It Didn’t Kill Me

horizontal0001Last year, 2015, was one of those years that I will always look back on and shake my head in wonder. How did I manage to survive? For those of you that don’t know last year was entitled ‘three funerals and a wedding’ and if I were to republish all I wrote you would all have a complete understanding but that’s not going to happen, you’re getting this instead.



In comparison, 2016 has started out calmly, no one has died and there is no upcoming event that is taking up all my time and focus, even Mother Nature is treating me with a little more compassion than is her norm. It’s the end of March and the snow is just about gone, only the piles that the snowplows created over the winter remain. Temperatures on a daily basis are as likely to be above freezing as below it and the sun is even making a regular appearance which is good for my overall psyche. It appears that the coming year might shape up to be okay… yeah sure… like that will happen.



There will always be something unforeseen just over the horizon. It is a fact of life and none of us can predict or foresee (except maybe that Long Island Medium lady I see on TV ads), what will come. All any of us can do is try to deal with what comes next to the best of our abilities. I can look back on last year and say that I did well under the circumstances and the fact that I’m still standing at the end of it is a testament to that.



At the start of 2015 the only foreseen challenges I faced were my father’s memorial in the spring and the merger of IT Genie to Company late in the summer. These were scheduled events, things that I knew were coming, I knew they would cost me time and money, but I knew they were coming, I had a plan. It’s what I didn’t see coming that made 2015 a year for the books.



Not to bore you with all the gory details, I’ll simply give you a short recap;



In January I received a notice from Revenue Canada that I had made an error on my 2014 tax return and I owed them $4500 in back taxes. Like I don’t already pay them enough!!! The notice also had a computer generated letter attached that explained all the different convenient ways I could pay them the money. It also had a threat that basically said that if I didn’t pay them I would be in some serious doo-doo. I felt my wallet tear a little on this unforeseen snag.



In February, five days prior to leaving on our annual sojourn south I receive news that Patrick, the guy we’re on our way to stay with, has died suddenly in a car accident. This causes a chain reaction of events that doubles the size of the hole in my wallet and turns our holiday into a money siphon.



In March my mother informs me that doctor’s have discovered a mass on her ovaries and are scheduling surgery. At 84 she is well down the waiting list and the procedure takes place, as luck would have it, a few days before I am due to arrive to speak at my father’s memorial… in May! I was picked up at the airport by my niece, Champagne (that’s right new name and she’s bubbly), taken directly to the hospital where we retrieve my mother who has just been discharged.horizontal0004 I spend most (don’t forget I am supposed to be there to bury my father) of the next week with my mother as she convalesces.



In June a semi-truck (48’) decides that Honey was in his space and hits her on the highway at 100kph sending her spinning across two lanes of heavy traffic and into a middle ditch. Unscathed and pissed off Honey charges the driver with reckless driving. Honey is fine but her Tiburon is toast. We had to buy a new vehicle and this time I wanted her in something a little bigger. Her days of sports cars are over, she’s been side swiped twice because other driver’s couldn’t see her little blue car!! The time had come for her to be in a ‘big girl’s’ car, we bought an SUV.



In July two things happen. First, the stray cat that had decided to move into my house has five kittens in my hall closet!! My house becomes a zoo and they destroy everything that claws can before I’m able to find them homes three months later.


The other unforeseen event in July is that I have major dental surgery. I have written a very lengthy piece about it (yet unpublished) so I won’t go into it in detail other than to say that the hole in my wallet that had been ripped wide by the cost of a new vehicle was torn from side to side by the cost of the dentist.



In August the only other foreseen event takes place, the creation of GenCo. I will re-publish at least one article about that time, the one that makes me laugh the most when I re-read it called ‘Big Event Planning’. The wedding took its toll but in the end it all went well save for Mother Nature’s little fit that sent one of the tents airborne and into the tree line at the back of my property.



In October I received news that my mother’s surgery had been unsuccessful and she had been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and had only a few months left. Honey and I took unpaid time off work and traveled back to Ottawa at the end of the month to see my mother for one last time. She passed away the first week of November.



Managing challenges is never easy. I’m sure we can all look back and think of different times when we have overcome adversity. When we have met a challenge (foreseen or unforeseen) head on and conquered it. There is a feeling of strength to still be standing here at the end of the year I’ve just had, and not be a blithering ball of flesh huddled in the corner moaning, “no more… sob… please no more”.  It’s a validation of the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger’. I feel stronger! Stronger because I was able to beat-down 2015 and I am here and it is not!



I stood at the close of last year battered and bruised (talking metaphorically here) and in need of a new wallet but still alive. It had been one of the nastiest years I can remember and my hope that by recapping on these pages what transpired, it will allow me to put closure to the whole thing and move on. The only thing left for me to do to put the final nail in the coffin of 2015 is to file my taxes…