many, many years now, with my daughter ever since I moved out west to be with my then dying mother, with Heather's blessing, and with my son, Chris, since way back in 2009 when we met in London, Ontario, I have never stopped trying to contact them. When I was living in Mexico my granddaughter, Mackenzie, contacted me on Facebook and she was so upset at her parents that they had not let her make her own decision about me. We chatted back and forth then she told me she was coming to Mexico for a friend's wedding and wanted to meet. Soon after she stopped responding to my messages and then blocked me on Facebook. No reasons why. Over all these years not only have I tried to contact my kids but friends and girlfriends have also tried, but all failed.

Now with this new health issue that could spell the end of me I felt that my kids and grandkids deserved to know. Sure, maybe they didn't care but I still felt an obligation to let them know before I was gone. I asked a couple of friends to message Mackenzie to ask her to contact me. All I got was a terse message from her mom telling me not to have anyone message Mackenzie. My cousin in Toronto, who gave me shelter when I was forced back from Ecuador, refused to get involved. When I wanted to contact my son, Andrew, I first asked his mother, Pat, if it was okay. I got an angry response telling me not to contact him.

I swear to the world, maybe even on my death bed, that I was never done anything in my life to deserve this treatment. I have always been very strong on family values. I loved my kids and devoted my life to them during my twenty-three year marriage. My son and I sure had some challenges but nothing to ever end our father son relationship. I was always so proud of my daughter and we had the best ever relationship. She knew my marriage was a disaster and encouraged me to leave. She called me in BC and asked me to come down to visit her and I drove through the depths of winter to get to her, but my ex and her new husband hid her away and wouldn't let me see her. I drove back to BC in tears. My biggest regret in my life will be dying without ever knowing why my family abandoned me. It hurts every single day.

 

Well, there ya go. My most boring year. Happy friggin birthday!

 

 

 

 


Well, this might be my last post. I hope not.

It has been a very tough few weeks which has left me with a lot of worry, escalated stress, depression and a new sense of my own mortality. If this ends up being my last post I feel the need to explain, not for my family who abandoned me years ago for reasons I have never understood, but for any of the friends I have made over the years in many places who just might care.

Around the first of July I had nearly fallen in the shower a few times and I found myself bumping into my apartment walls when walking around. I wasn't so much as dizzy, just losing my balance for some unknown reason. When this didn't go away I emailed by nurse, Carolyn, at the Diabetic Education Centre here in Belleville and she asked me about my ears, knowing that I had a wax buildup in my right ear that I had been trying to clear for weeks. I had gone to the Emergency Department over a year ago for the same thing and the nurse had cleared a tiny bullet of wax, which she said was very hard to clear. Like thousands of other people here I don't have a family doctor so my nurse said to go to Emergency again. Emergency Departments are in chaos across the country because of the virus and staff shortages, so I knew the wait time could be brutal, but off I went.

After about two hours getting booked in and waiting I got into the department where a nurse took about a minute to look in my ears and tell me they were clear. She followed with a bunch of tests checking my reflexes and vision, then told me to put on the gown and wait for the doctor. He eventually came and asked me a bunch of questions, then ordered a chest X-Ray and blood work. He also checked my heart. Several hours later he came back and said the tests were all negative but he was ordering a CT Scan. His words scared the crap out of me because he said "light stroke".

They called me the next day to schedule my CT scan for Thursday morning at 11:15 so off I went in plenty of time on the buses. Unfortunately the bus driver failed to mention that I was on the wrong bus when I told her where I was going, so I was late for my appointment. I didn't have to go through the lengthy triage booking again so they sent me down to Imaging. I barely got my bum in the chair when they called my name. It was my first CT scan, and of my head, so it can seem a little scary but it was fine. When it was over I asked the technician how I would get the results and he said Emergency would have them within an hour, but when I went back and saw the triage nurse she said she had no idea why he would say that and they MAY have the results today. She agreed that I might wait all day. I told her I had a funeral to go to at 1:00 o'clock so could I come back and she agreed.

Although the funeral for Steve Martin was nice, there were probably two hundred people there celebrating his life over many decades being a musician, I had to wonder if anyone would show up for my funeral? Certainly none of my family, who had abandoned me years ago for reasons I never understood, wouldn't care and I have few people I would call friends here. It's academic anyway because I have no money for a funeral so the City will just dump my body to be cremated and take money from my last pensions to partly pay for it. Even my mother was obviously there when I came into this world but I go out alone.

When I returned to Emergency to get my scan results I waited five hours and was going to miss my last bus home so I told the nurse and she said to come back the next day. When I came back there was no triage nurse but I saw a sign on the wall to pick up the phone if there was no nurse on duty. When she answered she said they weren't taking anymore patients today! What? This is the Emergency Department ad they're not taking anymore patients? Seriously? I told her that I had waited five hours the day before but no results and she agreed to come down and book me in. No sooner had I seen her than she said it would be a "very, very long wait". I noticed at least twenty patients in the waiting room and every chair filled down the hall.

After I got my coffee at Tim's I had a thought. I went to the Diabetic Education Centre to see if I could get the results sent to Dr. Jamil, my diabetes doctor. After a lengthy conversation with Laura she said that Dr. Jamil was on holidays but he would be coming in to sign prescriptions so would make sure he got my results and would contact me. I was to call Medical Records to request the results be sent to him, which I did. The next day I got an email from someone else at the Diabetic Education Centre, this one in Trenton, telling me that Laura was new and didn't know what she was talking about. This lady asked me for authorization to release my medical records, which I gave her, and she came ack later telling me that my scan was "clean", whatever that meant. She did give me an appointment to see Dr. Jamil, my first ever, the following week.

The following Monday Dr. Jamil did some tests and asked a bunch of questions and then said it was nothing to do with my diabetes. I was to go to a clinic and get a referral to a neurologist. Scary stuff! I went to the Bayview Medical Clinic and got a referral from Dr. Maraghi, although he said I would need to go to Kingston and I have no clue how to get there.

If this is, in fact, my last goodbye I have a few things to say.

First, and foremost, is the horrible situation with my kids and grandkids. Although I have covered this in other posts, I feel the need to express my thoughts if my kids or grandkids ever wanted to know about me. My darling daughter, Heather, has not spoken to me or contacted me in almost thirty years now. My last contact with my son, Christopher, was way back in 2009 in London, Ontario. For a brief few months my granddaughter, Mackenzie, chatted with me on Facebook Messenger. In her first message she was very upset that her parents had not let her make her own decision about me. We had a number of back and forth messages, the last of which she said she was coming to Mexico for a friend's wedding and she would let me know where and when because she wanted to meet me. I was thrilled to say the least.

Then I heard nothing back from her and she stopped replying to my messages. Then one day I saw her photo on Facebook of her at the wedding in Puerto Villarta! I had no clue why she didn't let me know about it. After sending her a message asking what happened she didn't respond and simply blocked me! I was left so confused and hurt. In desperation to learn why she had blocked me I posted a message on Father's Day, the toughest day for me, asking people to try to get a message to her to contact me. What I got was a horrible message from her mother to "stop all the bullshit" and that "I was not her grandfather"! Another knife to the heart!

Danielle was the only grandchild I had ever met. That was when I had driven across the country in the dead of winter to see Heather, but they had hidden her away from me when I arrived. I spent three weeks with Chris and his then partner, Tina, waiting to see Heather, and I held Danielle in my arms. She was just a baby. Years later I added a photo of Chris' three girls to my Facebook page and immediately got a terse message from Danielle to remove the photo or she would report me. Then a few months ago I mentioned Mackenzie in a post and Danielle again blew up at me and told me to remove it. She added that I was to stop trying to get ahold of anyone in the family or anyone I ever knew.

The last time I ever saw Heather was back in 1993 when I went out west to be with my mother who had cancer and had been given less than a five percent chance of surviving for more than six months. My parents, brother and sister had moved out west in 1970 and we had seen each other very rarely over the years. I wanted to spend whatever time she had left with my mother so it was clear that I had to go. Heather knew that my marriage had failed long ago and she agreed that I should go to be with my mother. I had no plan for what I would do after my mother passed but I knew my Dad would still need support so it was all up in the air when I left. Heather and I did discuss her coming out again on vacation as her and Chris had done before and had a ball. That was when Heather broke my heart telling me to stay because she said I had never been happier. I couldn't stand the thought of leaving her so I came back to Brampton, only to waste a few more years.

As my mother hung on, not in any pain and her usual happy self I made the fateful decision to listen to my daughter and move out west. I had finally had the courage to leave the marriage so I drove down with my parents and sold the house and everything in it that my ex didn't want. The last day we were together in the house my ex spent some thirteen hours admitting that she had been a terrible wife , that everything was her fault, and that she knew how hard I had tried, but it was far too late for any apology. Despite her admission, for all the twenty-three years we were married she had always agreed that if we split it would be fifty/fifty, as the law called for, but as soon as I left suddenly she wanted everything "for our daughter" supposedly. Yeah, right! Throughout our marriage I had grown the original one hundred dollars I bought our first house with to over a hundred grand after renovating eight homes, not one of which she had ever lifted a singer to help. Not only did I work sixty hours a week, but I got to come home and cook and clean and renovate while she sat at her mother's talking every night, not coming home until late. My kids grew up more at their grandmother's house than ours. When I left all I got was my final cheque from my last client. She got every dime and bought a house! Thanks!

After I moved in with my parents in what was then Westbank they were going to Yuma, Arizona for the winter as they had done for years, so my Dad said I could rent their place as they had also done many times. I had no clue what I was going to do for work so it sounded like a good plan. I still had my custom van that I had not been paying for so I knew it was only a matter of time until they came and got it. I had no money to keep up the payments so I had no choice.  Sure enough they came late one night and repossessed it.

I had managed to find work, although at a much lower rate than I had been making in Ontario, and I had joined the Courtplex and made friends, two of which became my best friends, Laura and Linda, who I called Lenny for some unknown reason. Laura has written me off long ago after believing all the lies my brother and sister told her, even though I wrote a long post giving her the facts. Lenny has remained a good friend and we even talked on the phone a while ago. Over the course of the next fourteen years I spent in the Okanagan I met many, many friends and had a ball. Karla (my pretend wife), Larry and Darlene, Susan, Sue, Brian and Linda, Brian Wall and Doris, Don and Karen, Crystal Mogdan, Jackie, Tracy, Wade Silver, Mike Nixon, Ron and Suzanne, Bianca and numerous dance partners at the Corral, like Heather, Pat and Nola.  I had boats, snowmobiles, dirt bikes and I played racquetball frequently, downhill skied, cross country skied, waterskied, ran a hiking club and a rollerblading group, danced my butt off three nights a week at the OK Corral and went snowmobiling around Kelowna and in Revelstoke. Family and friends spent many a wonderful day at my parent's place. Life was good, but, I missed my kids!

Shortly after I arrived in Westbank I came home one day and my Dad said Heather had called and asked if I would come to her convocation for school. She said she would let me know when. I was thrilled. At that point I still had the van so I was prepared to drive down. She called and we had a very brief chat but we set a day for me to come. Unfortunately it was going to be in the dead of winter so I wasn't crazy about the drive but she was worth it. I went through the States again but ran into a lot of very bad weather. In Montana they were closing the road behind me. I think it was in North Dakota that I had pulled into a rest stop that was packed with rigs, but when I woke up I couldn't see my watch because it was iced over. When I turned the radio on it was minus fifty-five degrees! Not only that but I was the only one in the rest stop! The truck groaned when I tried to start it and I believed I was going to freeze to death out there alone. Thankfully it finally started and took about half an hour to get any heat, but I survived! Then in northern Michigan I hit a brutal snowstorm. I was the first vehicle on the highway and had no clue where the road was. Soon there were several cars behind me crawling along and I thought they no doubt hated me. Then I remembered where the two lane road widened to four lanes so I gingerly moved over to let all the cars pass, but they all dropped in behind me and no one passed! Now I was thinking they were saying that I was doing a good job and they were sticking with me. lol

When I finally got to Brampton Heather was nowhere to be found. No message at her apartment. Not at her school in Mayfield. I then learned from Chris that my ex and her new husband (my long term friend, Gary Ellis) had hidden her away and would not let me see her! I just did this horrendous drive because Heather asked me to come down, and now they were not going to let me see her? She was my daughter and I had every legal right to see her. After three weeks of waiting I drove home, crying all the way. My heart was broken.

Over the years I spent in the Okanagan many friends, usually girlfriends from time to time, all could never understand why Heather had abandoned me. Quite often I could sense that they thought something had happened between us like child molesting, but I assured them that nothing had ever happened between Heather and I other than a wonderful father daughter relationship. I had sent Heather a very detailed letter but got no response. I had sent her a cheque for Christmas because I didn't know what to get her, but it had never been cashed. Girlfriends sent letters to her but never got a response. One of them said her mother had probably destroyed the letters so she never got them, but that was illegal so I couldn't believe that my ex would do that. Then my Dad called her from Yuma and spoke to her now step brother and told him to get Heather to call them collect, but she never called. When my Dad told me this my reaction was that he could have been calling to let her know that I had died, but she didn't care enough to phone!

As far as I have been able to learn, which is hard because Heather has blocked me on Facebook, she is still in Burlington and has a son and daughter, neither one of whom probably know they even have a grandfather. Just like my kids and other grandkids who I thought would contact me when they were older, like Mackenzie did, I know Heather's kids won't because I'll be gone before that happens.

With Chris I could write a book about our lives. We sure had our struggles over the years. Back in 2009 he contacted me to let me know that he was going to be working in London, Ontario on the weekend and wanted to meet. Again I was thrilled! I waited all night the first night he was in town but heard nothing from him. Then we were going to go for a beer the next night, but, again, I didn't hear from him. Then he called and asked if I could meet him for lunch. I raced over and we got a whole forty-five minutes at Timmies. Not much time to catch up. We left it that he was going to setup a meeting with his three daughters, but months went by and I had heard nothing. I called his number and some girl answered saying she had bought Chris' phone. He also blocked me on Facebook with no explanation why. At one point someone said they heard that he was living in his car but no one knew anything more about him. Another knife to the heart.

Nothing in this goodbye is as important as my kids and grandkids. I have never given up hope that we would reconnect before I died. Even if they didn't want to have a relationship with me I just desperately wanted to know why they abandoned me. Many people have told me about all the lies that have been told about me. I don't know why anyone would lie. My friend told me that someone who had been my friend for fourteen years told her not to lend money to me if I asked. Why? She said she had lent me seventeen thousand dollars and I had not paid her back! What? I never borrowed a dime off her or anyone else, so why would she make all this up? I had never done anything to hurt her or deserve this! My idiot brother and my equally idiotic sister had lied through the teeth to my friend Laura about how I had handled my mother's estate, not one word of which was true! Did my sister bother to say that she got twenty grand from me before my mother even died and refused to sign the promissory note I asked for; that she used my mother's pension money to pay her own mortgage, or that she had yanked our mother out of the care facility I took eight months to get her into, and that killed her? No, of course not. My brother was just as bad, and was the curse of my life, from when he got me to sign a loan for his motorcycle in Brampton for his job, and then took off out west leaving me with the payments, to calling me at one in the morning to tell me customs at the airport were waiting for him to shit because he had swallowed cocaine packets. He was facing ten years in prison for trafficking but I got him a lawyer and he got six months in Milton. How did he repay me? He refused to pay my lawyer. I did. Then out west he offered to sell the daycare I had helped him buy by signing the mortgage to my then girlfriend, Tracy, as long as I was no longer involved. It ended the best relationship I ever had. Then he demanded ten grand from me when he was in Thailand apparently from guys who would kill him if they didn't get the money. I sent it, although I wish I hadn't. Good riddance!

As I said earlier, I've made many friends over the years in many places, from childhood friends from Perth Avenue Public School in Toronto, to Churchville Public School, where I met my first love, Roxanne Rollings, to Streetsville Secondary School, where I joined my first band, The Tempests, with Don Thurston, David Kirk and Chris Hayes, and I would play drums for various groups for many years, the last of which was the house band at the old Club Bluenote in Toronto, with Paul (Zack) Marshall, Alan McQuillan and Nolan Yearwood, all of which I have tried to find on Facebook, but failed. Today, pretty well alone, my two friends, Rob McCann and Annie Vita, have been treasured friends. Rob was an immense help when I first moved to my current apartment and has stuck with me through thick and thin. Annie, my dear friend in Guadalajara, has chatted with me pretty well every day since I came back to Belleville. She even offered to marry me so I could stay in Mexico, but there were too many issues with that. Whenever anything happens, good or bad, Annie is the first person I want to tell. She has been supportive and encouraging throughout this latest ordeal with my health. A true friend.

During my long tortuous marriage we actually had very few friends. Because my ex got pregnant at fifteen and married at sixteen she did keep in touch with some of her high school friends, like Dale Evans and Lynn but she rarely saw them. Most of our friends were the parents of kids in all the hockey teams Chris was a member of over ten years. We all went to numerous tournaments and booked rooms at a local hotel. Too many parents to remember. Larry and Anne McNichol, Jason's parents. Bill and Gerry Peters, Kevin's parents. All good and fun people. After Chris was signed by the Streetsville Derbys but quit hockey we realized that we really had no friends outside of hockey.

Although during my varied career I had some forty different jobs and self employment ventures I would not consider any of those I met to be friends in the usual sense. Rarely, if ever, did I stay in touch with any of the people or clients I worked with. Other than my first job working at the Toronto-Dominion bank where I stayed for just over two years I was never at any job very long. In my whole life I only got fired once but that resulted in a wrongful dismissal suit that I won. The longest career was my computer consulting which lasted sixteen years, installing computers, networks, cabling, furniture and often getting into areas of consulting that had nothing to do with computers. Almost thirty years ago now I got into building websites and still do that today. I did that in the countries I visited trying to find a lower cost of living. Panama, then Ecuador and, lastly, Mexico.

When I think back over my often disastrous travels I made a lot of friends in every country. In Panama I had a girlfriend, Magaly, who I adored and I felt very bad when I was forced to leave and return to Canada. If not for what they pulled I would have considered Verushka and Amilkar to be friends. Both of them spent many months at the house I was renovating and we had a lot of dinners together. At one point Verushka said her family was being evicted and had nowhere to live, for two weeks, she said, so I let them move into the penthouse of the house. Two months later after not giving me a dime in rent and having me spend hundreds of dollars in food for their large family - mother, two sisters, two kids, two dogs and three parrots, I had to change the locks on them to get them to leave. After the police showed up to monitor their move I learned they had stolen everything from the penthouse, even the light bulbs and the batteries from the TV remote! When Amilkar learned that I was going back to Canada he stole at least a thousand dollars of my tools! Some friends.

With Ecuador I was only there for less than a year primarily because the government screwed up my pensions and left me without a dime. I also got ripped off by someone handling my residency application to the tune of three hundred and fifty dollars US. She also kept my passport and forced me to go through hell at the Canadian Embassy in Quito to be able to fly home. I did meet some great folks at the usual Expat hangout, aptly named The Bar, where I also met my future wife, Patricia. We had a brief but torrid affair and the plan was for me to come back and marry her, but after a few months trying to stay in touch by video it became clear she was just looking for money. That all ended badly. One girl I loved and thought she was going to work for me was Phoenix Bess. She was gorgeous and smart and we talked for hours but nothing came of it.

Mexico was where I spent the most time in another country. Two years, first in Ajijic, then in Riberas del Pilar, and finally in Chelem. Someone I considered a good friend partly because we met before I came and he checked out my potential apartment for me, then we spent a lot of time together after I came, was Francis Dryden. He and his wife, Anastasia, took me to several local bars and introduced me to a lot of their friends. I met many musicians in local bands, among them Jonathan Guzman, the son of my future fiancée. Bill and Violeta who first introduced me to Elba that fateful night. I thought the driver who drove me around for most of my two years in Lakeside was my friend, but he ended up stealing half my stuff when he moved me. No friend of mine. Until I got dumped by a simple text message I had planned to marry Elba and live out my life in Mexico. I even thought my kids might come to visit. Silly me.

Like most people I have certainly made my fair share of mistakes in my life. With the benefit of hindsight I can look back and realize what I did wrong or where I should have made a different decision. Every decision, including not making one, has consequences. In the extreme I could look back on my failed marriage and say if only I had worn a condom me ex would not have gotten pregnant, but would that mean we would not have gotten married? For me it was love at first sight so I don't know what would have changed. Young as she was I believed my ex loved me and would have married me later. At least she wouldn't have started off hating me for getting her pregnant and making my life hell because of it. Who knows? What I do know is that Chris, Heather and all their kids wouldn't be here so despite my current troubles with all of them I wouldn't have changed that by wearing a condom.

I could go back even earlier to when my parents decided to move out west in 1970. They had vacationed the previous year and were going to move out then but couldn't sell the house. I had met and married my ex in 1969 so there was no way we were going with them. For many years after I tried to get my ex to visit and think about it, but she said there was nothing in BC but mountains, she was born in Brampton, she was going to live in Brampton, and going to die in Brampton. End of story.

One the biggest mistakes I made in my life was being the patsy for a business deal where no one lost a penny and nothing illegal was really ever done. The tragedy was that I could not afford a lawyer so I ended up with the dumbest Legal Aid lawyer ever. He blew the whole trial, refusing to ask the questions I wrote out for him, especially of the President of American Hoist, a simple question if the company lost any money, to which the answer was NO and I would have been acquitted. Simple. After the trial and conviction even the Crown Attorney outside the courtroom told me that I should never have been charged, let alone convicted. I spent three months of weekends in the detention centre, eventually going out on work details like peeling potatoes and cleaning. The saddest part was that I now had a criminal record which has haunted me for the rest of my life. I lost jobs. I was refused entry to the US. I spent years and years trying to get a pardon but the government changed the whole parole program and I had to wait ten years before I could apply again. I take it to my grave, although I won't actually ever have a grave.

So, if this is in fact my last post, to my family, especially my kids, and to all the friends I've met in my life please know that I always tried. I never ever hurt anyone. I have always been referred to as the proverbial "nice guy", the kiss of death for women. I have never retired. I have always worked hard trying to make a better life for myself. I wish that I had not ended up in Belleville, the last place on earth I ever thought I would live. I still would rather be in Mexico but that has always meant being far away from my kids if they ever changed their minds about me. My dear friend, Rob, has agreed to be my executor to donate my things and deal with my body, my death certificate, my pensions and keeping this website up for one year, just in case my kids or grandkids ever want to know about me. At some point I hope people will remember good things about me and dispel all the lies that have been told about me. I go obviously with the huge regret not knowing why my kids abandoned me. The regret of my too short life.

Goodbye!


I'm a narcissist?

UPDATE: Recently I was accused of being a narcissist and of "abandoning my children". I want to respond to those attacks.

First, I searched for the definition of a narcissist and this one appeared to be the best -

12 signs of a narcissist

1. Grandiose sense of self

  • Feels superior to others and believes they deserve special treatment - Quite the opposite, in fact, thanks to the rejection of my kids I have most often felt totally worthless. In Mexico after my fiancée dumped me by text message I seriously considered swimming out in the lake far enough that I couldn't make it back. I felt totally useless and that nobody cared. 
  • Often accompanied by fantasies of unlimited success, brilliance, power, beauty, or love - I have done several career tests in my life, one of which was an IQ test and I scored in the top ten percent of people, so I doubt this is a "fantasy" of brilliance. Just a fact. 

2. Excessive need for admiration

  • Must be the center of attention - Although I do consider myself an extrovert I am never the centre of attention. I remember back when I was going through the initiation and was the only niner on the bus dressed like an idiot I was terrified. Yes, I did like the attention we got in the bands but I was never the only one. 
  • Feels slighted, mistreated, depleted, and enraged when ignored - I don't think anyone likes to be ignored, including me.
  • Often monopolizes conversations - No disagreement that I am talkative, but I don't monopolize conversations, in fact, I love to hear other points of view.

3. Superficial and exploitative relationships

  • Bases relationships on surface attributes and not unique qualities of others - looks deceive so although I like to be attracted to someone in a romantic relationship I am definitely more interested in their qualities.
  • Values people only to the extent they are beneficial to themselves - very much the opposite. I have hated being used all my life and I have reached out to help people thousands of times, almost never getting any return benefit for me

4. Need for control

  • Perfectionistic - yes with my website designs because I want them to be the best and not have any common errors. Making things right does not mean perfection. 
  • Becomes upset when things don’t go their way - although I will push to do things the right way I couldn't care less if this is not my way.

5. Lack of empathy

  • Severely limited or totally lacking the ability to care about the emotional needs or experiences of others, even loved ones - absolutely not true. No one cares more than me. 

6. Identity disturbance

  • Sense of self is highly superficial, extremely rigid, often fragile, and easily threatened - no. it takes a lot to get me upset or angry. I've often said threaten my daughter and you will see anger, but most things I take in stride and deal with.
  • Self-stability depends on maintaining the view that one is exceptional - I'm exceptional? Hardly
  • Retreats from or denies realities that challenge this view of self - simple answer. No

7. Difficulty with attachment and dependency

  • Relies on feedback from the environment - no idea what that means
  • Relationships exist only to shore up a positive self-image - friends and romances certainly make me feel better about myself
  • Tends to avoid intimacy; interpersonal interactions are superficial - again, the opposite is true

8. Chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom

  • Feels empty, bored, depressed, or restless when attention and praise are not available - although I have the normal feelings of being bored and, yes, get depressed about being lonely at times, it is not a lack of attention or praise. 

9. Vulnerability to life transitions

  • Difficulty maintaining reality-based personal and professional goals over time - although I am officially "retired", I have never stopped working for a day. If being a hopeless romantic always open to finding that special someone is not reality based then guilty as charged. As for professional goals I have worked every single day in every country and back in Canada designing my websites trying to make extra money. 
  • Feels overwhelmed by compromises required by school, jobs, and relationships - no, always more than willing to compromise. 
  • May have “failure to launch” syndrome when young - not sure what this even means but I never suffered from failures. I saw them as opportunities to learn

10. Lack of responsibility

  • Blames others for their faults - I have never said I am perfect in any way and know that I have faults, but they are my own. 
  • Deflects responsibility onto others, often with those close to them - no one else is responsible for me. 

11. Lack of boundaries

  • Beliefs others think the same as they do - I could write a book on this one as I have yet to ever find anyone who thinks like I do about pretty well anything. 
  • Feels shocked and insulted when told no - I've had more than my fair share of no's but they don't shock or insult me because that would be arrogant. 

12. Fear of rejection

  • Afraid of being wrong or seen as bad or inadequate - many people have proved me wrong about something in my life but I'm never afraid of that. I am strong in my own beliefs and don't feel "bad" or somehow "inadequate".
  • Does not develop trust in the love of others - again as a "hopeless romantic" I have never given up on love despite being hurt many times. When I have found someone to love I never hold back because I've been hurt before. 

So, all in all I do not feel that I am a narcissist, at least not by this definition. A true narcissist is Trump and I would hate to think I am anything like that asshole,

Abandoning my children?

The criticism on this one is hardly worth commenting on because it comes from someone who hasn't got a clue about my history with my kids, but just in case anyone else believes this I will respond.

First, as to my relationship with my kids, my son, Chris came into my life March 27th, 1970. He was pure joy from the start and after he started playing hockey at the tender age of six consumed our lives for the next ten years playing for three different hockey teams and eventually signing with the Streetsville Derbys Junior B team. At a tournament in Thornhill he was also scouted by an agent who said he would offer a scholarship to MIT, worth about forty grand at the time. When he signed with the Derbys they had an agreement with York University where he had to maintain a seventy-five percent average to remain on the team. Unfortunately after two weeks with the Derbys he quit hockey, something he would regret many years later and tried to blame me for letting him quit. I told him that I wasn't the one lacing up the skates and two thousand other kids wanted his spot.

Without writing a book on my relationship with him we certainly had our struggles. After he also quit school and had laid in his room for three weeks, not going to school and not looking for a job, I picked him out and threw him out. My ex had a real problem with that. At some point I had cosigned a loan for him to get a car so he could get a job he told me about. Three months later I got a notice from the finance company that he hadn't made a payment in three months. I tracked him down where he was staying and told him he had two minutes to get his stuff out of the car and give me the keys. I ended up sitting in downtown Toronto for days trying to get someone to take over the lease and finally got someone.

Fast forward to 2009. He sent me a message that he was going to be working in London, Ontario where I was living at the time and he wanted to meet. I was thrilled. He said he would call after work on Thursday, but I sat waiting all night for the call that never came. Same thing happened Friday night. Then he called me Saturday morning and asked me to meet him for lunch so I raced over to where he was working. We had a whole forty-five minutes at Tim's to catch up and the last thing he suggested was meeting his three daughters. Again I was thrilled at that, but after months not hearing from him I called the number he had given me. A girl answered and said he had sold the phone to her and she had no idea how to contact him. He had also blocked me on Messenger after I sent a message asking him what was going on. Since then the only thing I've ever heard about him was that he was living in his car. I've never stopped trying to find him.

Heather was the light of my life. She was born with a cleft lip, according to the doctor because my ex had used aspirin for her fibromyalgia. She went through two operations at Sick Kids. Throughout her formative years we had an excellent father daughter relationship. I was so proud of her in every way. We had a lot of wonderful memories like bike riding around Professor's Lake and going to see Phantom of the Opera at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. She played soccer so we went to a lot of her games. When my life took a turn after the company I worked for went down I had jumped in the car just to get away but had no idea where I was going. As it turned out I drove to see my parents in BC. Chris and Heather then came out for the most wonderful vacation we had ever had. When it was time for them to fly back Heather broke my heart by telling me to stay. She said she knew my marriage was long over and that she had never seen me happier. She said they would come out on vacation again to see me and because they loved my family out west. I cried for hours but I couldn't stand the thought of leaving her so I drove back to Brampton only to waste a few more years.

Then I got the disaster call of my life. My mother had fifth stage melanoma and was given only a five percent chance of living six months. My parents had moved out west in 1970 and I had hardly seen them over the years since so I knew I had to go and spend whatever time my mother had left with her. I talked to Heather and she agreed I had no other choice. After a short time out west I made the fateful decision to listen to Heather and to be with my mother so we drove down to Brampton and sold whatever my ex didn't take. I remember the tearful day I said goodbye to Heather as though it was yesterday, but I never thought for a moment that it would be the last time I ever saw her.

The following year she called my Dad to tell him she wanted me to come down to her convocation. Later she called to say that it had been delayed until January but she still wanted me to come. I had a very brief chat with her and we agreed I would drive down. It was now the dead of winter so I knew the drive would be perilous and it was. When I got to Brampton she was not at their apartment as agreed. I went through hell trying to find her but then Chris told me that my ex and her new husband hid Heather away and wouldn't let me see her. I hung around for three weeks at Chris' place hoping to get to see Heather but nothing changed and I drove back to BC in tears.

When I got back to BC I wrote Heather a three page letter asking what happened but never got a response. Later I sent her a cheque for Christmas because I didn't know what she wanted, but it was never cashed. Over the years since many friends, mostly girlfriends, have tried in vain to contact Heather but failed. Quite often people assumed that something bad had happened between Heather and I, but I swear nothing ever did. At one point my Dad called her from Yuma and told her now stepbrother to have her call him collect. She never called. When they returned from Yuma and he told me about the call it really upset me because he could have been calling to tell her that I died. It broke my heart that she didn't care enough to call.

One of Chris's daughters, Mackenzie, contacted me on Messenger when I was in Mexico. She was fourteen at the time and really upset that her parents had  not let her make her own decision about me. We had a number of chats and then she told me she was coming to Mexico for a friend's wedding. She said she would let me know where and when. She stopped responding to my messages and then she posted a photo of herself at the wedding in Puerto Villarta. I was so disappointed that she didn't want to meet, but after I asked her in a message she blocked me. Yet another mystery.

Yes, I have another son, Andrew, although I spent most of my life denying I was his father. Yet another book I could write but in more recent years I have tried to establish some kind of relationship with him. Many years ago we did exchange some emails and more recently I asked him on Messenger if it was okay to add his photos to my family page on this site and he agreed. His mother and I did spend some time together briefly, but today she just wants to attack me.

So the idea that I somehow abandoned my kids or grandkids could not be further from the truth. Even now when I am facing this potentially serious medical issue I have felt that my kids and grandkids have a right to know, but nobody will help me to contact them. Andrew's mother went so far as to tell me not to contact him. Sad.

 


Looks like the Fat Lady might be singing

Like millions of Canadians I don't have a family doctor and never will. My previous doctor, Dr. Savic, who had some four thousand patients, lost his medical license, throwing all of us out with no family doctor. As a diabetic having a family doctor is beyond critical, especially when there are related complications of diabetes.

Recently I got a real scare when I felt very dizzy and thought I was going to faint and fall down. I had been crashing into the walls of my apartment and even nearly fell off the toilet. Living alone I worried about falling and hitting my head with no one to call. To make matters worse I have also been dealing with a wax buildup in my ear, something I've tried to use drops and devices to clear, but failed. Every time this has happened before I have either gone to my family doctor or to Emergency to clear it out. Right now the Emergency department, like all Emergency departments across the country, is in turmoil with people waiting hours and hours to see someone. I may have no choice but to go soon if this dizziness continues.

Without a family doctor I did the most dangerous thing and that is to lookup my symptoms on the internet. I discovered something that sounded exactly what I'm suffering, called Vestibular Dysfunction. It is common to older people and is the leading cause of people falling down. Dizziness. Loss of balance. Blurry vision. Tinnitus. Hearing loss. Cognitive changes. I've got it all. I tried to see the doctor at the Diabetes Education Centre at the hospital, but he is booked into late September, by which I could be dead.

I was first diagnosed as diabetic back in 2004 and for the most part it has been manageable. I started on insulin around 2011 and I was recently diagnosed, at a whopping hundred and thirty-three dollar cost, as still being Type 2. Like all diabetics though I worry about losing a foot or a hand, but not until recently have I worried about dying. Of course the whole COVID thing made it all the worse, but I am double booster vaccinated now so hopefully that doesn't get me.

Now that the fear of dying has reared its ugly head, and bad as that is, it's not my worst fear.

For far too many years now I've been abandoned by my kids, Chris and Heather. The worst part, the part that breaks my heart every single day, is that I've never known why. Way back in the early nineties after my business had failed I had to get out of town so I just left without any real plan. When I got to Dryden and got a map I realized I was better than half way to my parents in what was then Westbank in BC. I thought I would really surprise them and just show up. I did. Shortly after I brought my kids out for a three week vacation and we had a ball. When it was time to leave my beautiful daughter shocked the heck out of me by telling me to stay! She was wise beyond her years. She told me she had never seen me happier and she knew my marriage was over and that I had tried. It broke my heart and I cried for hours. How could my daughter not want to be with me? We had the best father daughter relationship ever. I couldn't stand the thought of leaving her so I drove back to Brampton. It made no difference because after I left the marriage I was making appointments to see her. It wasn't great to say the least.

Then I got the phone call that would change my life. My mother had fifth stage melanoma and was only given a less than five percent chance she would live another six months! It devastated me. I knew that I had to go out west to be with her for as long as she survived. My work contract in Markham was coming to an end and I had turned down any new work. Our house was sold. Heather told me to go to be with my mother. She said her and Chris could come out on vacation again. It all made sense so I left. Being with my mother in what could be her last days made sense, but what I didn't know was that it would be the last time I saw Heather. My mother sure beat the odds and lived another fourteen years and I found a better life in the Okanagan on some many levels but I missed my kids every single day. I tried to contact Heather in every way possible and my friends did as well. Over the years and with several girlfriends none of them ever understood why my daughter didn't talk to me, so they tried too. All failed.

After trying to live in Panama but failing I ended up in London, Ontario in 2009. My son, Chris, connected with me and said he was going to be working in London over a weekend and wanted to see me. I was thrilled. Instead of spending a single evening with me he only called one day to get together on his lunch break, so we had an all too brief forty-five minutes at Timmie's. He did say that he wanted me to meet his three daughters so we would arrange something. Instead he sold his phone to someone else and blocked me on Facebook. No explanation why and he hasn't talked to me since.

Dealing with all this hurt and confusion makes Christmas and particularly Father's Day really rough for me. Last Father's Day I posted a message on Facebook asking people to please try to get a message to Mackenzie to contact me. I don't know who of my twenty-one hundred friends did anything, but I got a text message from Mackenzie's mother to "stop the bullshit and sending her daughter messages". She also very cruelly said that I was not Mackenzie's grandfather. Reduced me to tears. Again, what have I done to deserve this?

Now given my health concerns and my fear of death I can't stand the thought of kicking the bucket never knowing why my family has abandoned me. In know Heather is still on Facebook but I'm blocked so that's out. I don't even know if Chris is still on Facebook because no one has been able to find him, so that's also out. Chris' other two daughters have also blocked me, so they're out. Heather's kids have no clue who I am and I don't even know their names, so they're out too. My ex's brothers have both died so they're out. My ex hasn't talked to me in thirty years and even refused to go for coffee after I had driven across the country in the dead of winter to see Heather, but they hid her away and wouldn't let me see her, so she's definitely out. I've tried to connect with my two former brother-in-laws, Gordan and Doug kids, but never found them. My only hope is still Mackenzie, although at great risk of again pissing off her mother.

I'm trying to recruit a dear friend who might be willing to help me by messaging Mackenzie with the following -

"Mackenzie, your grandfather, Gary, was a good friend of mine for fourteen years when he lived here in the Okanagan. We recently reconnected on Messenger and we talked on the phone for two hours. In our conversation he was shocked to learn the lies his brother and sister, and a former good friend of his, were spreading about him, none of them true.
He also told me that he still had not heard from his son, your father, or daughter for many years, despite trying so hard to get in touch with them in every way possible. They had both blocked him on Facebook but never explained why. He then told me about you connecting with him on Messenger when he was in Mexico. He said you were very upset that your parents didn’t let you make your own decision about him. You chatted back and forth and then you told him you were coming to Mexico for a friend’s wedding and you wanted to meet. You were going to let him know where and when you were coming. He didn’t hear anything about it, then saw your photos in Puerto Vallarta at the wedding, which upset him, naturally. He sent you several messages after, but you didn’t reply and then you also blocked him, leaving him very confused about what happened.
I know that he was always very strong on family, both his own and his birth family. After your great grandfather died in his arms he moved in with your mother to care for her because she had advanced Alzheimer’s. It was the toughest year and a half of his life and his brother and sister were of no help at all. After eight months of trying every single day to get his mother into a proper care facility he finally got her into Winterhaven here in Kelowna, where she needed to be to survive. Instead his sister pulled her out and put her into an assisted living facility in Revelstoke, which was a total disaster. Her brain cancer came back and she died, which was merciful because she had no quality of life. He was so upset at his sister for pulling her out of the care facility that he couldn’t even go to his mother’s memorial. His sister had already upset him by spreading their father’s ashes on the lake without even telling him.

The reason I am sending you this message is that he is not well and very afraid of dying. He has no family doctor in Belleville and never will. He is seventy-two, diabetic and still smoking. He has lost a lot of weight and constantly suffers from dizziness, nearly fainting and falling down many times. Of course he doesn’t want to die, but the bigger issues, one that breaks his heart every day, is dying with never understanding why his kids and grandkids cut him off. Over the years many friends have tried to get his family to reconnect with him, including his father before he died, but Heather did not return his phone call. Although he has never given up on reconnecting with his kids or you, he just wants desperately to know what he has done to deserve this isolation. Like everyone he made his fair share of mistakes in life, but he is not a murderer or child molester and has never done anything to deserve being cutoff. If someone has spread lies about him he deserves a chance to explain, doesn’t he? That’s all he asks.

I am just a friend who’s trying to help a buddy out. If you prefer not to contact him directly you can tell me what to tell him about why you cut him off and don’t want to talk to him before he’s gone. Just knowing why would help him to solve one of the greatest mysteries of his life. He would also appreciate the opportunity to challenge the lies before it’s too late. He has never stopped loving his kids despite what they have done and would just like to know that everyone in his family is doing well, including you, your sisters and Heather’s two children, who probably think he’s already dead.

Thank you."

If Mackenzie chooses not to respond it tells me that she doesn't care if I die without ever knowing why my family abandoned me. If she did contact me again it would thrill me beyond words, but that is probably too much to hope for. I pray that she does tell my friend what happened. This may well be my last attempt to make things right.