The year in review

As I have done many times over the years I start the new year by reviewing the previous year, good and bad. 2022 started off very badly when I lost this website and it took many, many wasted hours online with my hosting company to finally get it working again and that was only today.

The best things that happened last year was that I finally got my own apartment. It took a lot to get my own place setup properly, but I got a lot of help from the local St. Vincent de Paul with some furniture, a couch donated, very cheap end tables and a coffee table, and help from someone who was my friend, Rob, helping me install blinds and putting together my night tables for my bedroom. Having lived in a group home I needed a lot of things for my kitchen, like dishes and cutlery, but I got a lot on sale. I brought my desk and computer with me so I was able to continue working despite the fact that I still didn’t earn a dime.

Last year was mainly about friends and my health, both of which weren’t great.

On friends a lot happened to shake my belief that I was your proverbial “nice guy”. My very good friend, Rob, who I lived with at the group home, and who helped me a lot with my apartment, plus we hung out going for coffee and so on, suddenly dropped me. In our last conversation he sounded really upset and said he would call me back, but that was months ago. If he was upset at me for something I have no clue what it was. I have tried to follow up with the President of the housing corporation where we lived and with some of the staff of the management charity but no one will tell me anything. I just wished that he would tell me what happened so that we could talk about it.

On Messenger I met a nice lady, Jassmin, and we chatted a bit. She asked me if I wanted to go dancing at an event at Signal Brewing and I said sure, of course. We met for dinner and she was very honest telling me that she had a boyfriend, which was fine. We did have an issue. Totally my fault. I should have clarified that we were splitting the bill but I ended up paying like a hundred and twenty dollars, which I sure could not afford. I wasn’t sure whether to say anything to her after but I think honesty is the best policy so I told her how I felt. She apologized, said she totally understood and that we would share the cost in future. I was relieved.  Shortly after we went to the show together. I paid for the tickets instead of giving her gas money as I would normally do. She said she would like to go to the cheap night whenever there was something we both wanted to see, but we never went again. We did go bike riding along the bay and, although she was in much better shape than I was, I thought we had a good time. I have responded to her Facebook posts several times and messaged her, but she hasn’t responded in months now. I don’t know why. I might have sort of flirted with her a couple of times, which she may not have liked, so this could be the reason.

A lady friend I met while I was still in Mexico, Annie, stayed in touch on Messenger almost every day since I came back to Canada. When I told her how much I missed Mexico and how I wished that I could come back she said to come and stay with her, originally on vacation, but then she said she would marry me so I could stay in Mexico. At first I thought she was joking but it got more and more serious. She said she had talked to her two daughters and her mother about me and they all agreed that it was a good idea. I was very nervous because there was so much that could go wrong. I would be giving my notice on my hard to find geared to income apartment here in Belleville, something I would never get again if Mexico fell apart. Things have really changed drastically for residency in Mexico now and I would never qualify if we didn’t get married. I gave it a lot of thought though.

Annie was renting out her house and moving to a small apartment so I wasn’t sure about that idea. After she sent me photos of some of her furniture I made a bad joke and asked if her grandmother missed her furniture because it was so old. She blew up at me and sent me the most hurtful message I’ve ever had in my life. She said that she understood why my family wanted nothing to do with me and told me she never wanted to talk to me again, and to forget Mexico. It really hurt on so many levels. The remark about my family was a knife in my heart and losing the dream of returning to Mexico made it all the worse.

Next would be my health, which has never been worse. I knew that I was not in good shape and when I moved across the street from the YMCA, one with a pool, I figured I would join and get on some sort of program to improve my fitness level. I was most interested in the pool because I could swim without having any issues with my peripheral neuropathy in my feet. Just before I intended to join my right shoulder started acting up again. Back in 2017 I had been diagnosed with a bone chip. I had a shot of cortisone but it didn’t work so surgery was going to be scheduled. That was six months out and I was going to Mexico so it got cancelled. After I came back to Canada the surgeon wanted another referral and my family doctor had lost his license. It’s virtually impossible to find a family doctor in this town now. I did manage to get another x-ray and ultrasound and now it turns out I have bursitis, not a bone chip. A clinic doctor is going to put me on some meds so hopefully that helps because I am in constant pain.

My eyes have also been an issue. Despite getting new glasses, which helped, I now suffer from constant burning in my eyes, apparently because of a loss of oil because of ageing. I have to use drops every day and apply a warm compress to try to stimulate more oil. Apparently according to my optometrist I don’t blink enough either. Who knew?

The bottom line in all of this is I’ve never felt so darned old. For most of my life I was in pretty decent shape. When I lived out west I was very active. I played racquetball several times a week. I roller bladed. I downhill skied, water skied and cross country skied. I danced three nights a week. I ran a hiking club. I dirt-biked and snowmobiled. I was always doing something. That life is gone. Even after coming back to Belleville I hoped to go dancing every week like I did before, but the virus has shut that down. Compared to other places I’ve lived in my life there’s not a lot to do in Belleville anyway, but the virus has ended everything.

As it seems I’ve ended every year in review the ongoing issue is with my kids. It’s now been an incredible twenty-eight years since I spoke to my daughter, Heather, and more than ten years since I spoke to my son, Chris. The worst part in all of this is I still have no clue why they cut me off. I have always tried to contact them, as have many friends, over the years. I contacted my other son, Andrew (from another mother), and asked if he would try to contact my kids to get them to reach out to me, but that has failed as well. Andrew knows both Heather and Chris and said he would try. My worst fear, especially with the virus, which could kill me, is that I will go to my grave never knowing what happened with my kids. I miss them every single day and it makes my heart ache.

At this point who knows what my future will hold? I can only hope that 2022 is a whole lot better than 2021.

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