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.


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