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.


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