Does time "heal all wounds"?

Not really. It depends on the severity of the wound, or exactly what it is you're trying to get over.

Some things, like the loss of a family member, especially a mother or father, can take years and you never really get over losing them. You still miss all the wonderful things they meant to your life, but time does heal the severe feeling of loss when you first lost them. The death of my father was sudden, unexpected and he died in my arms, so the trauma of that never really ever goes away. On the other hand, the death of my mother was a relief because cancer had returned and her Alzheimer's got as bad as it gets. Her quality of life was zero.

Then there's my kids and grandkids. It's been a staggering twenty-four years now since I spoke to my daughter, Heather. She's married and has two kids, neither of which even know I'm alive. Same with my son and his three daughters. I was so thrilled when Mackenzie contacted me on Facebook and we started talking. She was fourteen at the time and very upset that her parents had kept me from her and not let her make her own decision. That was then and this is now. She stopped talking to me just as fast and never explained why. It was hard to miss someone I didn't know, as is the case with all three of my granddaughters, but even worse with Mackenzie when we connected and then lost it. I wish I knew why.

Anyone who's been following me, especially on Facebook, knows just how much I was in love. For years I believed that the problem was always me. I was too romantic. I was too honest. I believed in an equal relationship that just wasn't possible. That all changed when I met the love of my life. It could not have been any better in any way. I was totally and unconditionally in love with her and I believed she felt the same. I let my guard down, gave her my heart and trusted her completely. What a huge mistake!

When she abruptly ended our relationship by text message it shattered me. I cried and cried for days and for the first time seriously felt like giving up. I had no idea how I was going to go on, or, more importantly, why would I want to? Suddenly everything seemed so hopeless. All the wonderful dreams we shared of our future together were gone. The worst part and the part that still hurts is that I have no clue why she ended our relationship. She hasn't responded to a single text I sent her. She refuses to tell me what happened. She recently told a friend that she wanted nothing more to do with me. So cruel. I didn't do anything to deserve this. You don't end what you said was the best relationship you had ever had with a text message.

Time is making it a little easier, but it sure isn't healing it.


The Blame Game

The last few really bad days have made me question why people are attacking me so brutally, blaming me for everything. My gut wants to say "Fuck off, world!". Leave me alone when you don't have a clue what happened; however, it does make me question what is actually my fault?

I'm certainly not perfect. Nobody is and we all make mistakes. Some big. Some small; but what about the ones that have a major impact on your life? Moving. Relationships. Marriage. Career. Health.

My childhood was pretty normal, except that I never stopped blaming my parents for moving out of the city to the middle of nowhere on a farm. No indoor plumbing. Kerosene heaters. Miles from anywhere I could get to at twelve. In Toronto I was hardly ever home. I could catch the bus or streetcar or ride my bike. I went everywhere. The only rule was to be home by dark. A horrible difference in the country and I hated it.

With Mum and Dad at Ontario Place

My parents decided that they wanted to move out west after they took a three week holiday through the Okanagan. Although I was working at the bank I might have gone with them. Who knows? They couldn't sell their house so they decided to go the next year. Fate? During that year I met my future wife. There was no way I was going to move out west now. She also got pregnant so we got married. Big mistake! At nineteen I honestly thought I was in love and couldn't wait to get married. Yes. I got her pregnant; but I thought that was a mutual thing and never thought of it as a mistake. My son was born the following year. My parents, brother and sister had left for BC and I missed them; but not my fault they moved.

No point in going into my failed marriage of twenty-three years, except to say that I always tried to make it better. Better car. Better house. Worked my face off always through a number of careers, the last being sixteen years as a computer consultant, installing networking hardware and software. I never ran an ad and all my business with some fifty clients came from referrals. I remember billing ninety-six hours in one week, so that gives you an idea of how much I worked. In the last few years, and living in a new house with a fat mortgage, my wife sat on her ass not working and didn't even file for unemployment. I paid for everything and even when I left to stay in a motel near my client I paid for everything on the house and gave her money. I didn't like giving up on the marriage after trying so hard for so many years; but it was time.

My ex, Janice

When I told her we were selling the house because I wasn't going to pay the bills anymore the whole idea of fifty/fifty that she had agreed to for years went out the window. She wanted everything, supposedly to support my daughter; but she took things like all my Rosemond prints that she never paid any attention to, plus all my Charlie Brown books that she had never read. Thanks to all my work on several houses we owned over our marriage I had turned my original one hundred dollar investment in our first house into one hundred thousand dollars of equity, all of which she got and bought herself a new house.

Although it had zero to do with my marriage, I did make what turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life. I've gone into all the details in another post, so I won't repeat myself. Let's just say that I was charged, convicted and spent my weekends in a detention centre. I was not guilty of anything; but I had the worst Legal Aid lawyer, according to the Crown Attorney, and he got me convicted anyway. The toughest part was that my ex never even came to court for a second to support me. It was all my fault, of course.

There were many troubles in our marriage, not the least of which is we never really had a loving relationship. We seldom slept together and we didn't make love for five years at one point. The only two times I remember making love to her were my son and daughter. The very worst thing that pretty well ended my marriage was when she got pregnant with what would have been our third child. She and her mother made the decision to have an abortion without even talking to me about it. I was livid and to this day will never forgive her, especially when neither of my other two kids will have anything to do with me.

After finally deciding to end our marriage was that my fault totally? No. On the final day in the house we had now sold she talked to me for thirteen hours! Believe it or not I hardly said a word. She said the failings of our marriage were all her fault. She had been a terrible wife, she said. She said I had always tried to make things better and worked so hard, not only on my career; but also renovating every home we had. She was sorry she had never lifted a finger to help with anything. She said she had spent her life sitting at her mother's place, never coming home to cook dinner. She said the fact that I had done my own cooking and cleaned every house without her was all her fault. Even when we went to counselling and the counselor blamed her for everything she refused to believe her or do anything about it. It was quite the conversation; but it was obviously far too late.

So my marriage was over; but why did I leave my flourishing career and move out west? I was billing my last clients sixty-five dollars an hour plus half time for travel. Pretty sweet deal. They also gave me a glowing reference letter that would have gotten me tons more clients. The problem was my darling mother had been diagnosed with fifth stage melanoma and given a five percent chance of living more than six months.

On her way to eighth grade prom.

It hit me hard. I knew that the right thing to do was go out and spend whatever time she had left with her. It was going to break my heart to leave my daughter; but I thought she would come out and visit her grandmother soon. I never once thought that I would never see my daughter again. Also now that I was living in Markham I was making appointments with my daughter and we never seemed to be able to get together. I thought it would be better for both of us if she came out to visit.

What I didn't realize at the time was just how vengeful my ex could be. She was paranoid that I would convince the kids to come out west and stay there, leaving her all alone. The one time my son contacted me and we talked for hours she apparently blew up at him for talking to me and he said he couldn't take the third degree from her if he kept in touch with me. I didn't believe for a second that would mean so many years without them. They never once contacted my Mum and Dad in all those years and now they're gone of course.

My mother survived for another nineteen years which was great. After my Dad died in my arms her Alzheimer's got so much worse and I spent months trying to get her into a care facility where she needed to be. Finally someone died at a place called Winterhaven and they called to accept Mum. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done because, of course I had to lie to get her there. She then left some thirteen messages saying she was sorry and to come and get her; but the Director said not to contact her.

My sister came down to see her and flipped out at the kind of place it was with security to protect people from wandering off. Despite my objections she took her out and put her in an assisted care facility in Revelstoke. Huge mistake! She was found wandering around town in the dead of winter with no coat on. Luckily someone knew she was my sister's mother and took her to her shop. The facility called me to tell me they could not handle Mum and wanted her out. I had told my sister when she made the decision to pull her out of the place that I had spent months getting her into that I would no longer have any responsibility for her. She ended up killing her and I have never spoken to my sister again. I couldn't even go to her memorial because I wanted to kill my sister for what she had done.

My next mistake? After I had sold my Mum's place, for more than any place had ever been sold before by the way, I moved to an apartment. I barely had the boxes unpacked when a by-law officer came by and said I had to move out because the place wasn't zoned for apartments in the lower levels. I was on my way to view another apartment in Kelowna when my Realtor emailed to come and see a mobile in the park next to Mum and Dad's. It was a total disaster but I could just take over the private mortgage, so I did. Big mistake!

I busted my butt for over a year completely gutting the place and rebuilding it. When I went to list it my Realtor said it was the best place in the valley and he wanted to list it for $149,000. I had already looked at a couple of other places with my electrician friend and we wanted to put in offers, so I listed it for $139,000 and told him I wanted a quick sale. The day before the listing was to go into effect one of the local Indian chiefs posted an article in the local paper saying that anyone who bought on native land was "stupid" because there was no tenancy and they could be thrown out in a minute. He said the only reason prices were so high was because of "greedy Real Estate agents". Overnight no one would touch a mobile on native land. The private mortgage I had arranged just in case the place didn't sell fell apart. No bank would touch it. No lawyer would touch it for fear of getting sued. No Realtor would touch it. I was devastated.

I was left owing money to everyone, mostly Home Depot and Canadian Tire for tools and building supplies. Now I had no way to pay them back. My stress level was off the charts and my doctor told me if I didn't find a way to get away from this stress it would kill me. He called me a poster boy for a heart attack. I knew I had to do something.

I think quite obviously I had the run away instinct. I knew things were only going to get much worse and with no mortgage now I couldn't pay anybody back anyway. I also had no way to survive. To eat. To pay my pad rent. Nothing.

My diabetes was also starting to get much worse in the cold. I now had peripheral neuropathy in my feet and it was very painful. At the end of a day working on my feet I could barely walk. I started looking for somewhere warm. After a whole lot of research I found Panama and it looked like a good fit. My electrician friend had just split with his wife and needed a place, so he agreed to pay the pad rent to keep the place and look after it for me. I wasn't sure if things would get any better in the spring and to protect it from creditors I transferred the title to my good friend, Wade. Off I went to Boquete, Panama in the mini I had just traded my truck in for, packed to the gills.

When I got to the border I was asked where I was going and how much money I had? When I told him Panama he told me to pull over. Thus began the worst experience in my life when they asked me about my criminal record. I went through three hours of grueling questioning like I was a child molester. Fingerprints. Photos. Then they told me I could not enter the States. I couldn't even fly through a US airport. They told me that even if I got a pardon in Canada they didn't give a damn and it would take years to apply for whatever their version of a pardon was. Some much for Homeland Security.

I returned home and made some panic arrangements to fly to Panama, not through a US airport. I sold my car to my electrician's son who had worked for me for months. I reduced my car full to my luggage and left on Boxing Day for Vancouver. My fault? Totally.

Panama was a terrible experience. The house I had rented on the internet was a disaster. I ended up renovating a place for a friend back in Kelowna and lost my shirt. At the same time my dear friend, the electrician, did the one thing I had warned him about over and over before I left. I warned him to clean off the roof of any snow buildup because when it melts it can become too heavy for the roof supports. My Dad had always cleared his roof of any snow, regardless of amount.

Next thing you know my friend Wade calls me to tell me that my electrician had not cleaned the roof and it had collapsed under the weight of the melting snow and ice. He estimated it would be about twenty-five thousand dollars to replace the roof, plus the water had ruined most of my new flooring, all laminate. It was a huge blow. My fault? Not a chance. Okay. Maybe other than trusting my "friend". Yes. My fault.

Sometime later he found a young guy who was willing to buy the place and fix the roof himself. He offered a pathetic price, with me only losing about eighty thousand dollars in the process; but who else was going to buy it? His parents were going to loan him some money; but he still needed me to take back a second mortgage for five thousand dollars. Again. No choice; but you guessed it. He never paid me and I lost the five thousand dollars on top of everything else.

After five miserable years in London, Ontario I was reaching pension age, so I started looking again for somewhere to go. I found Ecuador. Yet another total disaster. It wasn't at all as billed and although I did have some good times there there were far more problems than good times. I also had a horrible runaround with Service Canada over one of my pensions and six months later I was destitute and couldn't even afford food. Had it not been for the generosity of my friend, Heather, I wouldn't be writing this. I finally wrote to Service Canada and told them that there would be a letter on my cold dead body clearly blaming them for my demise. I got my money in three days; but it was too late. The lady who was looking after my application for residency stole my three hundred and fifty dollars and did nothing. She also refused to return my passport so I couldn't even leave the country on my paid return flight. It was a nightmare. My landlord also ripped me off for two hundred dollars in rent she owed me, plus my driver stole two hundred dollars out of my messenger bag. I also got carbon monoxide poisoning from the fireplace in my cabin and came far too close to dying. I remember the doctor saying I would have been dead in three hours had they not got me to the hospital. Before that they took me to a private hospital when the altitude first got to me. Four days and twelve hundred dollars later I was released. My fault? No.

Limping back to Canada to Belleville, thanks again to my dear friend, Heather, I eventually ended up in several group homes that literally saved my life. They weren't the best place to live because there was a constantly revolving group of guys at various stages of need; but I did end up with a nice room in one of them and managed to do my website work.

So that brings me to Mexico and what exactly is my fault. Although I don't agree with all the people blaming me for the breakup, I do agree that what was clearly my fault was falling so deeply in love. For six months it was the very best relationship I'd ever had in my entire life. She was everything I'd ever dreamed of in a woman. We shared such a bright and promising future together. I loved her completely and unconditionally.

Right now I have no clue why she sent the fateful text message telling me our relationship was over. I will say that I never did a thing to hurt her or mistreat her or do anything but love her to death. She was always so happy to be with me. It was an incredible love on every level. She came to Canada with me to file for my temporal visa to come back to Mexico and marry her. Her family loved me and pushed her to hurry up and marry me. It was all pure bliss.

Then totally out of the blue she sends me a text message that our relationship is over. As I said I have no clue why. I've begged her to talk to me or text me; but she refuses. Apparently she is sad. She told me that she loves me and misses me, so what's going on? Something is obviously seriously wrong. Don't I deserve to know why she ended our wonderful relationship? I think I do. My fault? Not a chance.






The Suicide Notes - Maybe it's time?


Despite being diagnosed back in 2004 I've never been depressed, in the clinical sense, or ever thought about ending it all. Given that I now have a perpetual horrible feeling in my gut now and I'm trying to resist breaking down into tears every time I think about what a mess I'm in, yes, maybe it's time.

Just a month ago my life was beautiful. I was one happy camper with so many things in my life. After disastrous experiences in both Panama and Ecuador, I thought I'd give it one more try to see if Mexico fit the bill. I had never heard of Ajijic (Ah-hee-hik); but one of my friends in Ecuador, Bonnie Hall, had moved here previously and kept posting on Facebook how much she loved it.

I started my months of research and learned two things. One, it looked like it was just as fantastic as Bonnie had been saying and, two, there wasn't a city portal site. There was one very nice site; but it was clearly pushing Real Estate, as a lot of sites in these countries do. As a Canadian and part of the Baby Boomer generation, I knew a lot of people were looking to escape our cold winters and looking for somewhere warmer and stable. After Trump was surprisingly elected President a lot of Americans were also looking to escape the country.

When I returned to Canada from Ecuador I ended up in Belleville, Ontario purely by accident. My good friend of some forty years, Heather Paul, told me her son was renovating a home just north of the city and he would let me stay there rent free if I did some work for him. Sounded good to me. I tried very hard to maintain my relationship with a lady I'd met in Ecuador, but it became clear she was only in it for the money and the relationship ended badly. I was very upset and problems with the house, like no heat for a week, left me miserable. I ended up at the Salvation Army crying to one of the ladies. They immediately got me into a group home with a bunch of other guys. It wasn't great, but it was better than freezing my butt off miles from nowhere.

Over the next two years I moved to other group homes and finally ended up in the best one where I had a very large bedroom with lots of room for my clothes and a large desk I bought for my website work. I met some great friends in Belleville, like Doral and Carole, who took me everywhere. We often went to the Legion in Trenton to hear some great bands, among them The Shadowz, my favorite band. We also went to the weekly concerts in the park and even worked at the Elvis Festival, which was a hoot. Life was good.

You were limited to the amount of time you could stay in the group home and my time was coming up at the end of September. Thanks mainly to getting a MasterCard, which shocked the heck out of me when I got it because I had gone bankrupt. It started off at $200 because I bought my bike at Canadian Tire, but then was increased to a crazy $8,000! No idea why; but it let me buy my flights to Mexico. Thanks to a new friend in Ajijic, Francis, I found a great apartment in La Floresta at less than I was paying for my room in Belleville ($479). Things looked promising and I left for Mexico with an open mind.

The day I arrived in Ajijic I fell in love with the place. The climate was perfect! The first thing I saw was Walmart. Looked like there wouldn't be the kind of struggles I had in Panama and Ecuador to get the things I needed. I met my landlords, Perry and Kathy, and finally got to see my apartment. It was better than I expected from the photos Francis had sent me. All this looked very promising, but I had a return flight to Canada and only had a six-month tourist visa, so I had no idea what I was going to do. I sure wasn't keen on going back to Canada, especially when I had nowhere to live. Apartments in Belleville were also a fortune so I knew I could never afford to live there anyway. But that was for later.

Francis and Anastasia were fantastic with me. They took me everywhere and introduced me to a ton of people. I was simply amazed at the music scene here. There was something going on every single night of the week. That first Sunday they took me to the Iron Horse pub and I met Jonathan, not knowing just how important he was going to become for me later.

On Monday they took me to Adelita's, the first visit of what would become many. The food was great and the band, Jonathan, Paul, Chelo and Sergio, were just incredible. The place was packed and I couldn't believe this was a Monday night!

This is when my life took a major turn. My friends, Bill and Violeta, were sitting with the most gorgeous Mexican girl. I asked her to dance and she was amazing. So sexy and a wonderful dancer. At one point we went out for a smoke. Remember at this point my Spanish was pretty rough, but we managed. Jonathan came out and said she was his mother! That shocked the hell out of me and I said she must be his sister. She laughed. When we finished our smoke she snapped her fingers at me and pointed to the door. Pointing at my wedding ring finger, I told her she wasn't my wife so don't be snapping your fingers at me. She said "Come on, Baby" in perfect English. Oh, I knew this lady could be trouble. I was also realistic enough to realize she was gorgeous and younger than me and she could have any man she wanted. Nice to dance with but this wasn't going anywhere, right?

The following Saturday my friend Bill called to tell me that she wanted me to come to La Bodega that night. That came as a huge surprise; but I was happy at the thought of dancing with her again, so off I went. The dancing was just as incredible as I thought it would be, but when we went for a smoke I just thought it might be the right time to give her a quick kiss. She responded with the most passionate kiss I've ever had. It was pure magic. Now I knew I was in trouble.

The next six months were the happiest days of my entire life. She was the woman I had always dreamed of finding. No question she was gorgeous and sexy as hell. She was intelligent, passionate, witty, affectionate, sensitive, laughed easily and was a joy to be around. Despite our language issues, we talked for hours and hours, with the help of my phone's Google Translate when things got a bit complicated. The first night we slept together was the most incredible experience of my entire life. She loved to be cuddled when we slept, something that no other woman in my life had enjoyed. Before long we were living together like man and wife and we talked about getting married. I was ready right now, but she always joked she might marry me "later".





























During those wonderful months I grew a lot closer to Jonathan and I also met her other son, Kevin, at Christmas. It was an amazing night and at the end of it I heard him tell his mother that he liked that I would be his Dad. Doesn't get much better than that. Over the holidays I also met her mother, who I was very nervous to meet; but she liked me, plus her huge family, all of whom apparently liked me. That was a huge relief. At the last event we went to, her sister's birthday, her other sister wanted to know why she had not already married me? Funny at the time; but not now.

A bit of a sidebar here. Part of the reason for meeting her sons and huge family was so great for me was the loss of my own family. I'll never know why, but my wonderful daughter hasn't spoken to me in twenty-four years, and my son hasn't spoken to me in about ten years. When I finally realized my marriage was over and I went out to BC to be with my mother because she had been diagnosed with fifth stage melanoma and was given less than six months to live, I thought my daughter and son would come out to visit their other side of the family. I never knew that when I left I would never see my daughter again. My mother beat the odds and lived another nineteen years. I made a huge number of wonderful friends and started enjoying life with a much better balance of work and play. Before I went out west all I did was work because I had no choice. My ex sat at her mother's place drinking coffee and smoking and refused to work even though we had a new house with a big mortgage.

Throughout all the years I spent in BC I never stopped trying to contact my son and daughter. The year after I moved out west my daughter called my parents and asked if I would come down to her graduation. Of course I would. Then she called back to say that her ceremony was delayed until the fall and she would let me know. That never happened and I managed to call her and she wanted me to come down in January. I dreaded the thought of driving across the country in the winter, but I wanted to see her so badly. It was a nightmare of a trip and when I got to Brampton my ex's new husband wouldn't let me see her. I hung around for three weeks trying to see her, but failed and drove back to BC in tears. It tore my heart out.

In 2005 my Dad died in my arms, unquestionably the most traumatic moment of my life. All these years later I still can't forget one minute of it. My mother finally and thankfully died in 2007, thanks to my sister, who killed her by taking her out of the care home I had worked for eight months to get her in. My brother was an equal idiot. He phoned me from Thailand to tell me he needed ten thousand dollars right away or some thugs were going to kill him. I did send him the money' but hoped they killed him anyway. He spent his life burning me at every opportunity. I loathe him.

When I arrived in Mexico I had no more family, so meeting her family and especially thinking I might have two sons was just incredible. It meant more to me than to most men. That and a wonderful woman in my life? Couldn't get any better.

During this same time I had also met my downstairs neighbour, Jack. We got on like long lost friends. We did everything together. Our joke every day was "the bar's open" and we drank and talked for hours almost every day. He and she got on really well and we had a lot of fun. He's involved in this currency thing that might mean millions of dollars for him and he had a lot of great things to do both here in Mexico and back in Canada. We talked about that for hours as well and he offered to help me with my website business and things like getting a place for her and I and paying off my huge credit card debt. That all came crashing down when I blew up at him for constantly putting me down at a time when I was heartbroken and really needed a friend. Just more misery.

So what made this all fall apart on me?

She and I had talked for hours about getting a place together here in Ajijic and working together on the website. I just knew with her personality and how social she was that she would love the work. Her son agreed and he was thrilled about it. Naturally, with our future planned together, including getting married at some point, I had to arrange to stay in Mexico. I started the process with the consulate in Toronto and she wanted to come with me, which was great; but I told her honestly that as much as I loved that idea I could not afford her airfare. She agreed to pay it so off we went. It was the trip from hell. Everything from getting bumped off our flights to problems with the hotel. Nothing went right with selling my stuff. We had even more problems with trains and buses. Despite all that, she was a trooper. It was unusually cold for the time of year and we were freezing all the time, but she handled it very well. We did manage to have some fun, like her buying a bunch of clothes so she looked professional on the job when we came back. We also hit a used clothing store in Toronto which she enjoyed.

Now the shocker of a lifetime. Just before we left Canada she told me that she wasn't coming back to Ajijic with me because she had an appointment with her lawyer at her place in Guadalajara. It's a long story about her apartment, but let's just say it was a disaster. Her ex hadn't paid what he agreed to pay in their divorce for twenty-one years! Now she owed 348,000 pesos to avoid losing her apartment. The slime-ball has hidden all his assets and couldn't be forced to pay. I saw no point in wasting more money with a lawyer. Just sell the place and pay off the debt, but she would never listen.

Of course, there was no meeting with the lawyer. It was just an excuse not to come back to Ajijic with me. When she came early with Jonathan on Monday she came to "our" place. I went to play pool with Jonathan. When I came back to get ready for Adelita's she had her bags packed. When I asked why she said we were going to get a smaller place so there wouldn't be room for all her stuff so she was going to sort it out and sell some of it. I didn't believe her. Things were very different at Adelita's that night. For the very first time, she didn't sit with me. Even when we danced I knew something was wrong because she kept looking at the floor and not at me. I kept asking if she was okay and she just said she was worried about her apartment. That wasn't it. We were supposed to be finding a place to live and only had a couple of weeks to find something so I was concerned that she was going back to Guadalajara. Then she said I should find a place on my own. She didn't need to see it. That made no sense to me. Stupid me.

Then the killer. We were texting and suddenly she said: "here we end the relationship". It hit me like a kick in the stomach. I couldn't breathe. My heart started racing and I could feel the tears coming on. How could this be happening after everything we had been through? Why did she come with me to Canada? Why did she let me go through the process of getting my visa to come back to Mexico to be with her? Why did she buy clothes to work together on the website? What the hell was going on? It literally destroyed me.

The following Monday she came to get the rest of her things and she wanted to talk to me. I was so unglued I knew I could never face her without breaking down. I told her it was clear to me that she was breaking up with me so what was the point of talking? Not only did she get the rest of her clothes and shoes; but she left all the gifts I had given her over the months. Yet another knife in my heart.

Over the next few days there were a string of text messages. Some good. Some terrible. Finally, she called me and we talked for almost two hours. She said that breaking up with me was a "huge mistake". She said she still loved me. Not only did she want me to come to Adelita's Friday night; but she also said she would come back to my place after. I was thrilled. Maybe we could sort this out after all. Glory be!

Then the next morning she sent yet another bunch of text messages, these saying she had second thoughts and would not be staying at my place after all. That was a blow because I really needed to talk to her and we couldn't do that at Adelita's. I was still looking forward to seeing her that night and hoped we could get through this. Then she sent another bunch of texts that were unbelievably cruel. Everything from attacking me about my ED to "all the lies I told". She wanted nothing more to do with me and told me not to text her anymore. I fell apart.

Obviously, I didn't go to Adelita's. I had this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and was either on the verge of tears or crying like a baby every time I thought about her. I just got white lightning drunk and fell asleep. My deep love for her and all the wonderful plans we had kept flashing in my brain and setting me off crying again. I sobbed and sobbed. It was the worst night of my life.

The next morning I was greeted with a text message she sent at 2:37 AM telling me that she never wanted to see me again. That instantly turned on the faucets again and I was shaking like a leaf. Had I a gun I probably would have shot myself right there and then.

The day was spent in the kind of grief you have after someone you love dies. As much as I knew I had to focus on moving on, everything, and I mean everything, seemed beyond hopeless. Here I was in Mexico sharing all the dreams of an exciting future with the love of my life and in one moment it was all shattered. How could I possibly stay here when everywhere there were only memories of time spent with her? Would I ever be able to go out again? Why would I want to? I was out of my apartment at the end of the month and the only place I'd found was a very small less than great apartment. I had to sign a contract the following Monday; but why would I? It meant staying here with all the pain. What options did I have?

My first task was researching "death by insulin". The previous night I was going to stagger to the pharmacy and get sleeping pills to put me out of my pain; but luckily, I guess, I got too drunk to walk. At one point I thought of swimming out in the lake far enough that I knew I couldn't make it back; but, again, I couldn't walk to the lake. The next I wondered what would happen if I just took too much of my insulin? Would I die in painful convulsions, frothing at the mouth, or would I just fall asleep? First I learned that diabetics are twice as likely to commit suicide. Comforting. Then it appears that the body has some sort of defence mechanism to counter the effects of too much insulin. After a couple of hours, it looked like the only way to fail is if someone gets you to the hospital in time. Given how nobody cares about me here anymore that's not likely to happen. The trick will be to shoot myself up with needle after needle with no idea what it will take. I might just pass out and wake up later, much to my regret.

So why am I writing this? I hope people will better understand what I've been through and how it has completely destroyed me. I have no more confidence. I am a broken man. I have certainly lost my faith in love. I have lost interest in everything. I can't face my friends knowing they just feel sorry for me and wonder what I did to deserve this? Everybody likes someone who is as happy as I was with her. No one wants to be with anyone in total misery. I have never felt more alone in my entire life. I have to ask myself if anyone on the planet really cares if I'm gone? I've always just wanted to donate my body to science or be set on fire, but being in Mexico I have no idea what will happen and truthfully don't much care. I won't be around to care.

I do feel bad for those who need to clean up after me. Get rid of me. Sell or donate my stuff. My good friend, Don, one of the only ones I have left, has agreed to deal with it. He might only have been trying to support me in my grief by agreeing to it, but he also gave me shit for thinking about ending it all. He said time heals all wounds, but this wound is just too deep. Sure, I've been in love before, or thought I was; but nothing ever compared to my love for her. It was total. It was pure. It made me so happy. I felt secure in her love. She made me feel incredible. She meant the world to me. I see no point in going on without her. None.

This may well be my final epistle for this lifetime. Who knows? My hosting for this personal site ends in June so it, like me, it will be gone. I hope that somehow my kids and my grand-kids get a chance to read what happened so maybe they understand. They know so little about me that probably they won't, but at least I tried.

Yeah. Maybee it's time for "Goodbye world!". Who knows?






Proof that I was a "fool in love".

As guys we can often be the proverbial "clueless". Yeah. Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus and all that stuff. I am certainly no kid and have had many relationships in my life, some good and some bad. I stuck in my horrible marriage for twenty-three years, always believing that by some miracle it would get better. It never did. Even my kids haven't spoken to me in twenty-four years and I don't know my five grandkids either. Sad.

Naturally I was cautious when I first met Elba. She was gorgeous. She was feisty. She was twenty years younger than me. She was Mexican and spoke no English. Unquestionably a handful for any man. But I knew there was more to it for me that first night we met. My friends Bill and Violeta called to say that Elba wanted me to come to La Bodega the following Saturday night. That came as a surprise; but I was intrigued. The night turned into pure magic. We danced amazingly together and after one particularly romantic song I said that was the best dance I'd ever had. She said it was the same for her. At one point we went for a smoke and I felt compelled to kiss her. A tender little kiss. She responded with the most passionate kiss I've ever had. I knew I was in trouble.

This all led to the most wonderful relationship I've ever had in my life. All the things other women had convinced me were my faults, like being romantic in public, were the opposite for Elba. Despite the obvious language issues we talked for hours and she said and did the sweetest things. As a joke I had given her one of my pinky rings because she suggested we were married. The next day she texted that she had kissed the ring a thousand times. What woman does this? We talked about all the amazing connections we had. Our fundamental beliefs in a successful relationship were honesty and trust, we agreed.

What followed were the best months of my life. I met her very large family in Guadalajara over Christmas and they all welcomed me with open arms. Given my horrible situation with my own family I was thrilled to be a part of this wonderful family. Her wonderful sons, Jonathan and Kevin, started calling me Dad. It was pure bliss.

Everywhere we went, particularly Adelita's, our Monday night hot spot to dance, where Jonathan played in the band, everyone greeted us like long lost friends and said we looked so in love and they were so happy for us. On New Years I gave her the replacement ring she had picked out in Guadalajara and everyone assumed it was an engagement ring so they congratulated us. Elba went along with it and started referring to me as her fiance. Her family was thrilled and started pushing her to hurry up and marry me.

Having spent time in both Panama and Ecuador, both of which proved to be disasters, I came to Mexico to check it out for six months and return to Canada. After I met Elba my plans changed to figure out how I could stay in Mexico. I started making arrangements with the consulate in Toronto to apply for my temporal visa. Elba and I joked how much easier it would be if she just married me.

Off we went to Canada, unquestionably the worst trip I've ever made. It was freezing and everything that could go wrong did. Elba was a real trooper with both the cold and all the problems and we had a wonderful ten days despite the problems. The plan was to get my visa, which I did, and return to Ajijic where Elba and I would find a new place because my rent was going up fifty-seven percent, then start working on the website together. We had talked for hours about her being our Sales Director and she was cautiously thrilled. I just knew that she was going to be great at it and, most importantly, very happy. I had dreams of us traveling the country, part vacation and part work, to set up other city portal sites. The future looked amazing.

As we came to the day we were scheduled to fly back she surprised me by telling me she had to stay in Guadalajara to meet with her lawyer about her apartment, which had become a total disaster. Our top priority was to find a place to live in Ajijic so I wasn't happy to hear she was staying in Guadalajara. She said to go ahead and just look for places myself and that was my first indication that something was very wrong. I told her I would never pick a place for us to live without her first seeing it. Little did I know.

After we got back I asked her to text me to let me know what happened with the lawyer. When I hadn't heard from her late in the afternoon she said she hadn't met her lawyer and now she had to go back after Adelita's that night. Again I wasn't thrilled because she had just told me she was coming to my place after Adelita's so we could look for places. We had to find a place for May 1st so time was critical.

Jonathan was coming early to play pool with us and was dropping Elba off at my place first. When I came back to get ready for Adelita's her bags were packed. When I asked her what was up she said we were going to be in a smaller place so she was taking her clothes home to sort them out and sell some of them. I didn't believe that for a second. Off we went to Adelita's and I knew something was very wrong. For the first time she didn't even sit with me and she also didn't appear to be enjoying dancing with me. She kept looking down at the floor and avoided eye contact with me. I kept asking her if she was okay and she said she was; but I knew that wasn't true.

That all led to the worst series of text messages I've ever had, culminating in the very worst. "Aqui terminamos con la relacion". Here we end with the relationship. It broke my heart. I fell apart. I just couldn't believe that she would go to Canada with me and let me go through the whole process of getting my visa to come back to live with her and hopefully get married, when she had no intentions of doing that. She had broken up by text message twice before, both times after which I fell apart. I told her to never do that again; but she did. How could this woman who I loved so completely be this cruel and do this to me again? My whole life was turned upside down and all my dreams of a future together were shattered. I wondered what the heck am I doing here?

She wanted to come and pick up the rest of her stuff and she wanted to talk to me. I just couldn't face her without breaking down so I told her I wouldn't be here when she came, which was yesterday. I knew I couldn't face the situation at Adelita's either. I had no idea what to say to friends. I hadn't danced with anyone else for six months. What was I going to say to Jonathan? How could I ever see her with someone else and not be destroyed?

My great friend, Jack, took me out of town to the other side of the lake. It was a great diversion and avoided facing Elba while she took all her stuff out of the apartment. She sent me a very strange text about leaving the gifts I had given her out of love and I had no clue what that meant. I had asked her for the engagement ring back only because we were obviously no longer engaged. When we got back home she had carefully laid out the various gifts I had given her for Valentines Day, her birthday and others, like the dress I bought her for her birthday. Blew me away! Why would she return these gifts that were given to her out of my deep love for her? It seemed beyond cruel.

I texted her to come back and get the gifts she had left; but she responded by telling me not to text her anymore. So beyond cruel. I would never have thought she could do this to me. I still love her with my life and wish this had not come to such a tragic end. I still don't have a clue why she ended our relationship. I honestly thought she loved me as much as I loved her and she shared our dreams. I was wrong. So sadly wrong.

Beyond Frustrating!

Our trip to Canada has taught me a new lesson - some people are just too stupid to deal with!

First, my least favorite airline in the world, AeroMexico. After months of fighting with them, filing complaint after complaint, all of which were ignored, they did us in. The agent in Guadalajara took our passports, our boarding passes, which I had printed out before we left, and my tourist visa. Elba and I were talking and not paying much attention to him. He handed our passports back to us. Only when we headed for the gate did we realize he failed to give us back our boarding passes. We raced back to the luggage check-in where they searched everywhere for our boarding passes, finally finding them. Off we went to board our flight.

Our first flight was to Mexico City and then on to Toronto. When we went to board the agent would not let me on because I didn't have my tourist visa to surrender. I had to race to Immigration to get a new visa (535 pesos); but they only accept pesos. I had changed what pesos I had to Canadian dollars for our trip. Off I raced to the exchange to get pesos again, then back to immigration and finally doing my best O.J. Simpson run back to the gate, only to watch our plane pulling away.

We went to the AeroMexico.ticket office where they informed us that we had to pay another 19,000 pesos to catch a later flight. They also had only one seat left on the flight. I blew a gasket when Elba suggested she would fly back to Guadalajara and I would go on alone. Not a chance! I finally found a wonderful supervisor, Erica, who arranged for us to fly at the same price we had paid, plus she put us on standby for the 1:00 a.m. flight. We spent the next several hours praying that we would get on the plane. After everyone else was on the plane they called us and not only got us on the plane; they got us sitting together! Relief.

We were now arriving very late for the train to Belleville, which we had paid for and tickets were non-refundable. A very nice agent arranged for us to catch a later train at no extra cost. One of the good guys and not one of the stupid people.

When we finally arrived at the hotel we ended up dealing with the most offensive, ignorant, confrontational manager. It made our stay intolerable. At one point when we desperately needed our credit card in Toronto, he had processed four hundred dollars in new charges to our credit card without notice. We kept getting declined at places like McDonald's because I had four dollars of credit left thanks to him.

I had tried to reactivate my Canadian telephone but had lost my SIM card. Chatr Wireless told me to go to any 7-11 and buy a new SIM card for $10. We found a 7-11 in Toronto and asked for a SIM card for Chatr Wireless. No problem, well, except that the stupid person I dealt with gave me a SIM card for a 7-11 phone, not Chatr. Never did get my reserved Canadian number back.

We needed a courier envelope for my passport and visa to be returned to our hotel on Friday or I would not be able to fly back to Mexico. We went to the Purolator office on Yonge Street and asked for a next day delivery envelope. They didn't have any, but told us to go down the street to the Shoppers Drug Mart to buy one. I clearly told the agent there that I needed a next day Purolator envelope. I paid him and left the envelope with the lady at the consulate.

Thursday she emailed me telling me that the package would be ready at 4:30; but then asked me what she was supposed to do with the Canada Post envelope I left with her! That led to an unbelievable back and forth with her and Purolator trying to get the right shipment organized. I finally got a simple email from the consulate saying that "the envelope is gone". That led to total panic thinking I might not get my passport back in time and would not be able to fly.

Friday late morning Purolator showed up with my treasured envelope. Thank you, God!

Now we just need the taxi to show up on time. The train to run on time to Toronto. The UP shuttle to run on time to the airport. AeroMexico not to again screw up our flights back. Hopefully we'll arrive back in Guadalajara tomorrow morning to be picked up by our good friend, Jack. No more stupid people!



A Fool In Love

Despite my horrible experiences in both Panama and Ecuador, including my fiancee in Ecuador who just ripped me off, I wanted to give it one more try with Ajijic, Mexico. Anyone who follows me knows how I was thrilled with Ajijic from the minute I got here. My plan quickly changed from spending six months here and returning to Canada to finding a way to never leave here. That was before I met the love of my life.

The first night we met she was sitting with two of my dear friends, Bill and Violet. I asked her to dance and she was an incredible dancer, plus we seemed to have an instant connection on the dance floor. She was absolutely gorgeous and I knew this might be trouble.

When we went out the front of the restaurant to smoke and finished she sort of snapped her fingers and told me to come back in. I pointed at my ring finger and said she wasn't my wife. She replied in perfect English, "come on, baby". How could I resist that? After every subsequent smoke she said the same thing. One time as we came in I said to her if she was my wife one night with her would probably kill me.

I went home that night thinking how much I liked her, but at the same time believing that there was no way a girl like that would go for me. I could not have been more wrong.

The following Friday night she was out with Violet and Bill and Violet called to ask me where I was. We had got our wires crossed about an earlier dinner with the Munch Bunch. I reluctantly said I had just got home from the dinner and couldn't go out again. Not ten minutes later Elba phoned me to tell me she wanted me to come down.

The next day Bill phoned me to say that Elba wanted him to invite me down to La Bodega that night. Still somewhat surprised that she wanted to see me I agreed and met them there. To say that it was one of the best nights of my entire life would be a gross understatement. We danced. We talked. We laughed. We had a great time.

At one point the band played a slow song and we were the only couple on the dance floor. I did my usual fancy footwork, the kind that only a woman who has danced with me for years can get; but Elba was there step for step. It was a very romantic dance. When we went out for a smoke I told that was the best dance I had had in my life. She smiled and said she was going to tell me the same thing.

I thought it might be a good time to sneak a little kiss to sort of test the waters. She responded with the most passionate kiss I had ever had. From that moment on we were hugging, kissing and holding hands the rest of the night. It was pure magic, tainted only by the fact that she had to go back to Guadalajara the next morning. It all ended far too quickly.

The next morning I wondered if it had all been a dream and she wasn't feeling the same way as I did about her. I sent her a text message and the next thing I know we're texting each other all day Sunday and most of Monday even though she's back at work. She was coming back Monday night to Adelita's so I booked a table for us with Bill and Violet again, their friends Bruce and Helen who are visiting Violet from Washington, and Jack. It was yet another wonderful night. She was supposed to be staying at Violet's, at least that's what she told her son, Jonathan, but when they first arrived at my place he brought in her luggage, so there went that plan. Obviously her son is far too smart to be tricked.

Obviously as a gentleman I can't tell you anything about our weekend, except to say that it was literally the most wonderful, amazing, romantic, happy as hell weekend of my entire life. Despite our obvious language differences we talked for hours and hours. We discovered we had more connections than anyone either of us had been with before. To be corny, but blunt, I was the first time in my life that I knew what true love really felt like. She was quite literally the women of my dreams.

We've been together for coming on two months now and although we've had some communication issues, mostly because of the language, we're still very much in love. She's retiring at the end of this week so I am hopeful that she will be able to spend more time here in Ajijic.

Stay tuned.



Friends, Romans, lend me...okay, friends. HELP!

Sadly I lost my oldest and dearest friend with whom I spoke for hours before deciding to move to Ecuador. She was very helpful and helped me make that important decision. If I had to make a guess I think her hubby wasn't keen on her talking to me for hours. So be it, but now I really don't have anyone to bounce ideas off of to know if I'm just crazy or thinking straight.

The issue is what do I do with my life and where do I go from here? Ecuador obviously turned out to be a disaster on so many levels, not the least of which was the falling Canadian dollar which meant I could not afford to live there, or anywhere for that matter. When I made the decision to move to Ecuador after months of research I never planned to come back to Canada, ever. As John  Lennon famously said "life is what happens while you're making other plans". So very true for me.

The last couple of years have been more the result of a series of unfortunate events. Things certainly did not go as planned in Ecuador, forcing me to return to Canada and somehow end up in Belleville, Ontario, the very last place I ever thought I would be. I viewed it all as temporary to just give me time to figure out what I was doing and sort out some of the messes I had, like needing to replace my passport (still a nightmare). Living in the reno was a big mistake but I appreciated the help when I came back with no plan. Then I moved into a group home in Belleville, then to another one a few months later and stayed for over a year. Again, not planned. My time was up at the group home and I ended up in the hospital and also had nowhere to move to once I got out. Graciously I was allowed to move to yet another group home but with only three months max. As I have for the passed several months I've been looking for an affordable room from Trenton to Kingston. Having visited Kingston last year several times I really like the city. There is so much more to do there than there is in Belleville.

The issue with finding a place in Kingston is the thousands of students who live there during the school year. They pay outrageous rents, or should I say Mom and Dad pay them, plus they rent for the whole year when they are only attending college or university for eight months. It's crazy! I need something under five hundred at the most and that's hard to find. In the meantime I'm also looking in Belleville only in case I can't find anything in Kingston.

The primary issue here is whether it matters where I live here in Canada. I've been researching a place in Mexico to death, called Ajijic (Ah-hee-hick). It sounds wonderful but so did Panama and Ecuador. The climate is described as the second best in the world. Unlike Panama and Ecuador it's not hard to find things you are used to because the Walmart is just down the street. Food is cheap. There's tons of things to do. There's a very large Expat community, many of them Canadian. Spanish is the local language but apparently even most of the locals speak English, mostly those working in the stores and restaurants. The community in both Ajijic and Lake Chapala, which is not far away, is vibrant. Everything I learned encouraged me to start designing a city portal website. It's called but it's not ready for the public yet. My primary goal is to create a unique business directory for people to find things and then charge modest fees for local businesses to become members. Eventually I want to expand the city portal sites to everywhere in Mexico and hopefully generate enough income to replace my lost pension.

Obviously a big consideration is housing. It's not cheap and most rentals are in US dollars, which is worth far more than our Canadian dollar these days. The dollar has closed under 73 cents recently. Not good. I have found a gorgeous fully furnished house in a gated community with a pool. It's two bed two main bath so I would need to find someone to share it with for the six months, October to the end of March. If I look at the prices for a small one bedroom apartment I could easily get three hundred dollars in rent, leaving me paying less than three hundred a month, which I could handle. I've been in touch with the owner and he has confirmed that everything is included. I only need to buy propane and that's only a few dollars a month. I can take the bus anywhere I need to go.

A new wrinkle in things just happened. I was sipping a coffee when I suddenly felt something metal in my mouth. I spit it out and it turned out to be a decades old gold crown that had fallen off. I went to the dentist hoping that they could recement it back on, but no luck. It was worn down very thin and had a hole in it that could not be repaired. I asked how much a new crown would be and was shocked when they said a thousand dollars! Not a prayer I could ever afford that. As you may know dental costs in Mexico are far less than in Canada. I've asked a friend to check for me but I think we're probably talking two hundred max. That means putting eight hundred towards my budget for Mexico. Although I doubt I will ever have any extra money, a few years ago I had an estimate done on all the dental work I needed. It was over four thousand dollars and that was without the crown. I assume that I could get whatever I need done in Mexico a lot cheaper. Might even be worth putting it on my MasterCard if it's that much cheaper.

The first consideration is whether I can stay where I am for another three months. Given the normal terms of transitional housing, which is a maximum one year stay, I am confused as to why I was only given three months here. In all of their homes there have been exceptions to the rule, often for those who don't deserve it. I have been a model tenant, always paying my rent on time and helping out wherever I was. If Mexico is in the cards for October and I am out of here at the end of June that means I only need somewhere for three months. Obviously it would be a lot better for me to simply stay where I am for an additional three months, but I don't know if that is even possible. First job is to ask.

If I can't stay here then the decision is do I find somewhere, anywhere actually, to live until next year when I might be better able to go to Mexico. There are issues with that of course, like paying probably more than five hundred a month for a simple room, which will eat into the budget for Mexico. If I can stay where I am that puts another hundred and twenty-five dollars a month for three months towards my airfare and getting a new passport. Also, according to people I am chatting with in Mexico I can rent a decent place for far less than the five hundred a month I would be paying here in Canada. Everything costs a lot less in Mexico, especially food which is very expensive here. I figure I am spending at least three to four hundred a month on food here and that's just for the basics.

Yet another factor is what do I do with all my "stuff"? Over the last year and a half I have invested in far too many things for my own good. Much of it was things that where I lived didn't have, like a coffee maker, dishes, utensils, even cutlery. For work on my websites I invested in a Dell 27" monitor because the screen on my laptop is too small for my failing eyes. Back when I lived on Foran the TV was monopolized by guys who loved sports and not much else so I rarely got to watch any TV. I was at Best Buy on Boxing Day and they had an amazing sale on a Toshiba 43" TV/Monitor. The guy I was with said they probably had an extra TV box and there was a cable running to my room, so I jumped to buy the TV. That didn't work out and I tried to sell the TV at a huge discount but never did sell it. It's now our TV at the new house but the owner hasn't expressed any interest in buying it, so either try to sell it again or leave it here at this house until I return to Canada. It's not something I could easily put in storage because it didn't come with a box.

Thanks to the dollar store and some of the really cheap places in Belleville to get stuff I have far too many clothes to take plus many of them are things I would not need in Mexico, like winter coats and boots. If I'm coming back it would not be for the winter months so I wouldn't need any of it, but just like what happened when I intended to move to Ecuador, I gave all my winter stuff to Value Village, then needed it all again when I was forced to come back to Canada. To be safe I think I need to put anything I don't need in Mexico or won't fit into my luggage in storage. That means renting a locker at about fifty dollars a month, but I think that's the safest route given that I will be coming back in April next year when I will have a better idea if I am moving to Mexico permanently or not. Not sure about things like my bike or my bird feeder. What was I thinking? lol

A very big consideration is family, just like it was with Panama and Ecuador. Although I will never understand it until the day I die and not even then, my family has abandoned me long ago. I haven't spoken to my daughter in almost twenty-five years, despite ongoing efforts to reconnect. My son has blocked me on Facebook and I've never met four of my grandchildren. My son's oldest daughter requested that I remove her photos from this website. Really hurt. One of my grandkids has just recently connected with me on Facebook and she was very upset that her parents had prevented her from making her own decision on whether to connect with me or not. I'm beyond thrilled that we have chatted. The issue with moving to a place like Mexico is the same one I struggled with for Panama and Ecuador. The choice was to sit here in Canada, waiting, possibly forever, for my kids to change their minds and reconnect with their Dad, or go, knowing that if they expressed any desire to reconnect that we could Skype or I could come back to visit them. I hate to accept that I will die without ever again seeing my family, but it's been something I cannot force. I've tried everything to no avail.

Well, there you have it. Confusing, eh? If you've read this far, well, congratulations! I would honestly welcome frank opinions from anyone, no matter how blunt. For the first time in my life I am very confused and not able to make a firm decision. I've usually made a list of the good and bad to help me, but this time there is so much to consider, so much that could go wrong, and all of it tempered by my experience with Panama and Ecuador.

My beautiful granddaughter, Mackenzie.

Mackenzie just sent me some photos to post. I was so thrilled when she connected with me on Facebook Messenger. She was very upset that her parents had told I was dead and didn't let her make her own decision whether to talk to me. We had some great chats and she told me she was coming to Mexico for a wedding in May. She was going to let me know where and when and I was praying that I could afford to go and meet her. That was several months ago but she has stopped talking to me. I have no idea why. She is the only one in the family who ever connected with me so it's very upsetting that she stopped. I have sent several messages her why she stopped talking to me but no response. I even sent one about the virus saying that I am in the high risk group, have diabetes and I'm a smoker, so that's three strikes. If i got the virus it could well be the end of me so I hoped that she would talk to me before I go. Nothing. 

Granddaughter Mackenzie

My beautiful granddaughter, Mackenzie
Mackenzie Too Cutee

Family can drive a knife in your heart

Anyone who has been following me knows the troubles I have had with my family. It's been twenty-five years since my wonderful daughter, Heather, cut me off with no explanation as to why. My son, Chris, did the same until we reconnected back in 2007. At the time we spoke for eight hours catching up on things, a phone call that cost me an unbelievable four hundred dollars in long distance. Part of the conversation involved some trouble he was in and I promised to help him however I could. I spent the better part of the next week researching the issues and developing a plan for him. When I had not heard back from him I asked his daughter, Dani, who I had been chatting with online, what was up. She told me that my ex had given my son such a hard time for talking to me that he had gone back to cutting me off.  It was also the last time I heard from her as well.

Of my five grand children Dani was the only one I had ever met and that was way back in 1994 when I drove down from BC to meet with my daughter. My ex's new husband and her hid Heather away and would not let me see her even though I had spoken to Heather on the phone and made the plans to come down to see her. It broke my heart. I stayed with Chris for three weeks hoping that I could get to see Heather, but no luck. I did get to hold their new baby, Dani. At the tme, of course, I didn't know that Dani was going to be the only grandchild I would ever meet.

Fast forward far too many years. I reconnected with Chris in London when he was videotaping a dance company he worked for. It was around his birthday in March so I got him a blow-up framed photo of our days dirt-biking in Revelstoke as a gift. Although it was a ridiculously short meeting, basically a quick lunch at Tim Horton's, we did make a plan to meet in the summer, possibly in Kincardine where my niece lived because Chris said he and the kids went up there quite often. Months passed and I heard nothing from him which really upset me because I was really looking forward to meeting my grand kids. I sent him a not so friendly message asking if his mother had stopped us meeting and asking if it wasn't time to get out from under her skirt and be a man. He blocked me and I haven't heard from him since. Ten years now.

There hasn't been a day when I haven't missed my kids terribly, especially after both my Mum and Dad passed away, which my kids didn't even know. My parents had never understood why the kids had cut me off so brutally and now they were gone. The hole in my heart got even bigger without them and I so longed to connect with my kids and grand kids, but it seemed hopeless. People I had met over the years in BC never understood why I had no contact with my kids or grand kids and I don't think ever believed me that nothing had happened to justify their actions. A few girlfriends even tried to connect with Heather to help me. Way back in 1994 after they hid Heather away from me I wrote her a multi-page letter about things she didn't know about my marriage and how much I missed her. My Dad had also phoned her from Arizona and left a message with her step-brother to have her call them collect. She never returned the call which baffled my parents. My Dad said he could have been calling her to let her know I had died. Very sad.

When I told one of my girlfriends about the letter I had sent to Heather I mentioned that I had included a cheque for fifty bucks for her to buy a birthday present for herself because I didn't know what she liked in music or clothes. My girlfriend asked me if the cheque was ever cashed. When I checked my bank I discovered the cheque had never been cashed, so I wondered if she had ever got my letter. Knowing what she did about my ex my girlfriend said she never gave it to Heather, which, of course, is illegal and I didn't want to believe she would do that, but nothing else made sense. Then I get the papers telling me that my divorce had been finalized. I didn't even know my ex had filed for divorce. Then I see that the reason was "child abandonment". Seriously? I was so angry. Everyone knew my address and my phone number. I never hid from the public. So why didn't I get a notice from the court that she had filed for divorce? Didn't I have the right to defend myself? I learned she wanted to marry my buddy, Gary, so I guess there was a rush that ended up trampling my rights. I was furious. Just more crap from her that was as bad as she was in our marriage. Selfish. Mean. Cruel. All her. This when I had never told the kids the truth or uttered a single bad word about her. Some thanks.

In the years since I have never stopped trying to get in touch with my kids. Chris had blocked me on Facebook and the phone number he had given me was now someone else's. I focused on Heather who I had learned was now married and living in Burlington. I sent her some messages on Facebook, worried that she would just block me but she didn't, surprisingly. She never responded to anything though. I found a wonderful photo of her on her Facebook page with her kids and added it to my Facebook page saying how proud I was of her. She immediately reported it to  Facebook who threatened to cancel my long standing account if I didn't remove the "unauthorized" photo. I was shocked that she could be that cruel, but she was her mother's child. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right?

Even in Ecuador I kept trying to connect with anyone. I learned that my other son had connected with Chris and Heather and they were hanging out together. Andrew had apparently helped Chris a lot. Heather didn't appear to be as close, maybe because they lived in Burlington, quite a trip from Toronto where Andrew and his family lived. I still remember seeing a photo of Chris and Andrew together. They looked like twins. I tried to have some kind of relationship with Andrew but he didn't seem interested so I stopped trying.

Thanks to Facebook I had managed to find two of my grand daughters, both from Chris. I wondered many times what they would do if I tried to friend them or contact them. I had to try, right? Yesterday I messaged both of them, hoping they would respond. Well, first I got a message from the eldest. To say it was cruel would be a gross understatement. She wanted nothing to do with me and even threatened me not to try to contact her sisters. It broke my heart. I was so upset  questioning what had I done to deserve this?

Just when I felt like heading for the nearest bridge I got a response from one of my other grand daughters. I can't tell you her name because we are both afraid she will be scolded and forced to block me. She is wonderful. She's angry that we have never met or even spoken. Rightly so she says that she should have been allowed to make her own decision about me. I could not agree more. We're going to keep this our little secret and hopefully talk a lot more. I'm thrilled.

While we're talking about a knife in the heart my son also managed to drive one in deep. If you follow me you know how much of my life I devoted to his hockey, even paying a lawyer for a fake separation agreement and changing my address to Toronto so he could play for a team in Scarborough. I couldn't even answer my own phone at home in case it was the Brampton Minor Hockey Association. Add the thousands of miles to hockey tournaments, all over the country and the US, the hotel and food bills, not to mention the expensive hockey equipment like skates and sticks, I gave up ten years of my life to his hockey. Although he was scouted by MIT and offered a full scholarship when he was only twelve, he was too young to sign at the time. After being signed to a Junior B team, the Streetsville Derbys, he quit hockey. Of course ten years later he blamed me for "letting" him quit. I told him I wasn't the one putting the skates on.

Just after we had reconnected in London and after I sent him the not-so-nice message he replied telling me that Gary, my ex's new husband, was his "real father". I sobbed uncontrollably that he could even say that after every thing I had done for him as his father. Again, a broken heart. He pushed me right to the edge.

Why ever do family do these things to each other? We only have one family and should never forget that. My family have, well, with one wonderful exception.



On losing touch with friends

During my life I've been very lucky to have made a number of friends. Because I've moved around a lot, from Toronto, Ontario to Streetsville, Ontario, to Brampton, Ontario to Kelowna, BC to Boquete, Panama, to Toronto, Ontario to London, Ontario to Cotacachi, Ecuador and finally to Belleville, Ontario I don't have any lifelong friends, much as I wish I did. I still remember many of the friends I had as a kid and I often wonder what they're up to all these years later.

Good friends are hard to find. One of those was one I met who worked for me decades ago. Our friendship was way passed boss - worker and we treasured each other on so many levels. I got a job offer and moved on and we lost touch with each other. I searched for her many times but I was using the wrong last name, her married name at the time. Then decades later out of the blue I get a message from her on Facebook and I was thrilled. She was now living in Saskatchewan, married again. After a couple of posts back and forth she asked me to call her. We spent hours just catching up on all the years we had been apart and reliving some of the great memories we shared together. The way we talked on the phone was like not a day had passed.

Around this time I was considering moving to Ecuador. My previous experience with Panama had certainly not been good and I wasn't sure I even wanted to try again. I had followed a girl to London from Toronto and that had gone badly but I was still in London, the last place I ever thought I would live, almost five years later. I thought there just had to be more to life than this. She agreed, poetically stating that I was basically molding in London, waiting for a miracle to happen and my kids would reconnect with me after twenty years. She made two excellent points. One, I could die waiting and had no reason to think that I wouldn't and, two, if I didn't go to Ecuador wouldn't I live to regret that? I agreed that I would, so off I went, but not after hours and hours of talking to her about it. I don't know to this day if I would have had the courage to move on my own without her sage advice.

Well, if you follow me at all you know that Ecuador turned into a disaster, mostly because of things I could not control, such as the falling Canadian dollar. At one point I was getting really desperate financially and pretty depressed about how bad things were going. Naturally I reconnected with her and at first she felt bad that she had encouraged me to move to Ecuador, but I reassured her that it had nothing to do with her. Neither of us could have foreseen the things that happened. Her advice to go was right in the first place and nothing had changed. Not only did she reassure me that I would survive but she also sent me two hundred dollars that saved my butt, money I did not ask for and I doubted she could afford.

When it looked like I had no choice but to return to Canada I had no clue where I was going to go or how I was going to live. I only had two of my pensions because one had been cutoff after I was out of the country more than six months. I figured I would be homeless and waiting for winter to arrive. She said her son had a place that he was renovating north of Belleville and suggested that I might be able to help him given my years of experience. She made no promises but she put me in touch with her son. Not only did he agree to let me live in the house rent free but he also booked me on the VIA train from Toronto to Belleville in the VIP car using his points. I was also pretty well dead broke when I came back so he sent me two hundred dollars, again not asked for. When I arrived at the house he had put in a fridge and stove, washer and dryer, small appliances and stocked the place with food. This was all done for the sole reason that his mother said we were good friends.

Fast forward a coupe of months and there were some problems at the house, like no heat and I froze. Her son had asked me to move out and I was lost with nowhere to go. My fiancee in Ecuador had also just ended our relationship so I wasn't going back to Ecuador. It was a dark time so I sent her a lengthy email pleading for more time at her son's place and hoping that we could chat again because I again needed her advice on what to do. She didn't answer me. I saw her on Facebook and asked if she was angry with me for some reason. When she didn't even respond I knew she was really angry with me.

After I sent her the last of the money I owed her a year ago she sent me back a short response thanking me for the money. That was it. I figured something was up but didn't want to press. Then when I hadn't heard a word from her for months I sent her a long email explaining what I was thinking about with moving to Mexico. I asked for her valued opinion, again hoping that we could talk. A month later I asked if there was something I should know because I found it strange that she had not responded. I got a very terse email saying that she had a busy life and couldn't just "drop everything"  to answer my email. I cried when I read that. I knew that I had lost the very best friend I had ever had and it broke my heart. I never felt so alone in my life. I really miss her.


The second loss was a new friend, certainly nothing comparable to her. When I moved into the group home here in Belleville one of the tenants was a jovial guy and we kind of hit it off. There was never a topic that we couldn't have a lively discussion about, but we basically kept to ourselves at the time. I think it was asking him if I could pay him to take me food shopping that started more of a friendship. Before long we were going to movies together, most of which we agreed upon after seeing the movie. We began using our two for one coupons to eat out at places like Harvey's. He also liked to wander around shopping at the discount stores like Dollarama so we did that a lot. We started going to some of the provincial parks on the weekends to enjoy the warm weather. At Christmas we went to several of the events at the local churches.

Back in October, I believe, he moved into another unit here at the house and took on the role of facilitator. For some unknown reason he suddenly began throwing his weight around, posting nasty notes about things he was unhappy about. Back when I met him he was working at a local call centre, strangely enough the same company I had worked for in London, so we swapped a lot of war stories. Then he suddenly stopped going to work late last year. After several months he told me that he was on leave. At Christmas he said that he was going back to work in January, but that didn't happen.

Around this time we were both looking at other places for when our time here was up. I suggested to him that we get a place together, preferably a house and that I wanted to winter in Mexico so he could rent my room to a student while I was gone. After much discussion he said that he was "95%" on the idea. I started looking at places and found one that I setup an appointment with on the following Sunday after confirming it with him.

The turning point in our relationship was a night we went to Harvey's intending to go to see La La Land. His car broke down at Harvey's so we never got to see the movie. Then he basically disappeared. His place was in darkness. The car was gone. No one knew where he was. After what had happened with John, a new tenant who left for the weekend and didn't come back because he was killed in a car accident, we started to worry about him. I started sending him text message asking if he was okay but he didn't respond, which made me even more concerned. I asked if the appointment to view the house on Sunday was still on and got a snarky response about my "attitude". When no one knew where he was Sunday morning I texted him again and he just said to cancel the appointment if I wanted to. Again, no car so I don't know how we were supposed to get there anyway.

A few more days pass with no word from him so now we wonder what to do if something happens at the house. I had a number for the President but I was told it was only for text messages. We have had a number of issues with burst pipes so I didn't think texting was any good. I sent an email to the President expressing concern that no one knew where this guy was and asking what we were to do if there was an emergency. The next thing I know he comes over to the house and gets him out of the shower. I didn't expect that reaction.

That night all hell broke loose. I was cooking my dinner when he came in and started screaming at me about the number to call. He said it was none of our business where his car was or what was going on. It was the most ignorant I have ever been treated in my whole life.  One of the other tenants was close by and he said he couldn't believe the reaction for only being concerned that he was okay. That was the end of any relationship we had or might have had.