As Sinatra sang it, "and now the end is near and I must face the final curtain". For what seems like far too long now I have been fighting an uphill battle to just work hard and survive, but I just can’t catch a break. It if weren’t for my friend and colleague, Sieg Pedde, I would have been done in long ago. He brought my overdue car payments up to date, saving me from losing my car, which would have meant also losing my job, and he bailed me out last week when I had absolutely no money to live on. I managed to pay my rent and eat for a few more days and get a small emergency supply of my meds, which I had been off for two weeks, which is insane. Now I can’t pay this week’s rent; have little food; my meds are about the run out; my car payment is overdue and my car insurance payment will bounce in a few days. It’s all so incredibly hopeless. I can’t take the stress anymore.
I’ll have to fire sale my car to pay out the balance I owe on it and pay Sieg back. Losing the car will mean I lose my job, just when things are starting to happen for me. I am doing my first install tomorrow of our wireless security system, and I have a huge quote out to a recycling firm, which looks very good, plus another client who will go ahead as soon as we install the system for the recycling company. My company just did a major 500 piece mail-out here in London and I know we will get some leads from it. It all just takes time, but it’s time I simply don’t have.
When I first created my website, onelifetosave.org, a year ago, I hoped that kind people would donate the price of a cup of coffee to help me to get back on my feet and then go on to help others in situations like mine. People who were willing to work hard and just needed a helping hand. The site has received numerous hits, but all from people wishing me well but not willing to donate that cup of coffee amount. I can’t pay my rent with good wishes.
Many people no doubt feel I am paying for my mistakes, but all I have ever done is try. I never meant to hurt anyone, ever. I have always done for others my whole life, believing in The Golden Rule, but it never seems to come back to me. I have never felt more alone in my life. Just when I think there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon something else comes along to knock me down. My health is suffering from all the stress. I’ve lost two major fillings recently, causing me a lot of pain. I am not eating well at all, which is not good for my diabetes, and I won’t be eating at all soon.
I don’t know what’s going to get me in the end. I don’t qualify for unemployment and I can’t even get welfare. The thought of starving to death is not good, especially with my diabetes, which will make it ugly. I don’t even know how to end it all. I don’t want any drama and just want to go peacefully, but I don’t even have the money for sleeping pills. I hate to burden anyone after I’m gone. My last will left the "arrangements" to someone who is now a very ex girlfriend, so I doubt she will want anything to do with it, not that I have anything to worry about. Once the car is sold and my debts repaid, my trusty laptop is the only real asset I have and it’s not worth much. Everything else can be donated to charity.
I will go out the same way I came in – naked and alone. Even if there were a service I know it certainly won’t be "standing room only". My friends, mostly out west, have abandoned me long ago. It’s been eighteen years since I lived here in Ontario, so I am long forgotten by any friends I had back then. I’ve only spoken to my son once in those eighteen years and I had hoped we would reconnect and that I might even hear from my daughter again, but nothing ever came of it. I’ve tried over the years to reconnect with either of them, but failed. They wrote off my entire side of the family, losing touch with their Grandmother and Grandfather, who both loved them, but who are now both gone.
Know that I have never sat back and waited for things to happen for me. My life fell apart when I got involved in the fateful renovation of the house out west. I worked fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, for a year, only to lose everything when one of the Indian Chief’s shot his mouth off in the press saying anyone who bought on Indian land was just "stupid". He killed any chance I ever had of being repaid for all my work. I left Canada on my doctor’s advice because he said the stress was killing me. Panama was even worse when I got ripped off for what little I owned, forcing me to return to Canada and stay with my cousin, who graciously kept me going for six months. My decision to move to London was based partly on love and partly because I felt I had a real business opportunity with Sieg, which never came together.
Day in and day out I have tried desperately to put business proposals together and try every idea I ever had to get something going. I designed a device for smokers to grab a puff and put out their cigarette to light again later. A company (Johnsons Environmental Products Inc) asked me to submit drawings, which I did, but they never had the courtesy to get back to me despite many follow-up calls. I came up with a script for a new show involving Mike Holmes. His production company asked me to fill out a bunch of release forms, which I did, but they never got back to me one way or the other. I put a franchise concept together for a bookkeeping/tax/accounting service and submitted it to Softron. Again, no response despite several phone calls and emails. I even approached Nike about a kitbag man’s version of a lady’s purse and they wouldn’t even look at it. I spent months building a website concept with WordPress and managed to develop what the designer said was a possible – a drop-down three level menu and a forum that looked exactly like the primary website. Worth literally thousands of dollars and I can’t get any offers. When I was in Panama I offered to develop a website for the local business association and generate memberships. I couldn’t even get a meeting with them and the site they use now is beyond pathetic.
The world is a cruel place when you try to get in touch with anyone in any position of authority. Years ago I came up with a concept that would revolutionize the internet and I tried desperately to get in touch with Microsoft. A senior manager came back with they would never do what I was proposing, in part, allowing people to use limited versions of their software online. Have you seen the news lately? So much for "never". I’ve tried to pitch my concept to people like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Ning, but no one ever responds. I know what I have is a multi-million dollar idea, but no one will listen. I just wanted a tiny little piece of the millions they would make.
To my kids, if anyone can find them, Christopher Michael Jones, still in Brampton as far as I know, and Heather Tyrrell Jones (now married) and somewhere in Burlington, know that I have never stopped loving you and I think about you every single day. To the women I have been lucky enough to know in my life, some of whom I loved for a time, especially Tracy and Denise, thank you for the time we shared. You showed me how good love can be, even if it didn’t last. I would not trade a minute of what we had. To my little princess, Emily, thank you for all the laughs and how much you helped me to remember how great it was to have a daughter again. Have a wonderful life and if you think of me, think only good thoughts of the time we shared. To all the many friends I made in my life, know that I cherished having friends and that you all touched my life in so many ways. It hard to single anyone out from a very long list, but to those who supported me as true friends, like Wade and Bianca, you are dear friends in the truest sense. Everyone is a friend in good times, but you supported me when I needed it most.
My Dad made it to 81; my mum to 85. I hoped it was in my genes to at least make it that far as well. My body and mind are still sound, well, maybe not my mind. I just wanted the chance to work to get back on my feet and enjoy a normal life. I wanted to make friends and to laugh again and to be able to have a future. London is a cold town, where it is hard to make any friends or do business. It is the last place I expected to end up and it has been the final mistake of my life.
A last bit of advice, something many of you have already learned the hard way. No one cares. Make you own way in life and always look out for number one. Let those people who truly love you into your life, but always hold something back, except with your children. Don’t take on debt for things you don’t need. Pay cash. Build that nest egg so you will never find yourself needy. Pay attention to your health and stay active. Don’t let anyone put you down or take advantage of you, something that has happened to me way too many times. My last dollar was always someone’s if they needed it, but don’t ever count on it coming back to you. If you give it, consider it a gift, never a loan or you will just end up disappointed. Stay clear of the law and try to avoid getting entangled with the government if you can. They operate on a different planet than the rest of us and have no clue what desperation is all about.
Most importantly, do your best to smile and be happy and don’t ever find yourself where I am today. It’s not pretty.
There’s another saying – "buddy can you spare a dime?" A dime won’t do much to help me out, but if anyone out there actually does care that I stick around, I’ll pay you back in spades for your kindness. I do not go out willingly. Make no mistake about that. All I want is a chance to keep going and not just give up.