Friday, August 16, 2013

Apologies

My sincere apologies to all. We are now in the middle of August and with the terminal phase of my house building going on since January, I have been under a very dark cloud. My 74th birthday came on and failed to lift me in any way. I had misconceptions about my feelings as I would get close to finishing the house. Foundations, walls, ceilings, floors and roof are in place. So are doors and windows. Through the whole process, since I am no architect, I prepared and planned only the next step and its follower, not realizing that my mode of thinking was heading me towards a mental collapse. 

The problems had been frustrating as they were problems of manpower and there was no professional association that could guide me. Bit by bit, I solved them. I had handled money as it came and my budget had guided me as to what came next. But when the structure (a shell really) was finally complete, it was as if my mind had become a blank. I had made no plans as to the next phase and I was CLUELESS. It seemed as if each step was predicated on a preliminary one and I kept going on in circles. I am sorry to admit that this went on for m o n t h s.... 

Also my computer had gone kaput and I could no longer use it to prepare my blog, copy it to a flash drive, and go the the cyber cafe to publish. I considered buying one here but am not sufficiently fluent to handle programs in Spanish, which is the case in Mexico. Besides, I felt that I had nothing to talk about on the blog and just let it slide. With shame, I realize that I let people down. I even let myself down. So now I have to remedy this. I began today to compose at the cyber and will be busy next week taking photos for the blog. 

Going to Tequis is a drag, really. But I will make the effort to honour my readers (if I have any left!) but also to be loyal to my original commitment to publish. 

To readers who have left comments that are still unanswered, please be patient with me. My next visit to the cyber will be for that purpose only.

Hasta luego.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bye Bye 2012...An Encouragement to Never Give Up and a Bevy of news


(… in other words a rather lengthy post… Sorry folks, there’s just too much to talk about. If you find too long, split it in two or three readings…)
It has certainly been a year of doom saying, what with the Mayan calendar that stopped with December 12, 2012. What really went on in the minds of the Mayan calendar makers? It’s open to speculation. Perhaps they figured that there was no way that their civilization would endure such gigantic spans of time? When we begin to think of the year 3519 for instance, I for one cannot even speculate on what awaits us. Who can really do, anyway? Could it be that it’s really really hard to predict anything for such a far distanced future when so much depends on personal and individual choices, let alone great strides in world leaders’ vision and enlightened decisions? Or, failure to reach such a lofty goal? I applaud the Mayans who stopped with 12-12-12. If not realistic, at least it looks poetic, if not prophetic. Anyhow, stretching the mind to such an extent might very well have snapped it!
On a more personal level, 2012 has been a year of realizations that, had I dreamt of my future at age 65, never would I have envisaged, let alone predicted, that I would end up in Mexico; that I would have designed my own little house THEN built it; that I would have learnt to speak Spanish reasonably well; that a bevy of four-legged companions of the canine persuasion would share my home on wheels, and later my stationary home . . . the list can go on. I foresee with reasonable accuracy that my house will be finished by year end 2013 if I survive to do it. In the spirit of this post title however, I’d better do it or my name is mud in the stratosphere!
Neither would I have expected to hear from two of my former foster daughters, now in their early twenties . . . ever! When I was contacted by an office of the government that deals with privacy and the rights of the adoptees some time before Christmas, I had no idea of what it could have been about. I ended up speaking with a government representative and learned that the oldest one of two sisters who had been in my care for a little over a year had been trying to locate me for the past 5 years. Is that determination, or what?
Both Alicia and her sister Jenny had been forcibly removed from my home by Social Services who had believed that a couple from another part of the country who presented as being interested in adopting both would better benefit them. The only problem with this is that an investigation of the potential adopting parents, or conversely an investigation of how well the girls were doing under my care, was ever carried out. It had been all based on ethnic backgrounds.
The image of Alicia holding on to me and crying her heart out had never left my mind and been a source of much pain and sorrow for both of us. I had been heartbroken to see them go but had hoped that their lives would turn out better within a “regular” family of equally native background. Reality for my darling girls turned out to be a far cry from the hopes that I had held for them. Strangely enough, Alicia had not held equal hopes as evidenced by her desperate clinging to me as she was virtually ripped from my arms. She had been as devastated as I with the news of their move and when the time came, she could not deal with this realization. When we spoke, she told me that she’d kept looking at me from the car until she could no longer see me. Can you imagine how impotent I’d felt to once again realize that I would never have been allowed to raise them both when my labour was one of love, not interest?
Children often perceive what we adults, refuse to acknowledge on grounds of propriety. Without going into details, let’s just say that if their life with their biological parents had been filled with hardships, they had jumped from the frying pan right into the proverbial fire! Both admitted to me when we got in touch that the only home where they had felt really loved had been mine . . . ONLY. There’s a quick explanation for this. I loved them. Even as I write this, my heart is torn to shreds when I hear of how their lives turned out for the very worst for 5 years. What an indictment it constitutes for the bureaucracy of Social Services… But no matter how belated it might be, I hope that my encouraging their growth and self-confidence may pick up from what had been the goal in my heart for them.
And I did love them, never stopped loving them, even faced with the accusation that they were not my biological children and it looked as if I had fallen in love and I’d better remember that they were destined to a different future, one in which I had no part. I’d told the social worker that at times, even if children had been born into a given biological family, they may have also been born into the heart of another one. And I’d been so keen on surrounding them with a softer side of life. One that they could use as a model for a future that would hold more hope and let them find their soft place to fall into when times were hard. One that would have fostered more self-confidence and propelled them into a brighter future than the one they might have believed was their destiny, wrongly so. I must admit to being once more heartbroken in learning of the years of abuse and hardship they were propelled into.
Therefore, in the spirit (yeah … again) of this post title, I applaud and congratulate Alicia for her determination to find me. My heart is filled with such love and gratitude that we could connect and remain within earshot of each other, albeit via long distance. (Please pardon me if I’m gushing and words fail me to express how I feel.) I recall once telling Alicia that as long as one held love for another, that person could be far away physically but remain close regardless of distance. That love transcended distance and would prove to be truer than anything else. Had I planted a seed? My contract with Social Services forbade me to contact any of my former foster children. How incredible it is then, that given Alicia’s determination, this order could be countermanded and we could resume some type of family life and close connection, albeit a few thousand miles from each other.
So, bottom line… I’m once more a mother/grandmother and a second-time great-grandmother with the birth of Logan to my grand-daughter Becky a few days before Christmas. Logan’s middle name will be Gunnar, which sits well with me given that our ancestors were Vikings. This, coupled with hearing from both Alicia and Jenny, was one of the best presents I’d ever been given. Alicia is the proud mother of a four month old baby boy and Jenny is (and ever was) a real beauty who will be modelling for an agency in the very near future.
I can only hope that at some infinitesimal level, my love and confidence in them might have contributed to both veering away from a life of addiction seeking ephemeral pleasures instead of genuine happiness and joy in life. What in fact is everyone’s birthright and should end up being during and until life’s end.
I apologize for my lengthy post on a very personal issue. I owe it to both Alicia and Jenny to officially recognize how proud I am of how they managed to survive all these heartbreaks and years of hardships and rise above them. From dismal conditions in their infancy and childhood to being on the way to a much better life filled with joy and contentment only because of their strength and determination shows what mettle they’re made of. I’m so proud of both that I had to reckon it publicly. So please pardon my verbosity.
Now, in the spirit of filling out what I’d been in no position to reckon in my blog, let me start with the more negative news. I was prevented from posting earlier by a bad stroke of bronchopneumonia. The doctor, worried that my temperature instead of going into fever was down to about 96F or 35 Celsius tried to convince me that I really needed to go for hospital care. But who would take care of my dogs, all seven of them? It was a no brainer. I arranged for a nurse to come to my home and give me the shots of antibiotics for more than week. And took all that the doctor had prescribed whether in pill form, syrup, inhalations (and some of it pretty awful…) with fortitude if not taste. While I cannot say that I’m out of it. at least I can breathe.
Then, let’s move on to more FANTASTIC NEWS! Allison and I have been fast and steady friends from my mid-fifties, close to 20 years ago. We have shared our successes and failures with love and understanding. At times I was the listening one and at others she was there for me, unfailingly. I called her following her email in which she detailed a lot of happenings in her life. A death in her family resulted in her getting an inheritance. She’d had to go to Scotland to settle everything and was happy to be back in Toronto. She offered to help me with my little house. She had wanted to do so before about 2 years ago when I was really hurting but the means had not been there. So would a gift of $2,000. help me . . . ?
I just about screamed in the phone…(… what… ???) How could I refuse such a generous offer? I couldn’t even visualize it. This would hurl me 3 months forward into the realization of my home! True to her word, the very next morning she had transferred the money into my bank account. You can only imagine how busy I got getting materials and manpower to go ahead with joy, gratitude, and such a hope to get relief from my cramped conditions in the RV.
THANK YOU SO MUCH ALLISON!
This coupled with the pneumonia kept me incommunicado for weeks, and I apologize for this. When I should have sent my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all, I was flat on my back for too many hours in the daytime besides nights coughing my heart out…
So now you have it all. A mixture of fantastic, awful, happy, and pretty much everything in between. I’m not yet out of it with the cough and shortness of breath. Fortunately the pain and burning in my chest have lessened. The realization of my little house has taken gigantic strides and in the next few days, I will have the photos to show it.
Let me express to all my belated wishes for a new year that will see you all in Good Health, Living in Joy, and all the Love that will fill your hearts with Happiness. A wish from Spain is thus,
Salud, Amor, y Pesetas y Tiempo para gustarlos!
which is
Health, Love, and Money and Time to enjoy them all!”

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