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Life & Events > So, It's Been a Few Years ... . Where to Start?

So, It's Been a Few Years ... . Where to Start?

Every couple of years I get the itch to blog. Friendster, Blogster, MyBloggers, Blogger... I've loved and left many blogs. I'll write almost daily, then take a hiatus for a year or two, then return in full force once again, only elsewhere. I believe this is the first time ever that I've returned to a neglected blog. I see my last post was in 2010... boy, things have sure changed since then! And then some.

I won't bother trying to catch up on the last few years. Instead, I'll start at the beginning of this latest chapter in the life of Mel. I'm sure the previous pieces with slowly reveal themselves in future posts, as we've definitely had an interesting few years.

So! For now, I will rewind as far back as the last week of July 2012.

We had been living in Vancouver for about a year n' a half. However, we were unable to find decent f/t work in our professional fields. We were at the point where we could barely make ends meet. With our movie money running dry, our investments cashed in, and our credit getting uncomfortably high, J n' I discussed scraping up what little resources we had left, and heading east to Toronto. Due to a lack of tax incentives the film industry has been totally dying in BC over the last year. We thought it might be to our benefit to be where things are happening.

Only a half hour after we briefly entertained this idea, I received a text from my sister. My mother, who had recently had her knee replaced, was in the hospital and required emergency surgery for a serious staph infection. (The worst the Doctor of Infectious Disease had seen in 5 years!) At the time, it sounded like she might lose her leg. She also has a plethora of other medical conditions that could complicate the procedure big time.

As a result of my mother's condition, my father, (who had a double bypass ten years ago) was experiencing serious chest pains. Meanwhile, my sister, (my folks' main financial crutch,) took a total mental breakdown. Her military hubby was being posted to a new city the following month, so the guilt and worry over our parents' situation was completely destroying her. My sister already suffers from a very severe anxiety disorder, but this put her over the edge. She was only a couple blocks from our childhood home, when she called her husband in a panic - she didn't know where she was.

Yeah... it was pretty bad.

Sometimes the Universe gives you a gentle nudge... Other times, it pushes you kicking and screaming right over the fucking cliff. With my family's life in a mess, I felt a responsibility to move back east. I am not close with my family (part of the reason I moved across the country in the first place). But despite our differences, I do love them.

Two days after my sister's text, J n' I made the decision. We gave our one month's notice on our apartment, and began selling/giving away all our furniture and possessions -- except for what we could fit into about 15 boxes and two cat carriers. August 28th, we were on a flight "home".

I spent the first two months in Ontario in my little hometown, trying to bring some order to my parents' lives. Things were worse than I ever imagined. Their home... gawd, their home... it was just falling apart at the seams. It was completely filthy. Their bedroom is INFESTED with bedbugs. It was absolutely depressing. While I had been watching the slow decline with annual visits over the past 9 years, it became very obvious that at some point in the last four or five, they had completely given up.

My parents are the defensive type, so I spoke softly, but carried a big stick. I scrubbed the filth with quiet humour and an undertone of gentle threats. I convinced my parents that as their power of attorney, I had the authority to make them sell their house if they couldn't get their shit together. (Yes, I realize it almost sounds like the pot calling the kettle black given our unfortunate state of financial affairs, but at least we were TRYING!!) Anyway, while it's not entirely true that I could force them to sell their house, they don't know that, and so it gave them the motivation to start making an effort. Dad surprised me by spending three days cleaning the worst part of the basement. Mom agreed to let me help her apply for disability. Something she should have done years ago!

During that time, I squatted in my sister's empty house, which was a 5 KM walk across town from my folks'. Our hometown is small, and I'd often hear from friends and family members about people who said they saw me walking along the side of the highway (probably as I headed to Tim Horton's to sponge up the wifi). The crazy contrast to all this was that our movie screened at the local theatre that first weekend I came back. It was in the paper with an article more or less saying, "hometown gal done good." And here we were at our lowest point, barely a possession to our names. Life sure has funny ways of keeping one grounded.

While I was livin' the dream back home, J was crashing with my friends in Toronto, a 5 hour drive - or in our case, a 7 hour Greyhound ride - away. Since we first met 9 years ago, we've spent almost every day together. He is my pigeon-rat.* (*Treehouse of Horrors Simpson's reference...) We find such strength in each other that being apart for two months was definitely one of the hardest parts of this whole situation. Here we were, torn from our beautiful province with nothing to our names, not even each other. We thought our love was strong before... but the fact that we've survived this shit without a finger pointed or a fight, we know that we are truly blessed.

But until we were finally together again, I endured days of utter loneliness, just me, our 2 cats, and one of my sister's dogs that she left with me for extra company and protection.


I am also so grateful for the help and company of friends, for without them I might've lost my sanity. Janet, a MyBloggers blogger that many of you know, was one of those wonderful people. It was awesome reconnecting with her. Dinners out and at her house, her gifts of necessary household items, and meeting her three amazing little people... I was just SO appreciative of her time and words of encouragement. Thank God for her and others just like her. Man... I really cannot say how thankful I am for my friends during that time. Really.

While we had originally planned that I'd only stay in Pemmytown for 2 months, that intention was set in stone when my sister's place surprisingly sold very fast, leaving J n' I with about a week n' a half to find a new place to live... Mid-month.... Y'know, when there's just sooo many options to choose from. Heh. :P

Anyway, I could go on n' on n' on... and I will. But I promised J I'd do a little editing for him this evening, so maybe that's a good enough start for now.

posted on Apr 28, 2013 6:50 PM ()


AND omg you brought hayduke out of hiding - that is impressive!
comment by kristilyn3 on May 1, 2013 7:28 AM ()
WOW you have been quite the busy little chick!!! I am glad you are back - if only for a little while!
comment by kristilyn3 on May 1, 2013 7:28 AM ()
Thanks for this update, Mel. I have often wondered how you were doing. Bless you.<3
comment by jondude on Apr 29, 2013 6:51 AM ()
Thanks Jon. It is nice to be back. I've enjoyed reading your (and Hobbie's) FB posts over the years.
reply by mellowdee on Apr 29, 2013 7:33 AM ()
Thanks. It's great to hear from you. Yes, you should get back to blogging. I've always loved reading your stuff, (although your bursts of inspired FB comments have been a nice bite-sized substitute). I was so sorry to hear about what you went through with Mary Ellen. I remember that brought me to tears, and reminded me to count my blessings, even as I sat alone in that empty house.

Yeah, we've definitely been through the wringer, but we've been coming through the other side these last few months with A LOT more perspective. Knock on wood the worst is behind us, and the best is yet to come.
comment by mellowdee on Apr 29, 2013 5:57 AM ()
WOW! I figure things must be rough for since I've never seen you curse in print before, and this article contains one "####" and two "shits"! Sounds like you and J have been through the wringer, but you guys hold on tight to each other, and you'll make it. (Love can do amazing things!)
Recently, I am no stranger to hard blows that life can deliver. The only thing that gets me through day by day is the love of my friends and pets, and the love that Mary Ellen and still share across the universe.
I should get back to blogging again too. Sounds like good therapy.
Mel, it is SO GOOD to hear from you again, even if the news is not the best. However, it sounds, by the tone of your writing, that the worst is behind you, and you will persevere and THRIVE. (I just KNOW it!)
comment by hayduke on Apr 29, 2013 5:39 AM ()
Dammit - it's been a while... I replied to your comment wrong. Please see above.
reply by mellowdee on Apr 29, 2013 5:59 AM ()

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