Well it’s that time of year to think back at what made 2006 memorable and to plan for 2007. For me 2006 was one of the most difficult years of my entire life. There’s nothing to celebrate or look back with fond memories on. Mostly it was a year filled with struggles with relationships and too much sadness and feeling very lonely. If there’s any good to come of it hopefully I will be able to reassess who I am, what’s missing from my life and discover how to change it.
Family: tough on all fronts. Giving up hope of ever seeing my kids again. It’s been twelve painful years since we had any contact. I’ve hung on to the faint hope that someday they will smarten up and realize I was a good father who gave his all for them and who loves them very much. It’s been incredibly hard to live with them not knowing that Dad passed away last year. Accepting that I will never see them again burns a hole in my heart and adds to my loneliness.
My birth family has been torn apart, first by the loss of my dear father. The memory of the day he died still haunts me like it was yesterday. I can still see him lying face down in the water and me dragging him up the beach and giving him CPR, desperately tryin to bring him back. The paramedics working on him and my mother crying uncontrollably on the porch, and the idiot cop asking me questions while I watched my father die in front of me. My mother has gone from an otherwise healthy vibrant woman who suffered from Alzheimer’s, to a shell of a woman. She has lost at least sixty pounds and is frail and unable to function. She hasn’t eaten for days and now has uterine cancer on top of everything else. Her doctors say that the hysterectomy she needs will probably kill her, so we now face the choice of her having the operation with poor chances of her surviving it, or watching her waste away from the ravages of cancer. Not great choices.
My brother pulled yet another one on me, sending me into a frenzy trying to get money to close yet another one of his hair-brained schemes going in Thailand. There were over fifty calls from Thailand in just over a week and I finally managed to get him the money, only to have the deal fall apart and leave everyone pissed at me for helping him. Barely a thank you from him. Then he came home and started pushing me about all the decisions I made with Mum, questioning everything I did and not helping a bit with her care. Unbelievably selfish, as usual.
It was a year of huge change for Mum. I sold her place after working my butt off renovating it and finally managed to get her into a care facility after eight months of pushing anyone who would talk to me. The time I cared for her after losing Dad was the most trying time in my life. Being thrown out on a regular basis; being told I was "f*ckin useless" and the daily abuse was really hard on me and there were times I thought I would lose it. My sister added to the strain by being in denial that there was anything wrong with Mum. Only after she took her to Revelstoke did she get a glimmer of what I had been dealing with, and she still worked all week and only visited Mum. She never dealt with the 24/7 I did, yet she was still on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of Mum. She took Mum out of the care facility it had taken me eight months to get her into, and put her into what was basically a "bed and breakfast" care facility, who weren’t capable of providing the care Mum needed. She was eventually hospitalized and finally got into a new care facility, but it was too late. Now she is just waiting to die. If they had left her in the facility in Kelowna, where she got the care level she needed, and where she was starting to make friends, she might still be with us, healthy and happy and dealing with her Alzheimers.
The saddest of all for me was that my nephew, on learning of just what I had been through caring for Mum, said Wendy and Kevin thought I had "done nothing". That cut ike a knife. I wanted nothing more to do with either of them.
Friends: not much to say here. When I think back to the good years of boating and camping and partying and hanging with the group of at least thirty of us, it’s sad that everyone has gone their separate ways. I have almost no contact with anyone, even the ones I considered close friends. This all came to a head when I moved in June. I’m normally the one helping everyone, but I sent out an email in desperation because I simply couldn’t move everything myself. The response from all the people I’d helped over the years? One person, and not even a close friend. George learned of my need from Bianca in Alberta and saved my butt by working all day in oppresive heat. He was a life-saver that day. I was very hurt and angry that my so-called "friends" couldn’t give me a hand when I so desperately needed it.
Work: taking on this project has meant untold hours of really tough work. There’s certainly been some challenges, but it’s been gratifying to see things coming along. It’s been a very lonely pursuit though as no one ever offers to help me with anything. When I think how I’ve done so much work for other people over the years, it hurts that it never comes back. Makes me feel very used and abused.
Love: well, 2006 sucked. Enough said.
Oh, and Happy New Year….lol

One of Life’s Sad Moments

Yesterday was tough. We had no choice but to put down our beloved dog, Spade. He had lost the use of his hind legs and couldn’t stand up anymore. He shook uncontrollably. On our last trip to the vet she discovered he had a heart murmor. The vet had hoped that he had arthritis and that medication would work, but it didn’t, and he would have needed thousands of dollars of tests and surgery to even find out what it was. It was time, hard as it is for everyone.
Obviously this was hard on Tracy and the kids, as Spade has been a member of the family for a very long time. He was the best dog I have ever known. When I went to pick him up to take him to the vet I was going to try my best to hold it together, but, as soon as I opened her front door he came falling down the stairs to me, his usual excitement to see me but with no use of his back end. It was so sad.
The trip to the vet was difficult because he kept pushing his head under my arm, as he always did when you weren’t paying quite enough attention to him. The tongue was going and the tail was wagging as always. He had that usual enthusiasm that his "Daddy" was taking him on yet another adventure. Thankfully he didn’t know this was our last trip. Driving is very hard when you’re eyes are filled with tears, as is typing.
When we got there the vet came out to help me get him out of the truck and carry him in. For the very first time ever he didn’t want to get out of the truck. It’s like he knew, which was really hard. The vet took him into a room and laid him on a blanket and I did the paperwork. My last moments with him was watching him trying to come to me and falling down, and shaking uncontrollably. As horrible as this was I had some strength in knowing that we had made the right decision. If there had been any doubt that he could be cured, the guilt in putting him down would have killed me. Seeing him like that convinced me that there was really no other choice. I couldn’t bring myself to stay and left before I completely fell apart.
As I drove away memories of all the great times with my Spade came flooding back. He was a wonderfull dog who will be sorely missed by everyone whose life he touched.
Goodbye My Spader. Rest In Peace boy.