When I posted my last post, my next post was “Aging for the over sixty-five.” It is almost complete, however, this post may be more relevant, considering the challenges we are facing on a global basis. The aging post will be posted after this one.
Since starting this blog I have not went into much detail about myself and some of the trials that faced me nineteen years ago and why I write this blog.
I have continually made an issue in most of my posts that I don’t have the answer but you do.
In our society today, more so than years ago, there is reliance on knowledge. There is a desire to learn and find someone who will give us the answer to living and any problems we may have.
I have been no exception to that mindset.
I have read most every self-help book published and reached out to spirituality, so much so that I took a course on “Spirituality.” All to no avail.
Sometimes we hit a brick wall and are unable to find anyone who can give us the answer. Then, where do we turn?
THE PERFECT STORM.
You may have heard the expression “Sometimes things come in three’s.” This could be something good or something bad, for me, at that time, it was bad. “Behind every cloud there is a Silver lining.” I didn’t see it at that time, it took a while.
For a long time I did not share this experience with anyone, I was ashamed of myself and considered myself a failure. I have had difficult things to deal with in the past but this was more than I could cope with.
In two thousand and one, my wife Norma was diagnosed with MS and confined to a wheel chair. I went from being a multi-millionaire to personal bankruptcy and for number three I was charged with fraud.
I lost all my coping skills, fear had taken control.
At the beginning of the year my wife had to finally resort to a wheelchair and she wanted me to care for her. She wanted it no other way.
I was one third owner and the operating partner of a business. One of the partners sold to a conglomerate. The new owners did not want to be part of our type of business. We had a Dutch auction shareholders agreement.
The new partner wanted out and had the president of the company that was sold, sell their one third. He offered it for two dollars. I being the operating partner had the first option to buy out both partners for two dollars each.
Because the third partner had made an equity loan of a million and half dollars to the company, I also had to take that out. I had seventy-two hours, I’m in the middle of trying to adjust and care for my wife.
The year before I was attempting to raise money and buy out the two partners. The value of our real estate was fifteen million dollars, our liabilities was seven million, giving us eight million equity. It went on hold because of my personal problems.
Now things were changed drastically.
I did not discuss this with my wife, I had a decision to make that would have affected her, but I knew her preference, but this was different. I sold my shares for two dollars.
My reasoning, I still have a fair size transportation company that can provide me with a living. My wife’s health was more important than the money. If I had bought out my partners, I would, without a doubt, have been busy at the business.
Myself and the manager of the transportation company were fifty-fifty partners, I remained president, though not active.
Things were put in order at home and I was getting settled into my new role, as care giver, when I get a call from the office, there was a problem. The transportation company went into banruptcy and I had a million dollar personal guarantee. I again had to make a choice, work through this, and neglect my wife’s wishes or declare personal bankruptcy.
I choose personal bankruptcy, which was the most difficult decision of my life, it took away any pride I had left. For me it was the failure of the person and brought into full view, to me, of how dependant I was on what I did and what I had. Where was the person?
To add to this because of supposedly irregularities at the transportation company and me being the president, I was charged with fraud. It was almost a year later after forensic audits, the charge was dropped.
I had the care of my wife and all this extra to deal with. It was as this was coming to an end, while in our vehicle, with my wife in the wheelchair, when I stopped and began to cry. I was a broken individual.
THE NEXT EIGHT YEARS.
There is a saying hind sight is twenty-twenty vision. I learned from experience how fear incapacitates. Could I have better decisions? I’m sure I could have, however one thing after another was clouding my ability to focus on one particular thing or event and make a clear decision.
I began to gather myself together and focus on survival and the care of my wife. I did not discuss my financial position with anyone, some members of the family were a great help, but my needs were not put on display. My feeling was, it was something I had to deal with. Later on this proved invaluable.
Over the next eight years I now had the responsibility of been the provider and the caregiver to my wife.
How to care for Norma and see that her individualism was protected and at the same time care for myself, was a whole new world. I had to be OK for her to be OK, she was depending on me. I was also depending on her, not in the same way, but she was always supportive of me, she became my strength just as I became hers.
After the first year or so behind us, the next eight years became , over time, precious. We actually got to know each other.
She passed away in two thousand and ten. It was a peaceful passing. In the morning she had her liquid breakfast and later in the morning we chatted and had a coffee. In the afternoon around three her soul bid good bye to this world.
THE PAST TEN YEARS.
It was after Norma’s passing, I began to realize some of the things that happened in the last couple of months before her passing. It was a precious time, perhaps more so for her than me.
I began to realize how blind I was to myself, although I never thought for a moment I was blind.
My blindness was perhaps more to my spiritual condition than anything else, but it also blocked my view of what was happening around me.
After facing death, not for myself, but someone who was very close to me (we were married for forty-seven years,) the realization of what death really is, began to become real and has changed drastically how I see things now.
For the next couple of years, I was on my own, the only time that I was ever on my own, and I actually enjoyed it.
I began an early morning walk, which is when communing with myself began to take on meaning. There were many questions, as a result of the past ten years in particular. I began to get an understanding and answers to those questions.
I became very sensitive, in a different sort of way. My son would call me each day to see how I was doing. We would be talking and all of a sudden I would break out in tears.
He said are you lonesome, grieving or sad?
I said “no” and I wasn’t, I felt great, the communing was almost like opening a whole new world. I journalized each morning, calling it my five K walk. About a year and half on my own and beginning to understand more about myself, I made my final entry into the journal.
The entry was, “Thank you for the things you have allowed me to see, I don’t want to understand anything else. I want to live that life. I’m ending my journal, good-bye!”
I have never journalized since that time, however things have changed so much and in a very positive way.
I continue my morning walk and still commune with myself. Three years ago I walked the French Way Comino. A popular question was, “When did you start walking the Camino?” My answer was, “I began my walk seven years ago.” This garnered questions.
I consider myself very wealthy, not in money, although I’m comfortable in that area. I have remarried to a beautiful lady, Sandra, we enjoy each other immensely.
I am so fortunate in having had two soulmates.
Out of all this has come an amazing understanding of myself and the realization that as people we are all the same, yet different.
I would talk about things that were happening, which was a mistake. One of my sons called some of my conversations “Brain f–ks.” It was never meant in that way. I have since learned to shut up and not say much about what is happening, it was for me and only me. It was my journey.
As things began to come into focus for me, is when the blog “I don’t have the answer,” subtitle, “but you do,” began.
I really don’t have the answer for you, but just as in a very difficult time in my life, there was an answer for me, you also have an answer for you, but in mine it had to do with me, the same goes for you. There has been companions along the way, but it has always been my journey.
The purpose of this blog is to be a companion to you, if you decide to take this journey.
More so, over the past ten years I have recognized that it is my journey and no one can walk it for me.
Nineteen years ago, was a “life changing event,” for me. I did not forget what took place and have allowed the event to put me on a completely different journey. One that makes me happy with myself and with people around me.
MY CLOSING STATEMENT.
I have been very transparent in this post. I don’t want you to see me or my trials. It is meant to encourage you, nothing is as difficult as it seems.
With what is taking place in our world today, you no doubt have your own trials to deal with.
This week in “The Globe and Mail” newspaper there was an article by Dr. Anita Tannis, a physician who is well on her way to recovery from the COVID-19, the coronavirus that is creating an upheaval in families globally.
She says her friend Val reminds her that, “when you have a life changing experience, let it change your life.
Life changing experiences are for a purpose, find what that purpose is and follow that way.
Life’s difficulties are meant to make us BETTER not BITTER.
Please remember, above the dark clouds the sun is still shinning. The dark clouds may bring rain, but the clouds will clear. Enjoy the sunshine when it comes but don’t forget, it was the dark clouds and rain that made you grow as a person and appreciate the sunshine.
Stay safe, stay positive and have faith that the sun is still shinning above the clouds.