All Hooked Up … All Spaced Out

For 48 hours, I’m accessorizing in a profoundly medical way.  Cleverly disguised under my T-shirt are electrodes, wires and a little analysis machine, tracking the health of my heart.  I feel like The Borg, a race of robots who absorbed human beings in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Their favorite line?  “We are Borg.  Resistance is futile.”  So I’ve decided not to resist the varying performance of my body.

Why am I wearing this contraption?  For weeks, I’ve avoided telling you what happened to me one fine Spring day.  I usually enjoy sharing whatever’s going on with me but I was too scared to talk about this.  I don’t know why.

It was an early afternoon and I decided to go to the gym, about a 30 minute drive from home.  I glanced at the wall calendar and saw some appointments coming up.  They were actually times when an auction company and Bibles For Missions were coming to remove stuff from my home.  But all I saw was words that I didn’t understand.  “I must be tired,” I reasoned.  I got into Scarlet and headed off towards London.

I drove north from Union into St. Thomas.  I knew what road I was on, and my driving skills were fine, but I felt “lost”, empty in the head.  “It’s nothing, Bruce.  Go work out” morphed into “It’s something, Bruce.  Go to Emergency.”

I listened to the second voice.

After triage, a nurse soon came in to see me.  “Just a few questions, sir.  What year is it?”  She was looking intently at me.  I was looking intently at her.  And no year came.  “I don’t know.”

“How old are you?”  I remembered I was born in 1949 and I tried to do the math, which is quite difficult when you don’t know what year it is.  I told the nurse that I was moving into a new condo soon.  “Where is that?”  I racked my brain but never got close to the word “Belmont”.

They did an MRI on my head.  Back in the bed, I thought of a female staff member at Wellington Fitness.  I really like her.  I searched for her name … nothing.  The next day, I was to go to Ann Arbor, Michigan to watch the women pros play in a golf tournament.  “I need my passport.  It’s in the fire safe.  I have no idea what the combination is.”  Sadness fell over me.  “Guess I’m not going.  And is this it for me in life?”

An hour later, the results came back – normal.  Blessed relief but still a horrible vacancy.

I drove home.  I went to bed.  And early the next morning I woke up with “99-72-36” on my lips.  It was 2016.  I was 67.  I’m moving to Belmont.

What a huge unknown this body is.  May I always cherish the moments of lucidity.

Letting Go Of Place

Jody and I bought our home near Union, Ontario in 1994.  For twenty years, it was our sanctuary, our place of intimacy and repose.  But gradually since Jody died in November, 2014, home became house.  For most of the last six weeks, I’ve looked at many of our shared objects, asking myself whether they still sing.  Most of them don’t and so have found their way to an auction company, a donation centre or the dump.

Jody’s spirit is everywhere within 6265 Bostwick Road, especially the kitchen, where she was the master of gourmet meals.  And so it’s time for me to move on.  And my sweet wife is coming along for the ride.

Last Friday, I put our home on the market.  How surreal to see the “For Sale” sign out by the road.  Twenty-two years ago, Jodiette and I posed for a photo near that spot, just after signing the deal.  In two months, we’d be resident on “the road that goes to Union”.  I remember our first night, eating pizza on our furniture-less living room floor.  The seller, Jim Johnston, told our realtor that he picked us because he wanted to give his home to “that nice young couple”.

Last night, another nice young couple made an offer which I accepted.  I hope they have kids someday and that their family experiences great happiness on Bostwick.  In the offer, they asked for the beautiful reddish wood sleigh bed that Jody and I shared.  My first reaction was “No way!” but half an hour later there was another letting go.  Our bed was the centre of our intimate life – sex yes, but also thousands of nighttime cuddles.  May thousands more take place in its embrace.  I’ll choose a new bedframe and wait for the next love of my life to appear.  She’ll be here next week, next year or next lifetime.  I’m a patient soul.

Goodbye Bostwick (on August 24).  Hello Robin Ridge Drive.  Home again.


This was going to be a post about Haida Gwaii but sometimes life intrudes.  Today is the end of a six week process in getting my home ready for sale.  Jody’s and my sanctuary was listed on Friday and tonight a young couple bought it for $360,000.  That’s $10,000 above the asking price!

I’m too tired to think and write.  And oh so happy.  I will indeed talk to you tomorrow.

Hiatus Ending

It’s been so long, WordPressers … twenty days actually.  Some of my absence was out of my hands – there’s no Internet within the wilds of Haida Gwaii.  Still I’ve been home for almost a week and no digit has touched a key.  I’ve had so much to say and so little willingness to say it.  Strange.

Certainly, there are the seasons of a life.  In 2015, I was X.  In 2016, it’s more like X – Y + Z.  And that’s okay.

I went to B.C. with my tiny Nikon camera, knowing that I would chronicle my adventures.  On Day 2, I took a cool skyward shot of the ivy that covers the Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver.  And that was it.  Both before and during my tall ship trip, I kept seeing awesome photo ops but always the answer was “No”.  “Let go of the recording, Bruce.  Just be in this moment.  A year from now, you may forget most of the Haida Gwaii happenings, and that’s all right.  The conversations, the whales, the eagles may slip away from conscious thought, but they will have seeped inside in some mysterious manner.  And they will always be with you.”

I listened to that voice.  Over the next few days, I’ll share marvels with you.  I guess that having them show up in my blog means that in 2031 I can look back on my journey, but still there is a great big letting go.

See you tomorrow.


Not Writing

I haven’t put pen to paper (so to speak) for a week.  I’ve just been too tired.  I’ve hired an interior designer to prep my home for listing on June 25 and to help me create great spaces in my future condo in Belmont.  Jane and I have been working full speed ahead to declutter in a major way.  There have been loads for an auction company, one for a donation centre and two for the dump.  Wow.  Jody and I accumulated so much stuff in thirty years.  Objects that were important to her, me or us now don’t hold meaning … and so I let them go.  It’s a cleansing.  A new start.  But still infused with the spirit of my lovely wife.

I feel guilty for not writing, but I’ve always considered guilt to be a useless emotion.  So bye bye to that too.

Tomorrow I fly.  First to Vancouver for four days of exploring my old haunts.  And then another plane will take me to Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands).  I’ll get on a tall ship and sail amid the islands for eight days.  Oh my goodness, I’m really doing this.  Good for me.  Humpback whales, an infinity of birds and Haida elders.

I think I’ll be a different person by the end of my trip, or maybe just a deeper Bruce.

There’s no Internet on the ship and I’ve decided not to take my laptop to Vancouver.  So another period of not communicating spreads out before me.  I’ll resume my blog during the week of June 20.  I hope you’ll tune in.

Be well
Be happy
Be you