Is that all there is?

A moment for reflection.

Much against my will I came back to Belleville, the last place on earth I thought I would ever live, in November of 2019. And back to living in the group homes I'd lived in before. Finally in March of last year I got my own apartment in a decent seniors building. Much better than living in the various group homes, or on the street, or in my car as I had done in London, Ontario. The best part was it was geared to income, and because I had lost the GIS when I returned to Canada, my rent went from $497 for only a room, to $385 for my own place. Bonus! In March of this year my rent went up to $506 now that I was getting the GIS. Still less than the average $1,400 for a one bedroom apartment in this town. I got organized with some donated furniture, pots and pans and what I needed to live on my own, but I missed Mexico so badly.

Despite being in the last place I thought I would ever live I begrudgingly accepted that this might be my fate, for now at least and I tried to make the best of it. I hoped to make some friends and maybe even find the love of my life again. Like everybody though the virus made life even worse. All the dances were cancelled and there was even less to do. I focused on trying to build my website business, something I seem to have been doing for decades now, in Panama, Ecuador and Mexico. All dismal failures. The virus made it all the more difficult because small business, my target market, didn't even know if they were going to survive, so they weren't interested in getting a website. I did manage to build a couple of sites for local bands, but no bands were working, so that was a tough market as well.

In Mexico I had met Annie from Guadalajara, who sold much of the stuff I left behind. We only met in person once as I was leaving for Chelem, but we have stayed in touch on chat ever since and chat frequently. When I said how much I missed Mexico she encouraged me to come back, but when I talked about all the challenges with my pensions and medications she jokingly said to come back and she would marry me. As time went on she got more serious about it, saying her daughters thought marrying me was a good idea. The whole thing got more serious when she wanted me to come for a vacation and see how we got along. In addition to the cost of going I also thought that I would not want to return to Canada. If instead I was going to return to Mexico and marry her I would be giving up my very hard to find geared to income apartment, something I would struggle to get if I was forced to return. I'd also be selling all my stuff, yet again, and losing a fortune. Although I was seriously considering the idea of going back, what ended that idea was when she told me that she was on her late husband's medical coverage, and if we got married that would end. Not only would I be in big trouble if I got really sick, but my meds would not be covered. In addition to again losing my GIS pension, about a third of my income, I would now face about five hundred bucks a month for my meds, if I could even get them. The end of a dream.

Now that I'm stuck in Canada I would much rather have returned to BC, but that was impossible because there was nowhere to live. A friend offered me her couch but that was not long term, obviously, so where could I afford to live? Rents have tripled since I lived there before, and my income certainly hadn't. I also knew that my life would be a lot different than it was before during the fourteen wonderful years I lived in the Okanagan. No car. No boat. No dirt bike. No snowmobile. My parents were both gone. My life would be a pale shadow of what it was before so would I be happy? I hoped to rekindle my friendships but it had been a lot of years since I left back in 2007. I've never given up on finding somewhere affordable to live, but I would still have to get rid of all my stuff and somehow afford to move. Not easy.

The biggest challenge of my life for years has been my kids. I've never understood why they wrote me out of their lives. Going all the way back to 1993 when my mother was diagnosed with fifth stage melanoma, and given less than a five percent chance of surviving more than six months, they both encouraged me to go out west to be with her. They knew my marriage was over long ago and it was time to leave. My son and I reconnected briefly back in 2009 but then he stopped talking to me. When I was in Mexico my granddaughter, Mackenzie, contacted me on Facebook and I was thrilled. She was fourteen at the time and really pissed at her parents for not letting her make her own decision about connecting with me. We had some great chats and she was coming to Mexico for a friend's wedding so she said she would let me know where and when so we might meetup. Then suddenly she stopped talking to me and blocked me on Facebook. I have no idea why.

The only benefit of living here In Belleville is that I hold out hope that one day my kids and grandkids will reconnect with me. As far as I know my son is still in Brampton. My daughter is in Burlington and Mackenzie is in Wasaga Beach. If any of them contacted me I'd do whatever I could to meet up with them. It breaks my heart every single days that my family has abandoned me, and, worse, I've never known why. I hate the thought of kicking the bucket and never knowing what happened. I was a good father totally devoted to my kids and had strong family values, but that doesn't seem to matter to them anymore. I've never given up trying to contact them, as have many friends over the years. It's the biggest regret of my life.

So, I'm seventy-two now, diabetic and still smoking, dumb as that is. I have no family doctor and probably won't for more years than I have left. My Dad died at eighty-one and my Mum died at eighty-four, so is that my fate? That doesn't give me a lot of years left and I hate the thought of spending them wasting away here in Belleville. Regardless of my many mistakes trying to live in Panama, Ecuador and Mexico, challenging as those times were, I still had many adventures and met some great people, including falling in love several times. Mexico in particular had the best climate I've ever lived in. I loved the culture, the many festivals and parades and the local people. I woke up every day so thrilled to be living in a such a wonderful place. There's nothing like that here. Life is just boring and I feel like I'm just waiting to die. That's no way to live.

Maybe the fat lady is warming up getting ready to sing.