Help Will Always Come

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Staying the course, and always doing the next right thing, is good sound advice.

When the chatter in my head is running at fever pitch, and my emotions seem to rule every decision or thought at times, I know that I need to stop and take a break.

Read: I need to STOP and Pray !!!

Funny how things fall into my lap, when I most need them. Or, little signs from somewhere outside of myself, seem to appear, in front of me, at the oddest moments.

I have told the story about my I-Phones tendency to shuffle me a speaker, one speaker in particular, when I really need a talking to. It seems to know me better than I know myself at times, which begs the question … Are Our I-Phones sentient ???

Thursday night, after the meeting I was really emotional and I realized that I was not done mourning the passing of my father. Because of a comment made about him, amid a conversation with a friend, at the earlier meeting.

We were talking about care giving and being a care giver for family and significant others and how tasking that is on everyone involved. A few days prior to this chat, the National News carried a story about just this topic, and how the province of Quebec is going to step up and help care givers of patients and family in assisted living facilities.

I told him the story about my father, when I was in eighth grade, how, when his mother had a very serious stroke, and in a VERY LUCID moment, outside of his alcoholism, he thought that IF he took ME to Connecticut to see her, he believed, from somewhere deep within him, that if she looked at me and recognized me, that she would in essence,
WAKE UP!

What we did not know about serious stroke paralysis was apparent.

Who knew from the now famous “Stroke Treatment” delivered within a very short time from falling into stroke, can avert serious paralysis. That drug did not exist in the early 80’s.

We took a night flight out and arrived late that evening in Connecticut. My uncle picked us up and took us to his house. The next morning we ate breakfast and they drove me to The New Britain General Hospital.

I was not prepared at all for what was coming.

We got to Grammy’s room, and she was laid out, drooling spittle, half her face was in her lap, and the entire right side of her body was paralyzed. I took one look at her, and I fainted. My head hit the tile floor and I ended up in the emergency room that morning.

She indeed, did NOT wake up. However, she knew who I was. I could not rouse her from her lethargy. I sat on her bed for a few weeks time, to no avail.

In the end, a few weeks later, I returned home defeated. My father was crushed.

It is my belief that he held that little trip against me and never forgave me for not being able to do the job, HE BELIEVED, I needed to do for him. His alcoholism cranked up to 200%. And the abuse ratcheted up 200% as well. Whenever he drank, it was me he came after.

Which is why, as time went on, I found other houses to stay in, so I did not have to be at home. I spent an inordinate amount of time sleeping at successive friends houses over the ensuing years, just to get away from my father.

A functional abusive alcoholic can have lucid moments of brilliance and compassion and thought. Interspersed with the drinking came incredible kindnesses. My father paid dearly, in “Things” to assuage my pain that he himself caused me.

When my friend mentioned to me the other night that “My father KNEW that  my grandmother loved me more than any other, i.e. my brother, it was me he took on this trip because “we” (my grandmother and I are spiritually connected).

When I got very sick, it was Grammy who visited me and stayed with me, when everyone else fled the scene. It took a psychic to tell me this, because she would come into my apartment and my bedroom door was always closed, (at that point) at which time she would move pictures on the walls, and scatter magazines all over the floor, until I invited my friend to come over and tell me what was going on …

In his words to my ears: He told me Grammy was standing in my living room, and had been there for a long time, looking after me, and she could not quite figure out how to get through the door, (after which time, I never slept with another bed room door closed, to this very day). She still visits me on occasion here !!!

That comment unnerved me to the degree that I came home an emotional mess and when I got home, I sat down and wrote it all out and did my Step 4 at the same time.

I went to bed Thursday night, not so myself.

Friday, I left for the meeting as usual. I got to the church, and unlocked, and began my set up routine. I was still, not in the right frame of mind. I grabbed the coffee pot, from the cabinet and lo and behold, a single sheet of paper fell to the floor at my feet, from the stack of papers we have to one side of the cabinet.

I picked it up, as it fell face down, on the floor, and took a look at the newspaper clipping. It was a newspaper clipping telling the story of the house where Bill W. was born, in East Dorset, Vermont.

The house is NOT on any map. You would have to know, before hand, where you were going in order to get there, because there aren’t any signs along the way saying …

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THIS WAY TO BILL’S HOUSE !!! This is the actual house as it is.

Anyways, I read the article and thought to myself, wow, I had never seen this article in the cabinet before, so there has to be a reason it fell out, onto the floor, at just the most opportune moment.

Which hearkened me back three years to the weekend that my then sponsor, my best friend Joe, and I, were on our way to a men’s intensive at Mad River Barn, not far from East Dorset that very weekend.

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And ON THE WAY … We visited Bill’s house where he was born. We also visited Bill and Lois’ grave, just up the road in a very small and non-nondescript cemetery. If you did not know the cemetery was there, you’d not know to go there and pay your respects to the Founder and his wife.

Coming back to the present moment, I was in my head, clearly not myself, standing there alone in a church basement, with this piece of paper in my hand, and the very clear and resonant memory in the front of my brain.

Another of life’s synchronicity.

These little spiritually ignited occurrences happen often to me. And when I most need them, HP does the trick and sends me a sign from above, to remind me, that I am well cared for, and there is always someone up there, looking out for me.

The weekend was a success. It has been Hotter than Hell in Montreal since last Friday, and the heat wave will continue through Thursday night, later this week.

It has been UNBEARABLE !!!

I am chairing this month at the Monday meeting, and we read from the Big Book. Before the meeting I was sitting outside the hall, thumbing through my Big Book, looking for a suitable passage to share with the group. And I happened upon the story:

Alcoholics Anonymous Number Three … Pioneer of Akron’s Group No. 1 The first A.A. group in the world …

And I came to the end of the story where he is having breakfast with Bill and his wife Henrietta, and Bill says to her:

“Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.”

This one sentence is A.A. Gold…

The reading, in the end, speaks about an Absolute State of Grace and Gratitude.

Which brings me this realization as I am sitting here typing these words that:

If you don’t have a topic for a meeting, the default is ALWAYS

GRATITUDE !!!

We’ve come full circle now.

Monday: Miracles Happen

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On Saturday night, I told you of my conversation with my invisible father, asking him why he came around, if he wasn’t going to show himself, and I surmised that he did that to spite me, for reasons we know about each other.

On Sunday I got up and his energy was gone. I went about my life. Sunday night I went to bed, thinking about him. But I slept well and not disturbed.

Today, Monday, I had a full day of running errands, grocery shopping and unpacking. I did some earlier writing about some of my concerns with the gender changes to our National Anthem. I am not pleased at all.

Honor – Respect – Dignity and Memory …

If we strip those things from all that we hold sacred as a nation, then what ?

In the evening, before I had to get ready to go out for the evening, around 4 o’clock, I went to take a nap until 6. My dreams usually follow a predictable path.

It takes me a while, unassisted, to get to sleep on my own. But once I get to sleep, I sleep for the duration. And almost always, my Technicolor dreams come at the tail end of a sleep cycle.

If someone is going to ring my phone, as ALWAYS happens, that damned phone rings at the most inopportune moments, as a dream is hitting its climactic end. And usually, I always miss the END. All the time.

It never fails.

Today, I was in a dream. Talking about clothes, as I was standing in front of my closet door, which is next to my bed. I was talking away to whomever was there, and like a lightning flash, unannounced and without fanfare, my FATHER appears in front of me in corporeal form.

Color me shocked !

I looked at his face. I reached out and I embraced him. I heard him speak to me, saying that he was sorry.

I was besides myself really.

In a flash, he turned and was gone. And I shot out of bed like a maniac.

He returned. He came back. After I mused as to why he was even here to begin with.

I got showered and hit the meeting. On the walk back to the station, I Face Timed my aunt in Florida. The first words out of my mouth were, “I saw my father.”

As I walked along the sidewalk I was sobbing uncontrollably.

It was the second time I cracked. The first time was when I called one of my cousins and said the words … “My father is dead.”

We both agreed that he really had no purpose in coming back to me after the way he treated me in this life. Yet, I know God forgave him everything, and I needed to forgive him everything as well.

I saw my father. In corporeal form.

I can go on now.

I am free…

Sunday Sundries: Visitation

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My father died over a month ago, on January 7th. I have not dreampt about him, or even thought about seeing him return to me, in one form or another. I am the seer in the family. Most of my relatives have come back to me.

My father, on the other hand, is a different story.

However …

For the past few nights, I’ve felt an oppressive dark pall hovering in the apartment. I could not quite figure out what it was, but it was weighing me down. I could feel it, so it had to be there. Since I had not spiritually summoned my father to visit me, I did not think he would make the effort to visit.

I have posed the thoughts to the universe about all those questions I did have about him in posts, already written. Last night, as I went to bed, and closed my eyes, I was not feeling myself. My ears were ringing and I had a headache that would not go away. I took some Tylenol before crawling into bed. I could feel that darkness hanging in the room.

I realized that my father had been hanging around. He would not show himself to me, I could not see him, like I have seen other family who returned. But I figured that he was there. It would be just like him to hang about in the shadows and not really allowing for me to see him properly. So in the dark, he remained in the dark, to my eyes.

As I closed my eyes to sleep, I said to him, in my heart and mind, that I knew he was here and that I felt his presence. I told him that he needed to go … That he had no place returning and haunting me. I forgave him and told him not to return to my home ever again. That I did not need to see him, nor did he need to see me.

Yet he came anyways. Why did he want to see me now, when in his life, he had no desire to see me or acknowledge my existence? Did he need some spiritual forgiveness from me that I actually speak those words to him now, in his present form?

As soon as I had that conversation in my mind’s eye to him, the energy began to dissipate and I went to sleep. This morning I got up and the energy was gone. It would have been nice to see him corporeally, but he was here, nonetheless.

This is the only photo I have of my father, from his Face Book Account.

Forgiveness is about freeing us of the pain that others have done to us. In that forgiveness, it does not absolve the “other” of what they have done to us, but forgiveness allows us to move on with our lives, no longer carrying that old pain around like rocks in a sack, hanging over our shoulders.

There is a story about a woman, who survives the Holocaust. She lived in Berlin, after the war. One day she was walking down the street and a strange man approached her and spoke to he quite confidently …

Corrie, do you not recognize me ?

After a few moments of contemplation, she did …

The man was a guard in the concentration camp she was sent to. He had killed her mother and other family members in front of her. She knew who he was …

He begged her forgiveness.

In that moment, she denied him forgiveness, and sent him away from her, not so gently.

In the ensuing months, our woman found Faith, God and the Savior.

It happened a second time, that those two humans met on the street.

Our woman had found forgiveness. In her new-found faith, she realized the gift of forgiveness, in the end, she did forgive that man, so she could go on with her life, no longer carrying around that rock of pain around her neck.

At some point, we need to Sink Into God. And to allow Him to help us become the men and women we are meant to be. One cannot be faithful to God, and keep that part of us that feels pain, in the darkness, from God.

Turning it over, is a 100% proposition.

If you only allow light to be shed on part of you and not all of you, then why bother, if you aren’t willing to bring to the light, all of you?

I am all about The Light.

See the Light, Be the Light.

I’ve spent my life, studying family and I’ve been visited several times over by my grandmothers, and my grandfather. They all returned to me. I have concrete proof of their visitations. I know within myself that they exist on the spiritual plane.

I don’t know where that gift came from, or from whom it came from, but I have the eyes to see it. Because I would not be able to speak about it if it did not happen.

We all have gifts, spiritual gifts, we just need to open that eye to see them.

Thursday: Sinking into God …

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I wrote this letter to my Spiritual Director the other night. It is pertinent to my life today, because it reflects my growth in certain areas of my life at the moment.

I hope that things have gotten a bit better than they were a few days ago. Sometimes it’s a bitch having to recite and accept those pesky slogans …

They might come in handy when necessary, but when they become prayer mantras, that’s the worst, because you know, you have to totally “Turn it over, right ?”

How many times had I heard, Stick with the Winners, and Stay until the Miracle happens, and This Too Shall Pass … UGH

I thought about you last night, while at my Monday haunt. I was talking to a young man of my acquaintance, his name is John. He has quite the story, in summary though, he got to the bitter end and his marriage was in the toilet.

He came to us, and has stayed. The marriage is a work in progress. They are better for the ware and tear that took place. He’s in our rooms, and she is in Alanon …

A couple of weeks ago, John told me that he had found gainful employment finally, after his crash and burn. Starting off at ground level, he found a job as a manual laborer. In a school.

Answer: He’s a janitor.

Sweeping, mopping and shoveling snow… menial tasks but labor nonetheless. He started this week. And seems to be at peace with it.

He has found the meditative art in the quiet. His saving grace, it seems.

His wife is working in a kitchen preparing food for the restaurant, working with a friend of hers who took her under her wing so to speak. She seems to like that small quaint space. The Kitchen. It suits her well.

They got through the holidays, this year, just barely. John was one of the grouping from Monday night, we worked very hard at keeping sober over those two weeks. Everybody is still sober. Thanks be to God.

I had told John, before the meeting about my relationship with the man who saved my life, when it was most needed. Todd kept me focused and on point while at work.

He had a saying that stuck and worked miracles for me. He said early on that I could trust him, and I did, implicitly. I thought tonight, that I have not trusted anyone to that extent before or since. Now or before.

He said that as I approached the building we worked in, whatever was on my heart and worrying me, that I needed to leave it outside the doors, and once I crossed the threshold, the only thing I needed to worry about was the work I had to do each shift.

That pin point focus saved my life in the end.

So with my friend John, with all that is going on in his life right now, I shared that thought with him, that while he was IN the building, the only thing he needed to focus on was work, and not what had been going on in his head upon the approach.
Hopefully that piece of advice will stick and keep him on the beam, so to speak.

Then a God moment happened for all of us. The chair introduced for discussion, Step Three, in the Big Book, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
How appropriate.

And here I just told the story about turning my will and my life over to the care of TODD, (read: GOD) as I understood Him.

If there is a God, I met Him in the flesh, all those years ago, and I am still alive to speak about Him to others.

Which bring me round to you … A while back, at one point, you said to me that I could not bullshit God that whatever I was holding back, needed to see the light. hence, I heard you say that and I took that last step into God.

But it wasn’t until I tell this little story to my friends that God makes perfect sense, in that, I knew without a doubt what it felt like to sink into Todd, (read: God) with complete abandon. I knew it, because I had practiced it. over and over.

With my father’s death, I have written about him. And lately I focus on his generosity when it came, and his goodness when it showed. and that when my father was good, he could do no wrong. Even if he tried.

I’m not sure that all the goodness in the world, when it came to abuses, if that cleared his good points off the score board. I’ve been trying to dream about him at night. No success there. I’m not sure he would think to come to me now. Too much water under the bridge I think.

I wonder how he died, if he was at peace, my brother was there, and the day he called me he asked me if I had had any questions about my father’s passing, at that time I said no, because there was too much anger on the dashboard to think clearly and have a lucid conversation about death. But I wonder now.

I wonder what God said to him, after this life he lived, and the manner he chose to live it in, including my mother, because I am sure she is going to have that same conversation with God He did, at some point.

I believe that they both want peace on the other side, after the lives they chose to live, and the way they chose to live them. I believe God would have wanted that for them finally. And I muse about the fact that my sainted grand mother was waiting for him when he finally got there, she was an amazing women who loved deeply.

I hope the three of them are there together, where ever that may be. My mother will have the same cheering squad when she goes, because Memere was all-powerful and saintly. She had the 1-800 number to God for the whole of my life. When she died, she came back to me for a long while.

In fact, all of my grandparents came back to me, in specific form, we all knew them when they showed up because we all saw them and interacted with them. When I was sick and going to die. grammy used to come and visit my home.

I know this because I slept with my bedroom door closed. And every morning I would get up to scattered magazines on the floor and the painting on the wall tilted. A friend who was a seer came to my home not long after and grammy was there, waiting for us.

She told him to tell me not to close the bedroom door, for some reason she could not find her way through the door closed. hence I never slept with a closed-door again. She comes to visit often and stands at the foot of my bed. But I see her. If she has that power to come back, then maybe she will share it with my father at some point, and he will find his way back to me eventually.

Sadly, my father has not made the journey back across to see me. That kind of bums me, I kind of wonder if he thinks about me there, and if he sees me from where he is. That is quite a question I have.

I kind of know what redemption feels like because I am still alive. I’ve felt the true power of God in motion. Here on earth. Very few people harness that kind of energy for me. Todd was one of them. The only one for what he was able to do for me.

Surely, if that were God, then I know. I believe that we all have One redeeming Quality, deep within. Deep in my father’s heart there was goodness, kindness and love. It just got buried with all that abuse and crap he went through.

If I know God, like I think I know God, my father was redeemed. And was forgiven. In keeping with thoughts of how good he was, I can forgive him as well. Because God would want that from us, right ?

I know how to turn it over to the care of God as I understand Him, implicitly. Been there, Done that.

Every time I know I am in deep water, spiritually, all I have to do is close my eyes and see Todd in my mind’s eye, and I know God loves me, and all of us.

So I sink into God fully and completely. Without reservation.

Monday: Another Sad Story

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Many of my friends, whom I grew up with have been calling to check on me. All of them, in one way or another, knew my father. Well.

I grew up in a neighborhood filled with kids I went to school with, went to Youth Group with, and had over to our house for one reason or another. All of my friends saw my father in raw action. They all saw the same things I did. And each, in their own ways, had interactions with the man themselves.

When my parents moved to Sarasota after rebuilding and selling their house in Miami after hurricane Andrew in 1992, they moved to a neighborhood that was populated with the Parents, of the kids I grew up with. My friends, were still a part of their own families, and over time, had interactions with both my mother and father.

In the end … as it came out, many of my friends parents who lived close, would be out somewhere for dinner, and find both my mother and my father, drinking at the bar.

My mother was just as guilty of the shameful behavior that my father exhibited. She was just as arrogant and opinionated as he was. And my mother was very good at swinging doors shut in your face, and off offhandedly, telling you to fuck off.

Alienation was a common theme in my family. My parents were masters at their craft. If they disagreed with you, or you did not share the same point of view as they had, or you just pissed one or both of them off, You Too would find yourself shut out.

I’ve talked about, over and over again, in the past, that once my parents shut your light switch off, you were in the dark forever. That was a convenient visual for me to explain just what they did to everyone. Family or Friend.

My mother never thought for herself, even if it was prudent or good for her. She always deferred to my father as the wisdom giver. However, Unwise, he actually was.

At the end of the day, my parents were sick. Rumors were going around just to how sick they really were. Nobody really felt the need to call or inquire directly, because who really cared, when my parents shut them out of their lives, and stopped communicating with those friends for a decade or more.

I cannot, in good conscience, justify away their behavior to alcoholism, however a direct link there is to alcohol in the end. They have proven to my friends and their parents, that my parents were assholes. Nobody cared to engage them any more.

They just walked away.

This kind of walking away is a familiar refrain in the Big Book. I mean, who wants to hang around a couple of morose, alcohol addicted, self-righteous, arrogant assholes?

The Four Horsemen took them,

As we became subjects of King Alcohol , shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding, companionship and approval. Momentarily we did. Then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen – Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair.” Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand. BB. pg. 151

Both my parents were in hospitals in the end. My mother in one, alone, suffering a major coronary episode. My father, alone, in another, dying from Cancer. Neither of them communicating with each other.

My mother had, the presence of mind, however addled, she walked away from him too. She had decided NOT to participate in taking care of her ailing husband any more. Leaving him to take himself to and from Chemo, ALONE.

Once my mother was discharged, my brother whisked her away to Virginia to live out the rest of her days. Leaving my father alone in a hospice, where he witnessed my father die. Alone …

They had no friends, They had no family, save my brother.

They had NO ONE else. Not Me, No friends, No one who cared …

My father died, alone. and as they have all said to me: He, in the end, he was a dick.

None of my friends or anyone else in this family, mourn him.

There are those Too …

Prisons

Do you have any questions about your father’s death ? I said NO.

But I cannot help but wonder, what was going on, in my father’s final moments. What was he thinking, what was he feeling, who was he thinking about ? And I wonder, if I was in any of those thoughts.

I cannot help but ponder the fact that, when my father proposed sex to my mother, in the backseat of his car, in that drive in, in New Britain, what he was thinking in that moment?

I cannot help but ponder, on the day I was born, when my father gave me the name of a soldier, who died serving his country in war, what he was thinking?

I cannot help but wonder, what happened, to the name of honor that was given to me, in the moment my father decided that, I went from honor to a mistake in a single breath.

My family believed that I was a mistake and should never have been born, went on for the whole of my life.

How does one move from the miracle of birth of your first-born son, to regretting ever conceiving him, and for the rest of his life, remind him, abusively, “Hey, I hate you, and I want you dead, and you don’t matter, and never will.”

I don’t understand how a human being can live in the space of toxicity and resentment for the whole of his life, and be justified in his beliefs?

I know how it happened. I was there. I lived this existence.

My father is dead. And I never got the chance to say all those things I needed to say, to defend myself, my honor, and my integrity.

Living in resentment and hatred only makes one seriously sick. It turns your heart into a stone. And separates one from, what we call, in sobriety, The Sunlight of the Spirit.

Hatred is a serious thing. It is objectionable.

For the whole of my life, my father never shied away from airing his views at home, in front of others, and beaten into his children and his wife.

My father used many words to describe “people.” Words we are hearing from the President of the United States.

I knew very early on, that I did not agree with my father, and I surely never used one of his colorful metaphors to describe my friends. I knew early on that I would never be like him, ever.

In sixth grade, I had one friend. Leighton. Leighton was from Indonesia and his mom and dad were from that region of the world that my father found objectionable.

Leighton had dark skin.

One day, Leighton came over our house after school, and my father looked at him and said, what is that Nigger doing in my house? Leighton had to go home, and my father passed a decree that there would not be any dark-skinned people allowed in our house, because God forbid, my white neighbors might see them.

Leighton was not black and he surely was not a Nigger.

I don’t think that you can go fight a war in another country, and not return home tainted by that experience. I don’t know many veterans in my life today. It’s not something I go around asking my friends, who are older than I am.

My parents lived in resentment. They lived in anger. And they lived in hatred.

My father wanted a cookie cutter American family. So he imported a wife from Canada. What she did not know then, could have saved her a great deal. But she assented to assimilation. I think she wanted a husband as much as my father wanted a wife.

Systematically, my father alienated each foreign family member from our family, but only AFTER they served their purposes, that my father and mother needed.

Namely, the services of foreign family, as baby sitters.

My father’s parents were taken from us when I was in eighth grade, a year apart. My grand mother had a debilitating stroke that took away her speech, her ability to walk, and all of her memories. She went from vivacious to a vegetable in one night’s time. A year to the day, my paternal grandfather went the same way.

When my father took me out of school, and flew me 1500 miles from home, hoping that just the visual of me in my grandmother’s hospital room, would rouse her from her stupor and that she would wake up, right then and there and be healed.

That morning, as I walked into her room, looking at the shell of a woman she had become, I was so shocked that I collapsed, and fainted. Hitting the floor like a rock, and I ended up in hospital myself for hours.

I think my father was so angry with me that whatever he had imagined would happen and then did not happen, he resented me for the rest of his life.

I wrote my brother the letter I posted here the other night. Admitting my amends for what I had done as a stupid twenty something.

My parents lived like elephants. They never forgot, hard things done to them. When one lives in the space of not being able to forgive, taints us and builds a shadow over us, that never goes away.

I will never be a man. I will never be NOT a Mistake. I will never be forgiven.

I don’t understand how someone who is human, can live within such darkness and then take that darkness to their graves.

Regrets ? I have a few.

Maybe I should have made that trip to say all those things I needed to say, that are all but moot points now.

There is nothing I can say anymore. And my friend Joe, said to me, after the meeting that, toxic people cannot be reached, and attempting such communication is pointless.

You just have to let it go and go on with your life.

I just don’t understand, and I don’t think I ever will.

There are two people still left in their world who hate me as hard as my father hated me.

Will that ever change? That answer is up to God and timing, and using the right words and doing the right thing for the right reason.

I think I did the right thing for the right reason.

We shall see …

A mass of life will be offered for my Father Sunday Morning, at the Anglican Cathedral here in Montreal. My friend and mentor Donald will be saying his mass.

It is the most spiritual thing I can do for a man who went to his grave hating me.

God has dealt with him. And like we all know, When we get to the Pearly Gates, we get the question, we must answer, and in the end, he probably got a long look from God, and then forgiveness.

May he rest in peace. A peace he never knew in his mortal life.

I hope, at least, it feels good to him, finally.