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This has been another really difficult post to write.
A little over a year ago, my dad went into the hospital for the last time.
From just before the end of June, over the Canada Day holiday and a few days after, I spent several days driving to Orangeville and back to visit him in the hospital.
We talked a lot, mostly about business, but also about family things, personal things.
As big a part as he played in my life, I still never really understood how important he was to me, until after he was gone.
Fathers day was a couple weeks ago, and it was difficult. Things have remained difficult as the anniversary of my dad’s hospitalization came, and that of his passing fast approaches.
This time last year, my dad wasn’t doing great, but he was in good spirits, and I could go and spend time with him, talk with him.
I really miss that.
And since then… the best way I can describe how I feel is like a ship without a rudder or sails.
Like last summer there was a huge storm, and I sort of rode it out, but when the wind and waves died down, I was still afloat, but adrift.
I’ve lost my guidance, my drive.
And I haven’t figured out how to get them back yet.
Almost the end of November and I haven’t posted anything yet.
Nothing to say I suppose.
Some health issues to deal with, and I still miss my dad.
Oh and one of my cats has been battling some sort of cancerous problem since last year, and it’s now catching up with her quickly.
Kind of in a holding pattern with her, every day wondering when the end will come.
She’s started using the once-dreaded carrier box as a bed… getting acclimatized to it, for when it’s time for the final journey.
Now I haz a sad again.
It’s been one month since my dad died.
I’ve been pretty much ok since then. Had a huge loud ugly cry a few hours after he died, then just got on with stuff.
Sure there’s been tears now and then. Reminiscing about him with my mum, for example. Going through some photographs. That sort of thing.
Then today I saw a blurb on the tv, the news channel doing some bit on the new 4k televisions that are going to make HDTV obsolete.
And that set me off.
My dad loved big tv. He had a crazy-huge tv, like 70 or 80 inches or something. He had mentioned 4k tv now and then, he was excited to see it when the price got down a bit.
And the realization that he missed it, he won’t get to see it, just made me hugely sad. Crazy little thing.
I hope wherever he is now, he’s got his 4k tv. And there’s no commercials on any of his channels.
My dad wrote his own obituary, and it is as beautiful as it is long.
I’ve been reading everyone else’s for years, and I’ve always liked those best that were written by the deceased themselves. So here’s mine.
What a great life I have had. I’ve had so many successes, it is going to sound like bragging.
First of all, I was the luckiest guy ever when I met and married Joan Clark. What a fantastic wife, friend, and supporter she has been. And thanks to B.A. and Ron for arranging that Joan and I should meet.
We chose two wonderful babies who grew up to be great fiends; our daughters Stephanie and Leanne. And then there are the grands: Mackenzie, Jackson, and Riley, Leanne’s great kids.
It took a while, but I finally realized that the next most important thing in life after family is the wonderful friends you make over the years.
When I married Joan, I also acquired a place in her family. A lot of people make jokes about their in-laws. I don’t. They’ve always been great to Joan and I. Her sister Marilyn and brother-in-law Rod Shantz have always been better friends than relatives. And their extended family; Mark and Anne and their daughter Abbey, Tracey and her husband Eric and their four fantastic kids, Daniel, Robert, Matthew, and Emily.
I left my parents and sister Sonia back in B.C. when I came to Toronto in 1959. And while we lived apart, they were there for me when I needed help or support. One of my proudest moments was when I was able to help arrange a surprise 65th wedding anniversary for my parents, Peter and Cay Maksylewich in Penticton, B.C. where they lived.
It truly amazes me the number of people I’ve gotten to know through Joan, my musical career, my various jobs, and of course those I met through my adventures as a small business owner in the now defunct business forms industry. What a rush!
Through the ups and downs of business start-up, loss, and re-start-up, active participation in our trade association, the wonderful and interesting people and places we enjoyed is a major highlight.
So many new friends, so many wonderful trips culminating in a unique award given to me in 1989: I am the only Canadian ever awarded the Member Of The Year trophy by my peers in our trade association. Am I bragging? A little perhaps, but I know you will cut me some slack.
Finally, I would like to recognize the last five years living in what for me was the greatest community ever.
Unless one has actually lived here, it is hard to believe that so many kind, giving, and wonderful people could live in such close proximity.
I will never forget my 75th birthday party in the community rec centre, when 85 people attended to wish me a happy birthday. Sending the thank-you cards, I was overwhelmed to realize that 55 of those were neighbourhood friends. What a community! There are too many to list in this verbose epistle, but you know who you are, and I thank you so much.
Wow, this is long! But you know that I was never one to be short on speaking, until recently!
So, good bye to you all, friends, family, and acquaintances.
Who knows what the future brings, but hopefully you and I will meet again.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t buy happiness”, or “money can’t buy happiness”, or words to that effect?
Well it’s bullshit.
The lack of money can lead to a significant happiness deficit. And if your happiness level is in arrears because you’re stressed-out about being broke, or unable to pay the bills or the mortgage… and if having a [better] job and more money would allieviate that stress and therefore allow you to get out of a negative-happiness balance, then that just mathematically proves that yes you can in fact buy happiness.
I’m not saying that money and happiness are equivalent. There’s probably an exchange rate, and it probably varies from day to day and person to person. Maybe there’s limits too. Like if you’re already pretty happy, then money won’t buy you any more of it?
But damnit, I’m stressed about work, money, bills, work bills, work money, mortgages, and money, and it’s making me really fucking unhappy. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been in a particularily good place to begin with.