Happy Birthday to me….NOT!

Birthdays are often a time for reflection, both on the life you’ve lived, your successes and your failures, and the things you have not yet done, like your bucket list. Today on my seventieth birthday, a day I never expected to make, my reflections on the past are only a very long list of failures, mistakes and regrets, and my only thoughts about a bucket list are about kicking it.

Today is certainly not a day to celebrate. I am totally alone in the world and realize now that no one cares whether I live or die. All I can say is that I have always tried. There’s no question that I have made many mistakes along the way and I accept full responsibility for the consequences. Some things have just been the result of incredibly bad luck. Others have no explanation. 

The biggest regret of my life has been with my family. It’s been twenty-five years since I spoke with my daughter, Heather, but I don’t know why she choose to cut me off. We always had a great father daughter relationship until I left to go to BC to be with my dying mother. At the time I didn’t know whether I would stay in BC after my mother died or not but if I did I hoped that my kids would come out for vacations. We had such an amazing time when my kids had come out before, although it broke my heart when my daughter told me to stay out west. She said she had never seen me happier. Over the years many people have tried to contact my daughter, but failed. Even my Dad had called her one winter from Arizona asking her to call him collect. He could well have been telling her that I had died, but she never called him back. It really hurt.

The year after I went out west my daughter had called my parents, asking me to come down to her graduation. Certainly I would find a way but then she called again to say that her grad had been delayed until the fall but I would still go. I never heard from her again about it. In January of the following year I talked to her briefly and she said that she wanted to see me so I took my life in my hands and drove through the winter across the country to see her. When I got there they had hidden her away and wouldn’t let me see her. After three weeks of trying but failing I drove back to BC, crying all the way back. I never saw her again. 

It was the same with my son. We met when he was coming to London, Ontario with his work, but it was a very short meeting. The end result was that he was going to organize a meeting in the summer with me and his three daughters, my grandchildren. He never contacted me again and when I called the number he had given me it was someone else who had bought his phone. I was upset and asked him what was going on on Facebook. His answer was to block me.

Then after I had moved to Mexico I got a Facebook message from Mackenzie, one of my granddaughters. She was fourteen at the time and was so upset that her parents had not told her about me. She said that she should have been allowed to make her own decision about contacting me, which was so right. We chatted back and forth for a while then she told me that she was coming to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. She was going to let me know where and when. I was so thrilled at the thought of meeting her. Then she suddenly cut me off with no explanation. The next thing I saw was a photo of her in Puerto Villarta at the wedding. She hasn’t spoken to me since or given me any explanation as to why. It hurts every day.

No, turning seventy is not as happy day.      

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