Tis Bittersweet, This First day of Retirement

Photo 2012-07-01 11 30 02 AM

Hmmm, what to write.  Whether ’tis nobler…..wait, that line’s been taken.

I’ve been pondering much of my day what to post or if to post, this day being the first day of the rest of my life so to speak.  It’s the first official day of my retirement, early retirement if it matters.  I tried to come up with something profound to write, something with some teeth in it, but alas it was not to be.  So I just wrote this.

Continue reading Tis Bittersweet, This First day of Retirement


I’m Baa-aack…

I feel like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” where he sticks his head through the door and says “I’m Back”, although as I recall he said it more like “I’m baaaack”.  As it turns out when I did a Google search for a picture it came up with the photo you see and it was a post by the same name on a blog called Tales from the Vinyl Village.  Go figure.  You may not believe it but I had my title chosen before I even selected the photo, must be great minds think alike. The photo has that creepy look to it, that Jack did so well.

It’s been an interesting week or so, probably more if I add it all up.  Current plans revolve around the Easter festivities, a baby shower for my daughter, and ensuing mass of family and friends that will arrive to indulge in both.  I am on some levels looking forward to it, it can be my last hurrah of sorts.

Of course a dominant thought of mine is my impending retirement.  I still don’t really know how I feel about it, my emotions run the range from happy to sad, enthusiastic to disappointed, confused to….well, still confused.  At times I feel like Jack looks, menacing and all outta-sorts, not my particular choice of flavors but truthful nonetheless.  I believe I have a handle on my emotions but there will likely be a time when they will burst forth, probably at the most inopportune time and certainly when I least expect it.

One of my friends here had such an experience when he came to confirm that I was in fact leaving as quickly as he heard.  He became very teary and quite surprised me with his obvious depth of emotion, the caring that he exhibited.  I almost cried with him.  A truly touching time, a “Kodak moment”.

I tell myself I will maintain decorum at all costs, I’ll not give them (the “Mgmt. Man”) the satisfaction of knowing my hurt, and to be brutally honest it is hurt that I feel.  When you put 40 years into an organization, hell into anything, I don’t see how you could feel anything else.  It’s as if you feel like you are now invisible, you have just vanished and almost nobody knows you’ve gone or were ever there.  Not everyone sees it like that of course, I have many positive and caring relationships here, but when your bosses exhibit that trait you begin to wonder.

So I will move on and continue my efforts to be a optimistic person, to look on my experiences here as positive and remember fondly all the players and games we played.  Like one of my compandres said, we make our decisions and once done our goal needs to be to live with them.  I can still be sad, it’s a real emotion, but I need to be happy about so much more.  Cheers.

I’m S’appy, I’m H’ad

I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m both, I’m neither. I’m disappointed my career is almost over, but I’m stoked that retirement is imminent. The appreciation was missing, the acknowledgement of dedicated service for so many years. I’m now invisible, a cog on the wheel, a link in the chain that’s seen but not “seen”. Utilized but not utile, not seen as useful, or that’s how I feel.

Perhaps it’s my own “fault”, and i know fault is not an appropriate descriptor, but maybe I’m a contributor to the end result. My actions or lack thereof may have (likely did) in some way create an environment where any aspirations I had were not fulfilled.  The desires were there and I didn’t know how to achieve them.

There need not be any crying over spilled milk now, the past is just that, passed. I’m looking forward now, glad for what I had and appreciative for all my job brought me. My job was just that, a job, not my life nor my love. I find that elsewhere.

I’m like a caterpillar, waiting to emerge from my cocoon, to leave as a butterfly and spread my wings. I’m seen as beautiful to others, my colors beginning to burst forth. I will launch into the wind and go where it takes me, happy not sad, looking forward not back,


Thoughts of Shawn… Only if.

The snow is falling, or what could be loosely described as snow. Maybe dust, white powder dust would be more appropriate, almost like large flakes of flour. The kind of dust that you barely glimpse, but can see when the sunshine catches them as it’s rays filters through the window. This same white powder fell on the day Shawn died, a day I’d not soon want to re-live.  An ethereal day.

I wrote this as I sat waiting for my appt with Gloria, my counselor, but she approached me soon after and said “Come on in Dwayne, how are you doing?”  It’s funny, the thought of Shawn, or his passing, wasn’t forefront on my mind as she asked me that question, but was only moments before.  My thoughts of him come and go, depending on circumstances and mood.

It’s coming up on 11 years since his untimely death, January 18th of 2000 to be exact.  The closer we get to that date, or his birthday in October, the more his life (and death) surface in our minds.  Often it brings back some guilt on my part, none that I’ve mentioned to Gloria though, and even though I can rationalize my way through it the nagging thoughts of “only if” are still there and still pull at my heart.  Only if, 2 isolated words that when put together have more power over us than so many others.  Only if.


Dinner with Dad, I’m Sad…I’m Glad!

It has been a while since I’ve spent time with Dad, partly just due to our time constraints, some travel, and that I just plain and simple did not have the emotional energy and fortitude to do it.  Bad Son, I know.

Really though, deep down I know I am not a bad Son, probably on many scales I am a very good son, I just feel bad, and sad, sometimes.  Bad in the sense that I don’t want to see him, bad that I am frustrated when I do see him, angry that I have to see him.  Sadness that I feel those emotions at all.  Boy, where’s the psychoanalysts couch when you need it?

So see him I did.  I drove to his place after work, and I had been planning on going anyway.  In addition to visiting him and helping where I could I also had to deposit a cheque in his account, the rental monies that were returned to him after his place in Langley was re-rented.  His pharmacist had also called me, there was to be a small change made to his meds, the result of his most recent blood tests.  The old meds had to be collected, the change made at the pharmacy, and then blister-packed and returned to his home.  A small to-do list, the least I could do.

After I arrived at his place we checked out his scooter, there may be an issue with one or both of the batteries, they don’t seem to be holding a charge.  I couldn’t see anything obvious but promised to check into it.  At least this time he remembered he had a scooter…….See, there I go again, bad son, Sad, son.

I’m ok, really, it just presents me with some challenges sometimes, being the parent of a parent.  Did I mention it makes me sad too??

We finished our visit by going out to dinner.  We could have stayed and had dinner at the home but I promised we’d do it another time.  I wanted to get out.  Chinese food seemed to be the nourishment of choice so we found a local restaurant where we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  One tiny little woman attended to us, running back and forth to the kitchen so often I wondered if she was doing double or triple duty.  We topped up our tanks, tried to maintain some small talk and once our tummies were full I took him home.

He is so appreciative now, so grateful for my help and commenting often “Thank you Dwayne”.  He says to me “We love you”. I know he means He loves me.  He never said that before we started helping him with his life, never that I can recall as a kid, but he says it often now, so often I have to believe he means it.  That simple statement helps to take the Sad away.  Did I mention it makes me Glad.  Thank You Dad!


It’s ok to cry

I had another session with Gloria tonight (my counselor) and the conversation ranged from parental parenting, as in dealing with my Dad, to latent feelings of grief and loss.  We even threw a little bit of emotional support regarding crying and “triggers” when it comes to loss, and the strong emotions that can come forward unexpectedly as a result of those triggers.  I’d  have to say it was probably one of the more enlightening sessions I’ve had in a while.

We’ve had a number of good sessions in my opinion and that comes to a bit of a surprise to me, and to admit that remembering how I felt when I went into the process some many months ago.  She will offer some insights which seem simple, basic, or fundamental at first glance but upon further analysis have many benefits and potential insights.  Who’d’ve thunk??  I hope that at some point, sooner rather than later, that I can articulate to her the gifts she’s given me.

We also talked of writing, specifically the chronicling of my adventures with Dad.  I told her “I’ve had lots of support for this, there are quite a few people encouraging me”.  Gloria said I should do it too!  “We are in the age of the baby boomers, it’s a timely topic”.  I know it is, but I confided to her that I inevitably shut myself off, I don’t allow myself to complete a project like this, I really think I must be afraid of success.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t come up with this stuff myself.  Reading up on Giftedness among other things like procrastination has taught me this.  It’s ok she said, give yourself permission to jam out, to not complete, in that way you can complete as much as you want and come back to finish if and when you like.  Hmmm, please Lord give me strength.


Dad on the Decline

We took Dad out for dinner last night, we being Me, Mo, my Mom (Dad’s ex), and of course Dad.  I called him in advance to see if he was free and he was very “befuddled” on the phone.  And that’s his exact word, “befuddled”.  When I queried him on what he was getting at he asked me to help him find something out, specifically what happened to the house?  To make a long story short he was wanting to know how we moved him out of his house (not sure which one even now) and why he didn’t see any papers or have to sign anything.  He wondered what happened to all his things such as tools etc..  I tried to calm him and promised we could talk about it when we picked him up.

I was a bit distracted after that and thought about what may have been happening to him as we drove into Trail.  It bothered me, made me sad, and talking about it to Mo and Mom didn’t really help.  I think Mom still bears him some grudge after all these years, even though it’s not overt or malicious.  She seems to have little patience for his condition and that bothers me on some level as well.

At any rate we arrived at his place and picked him up from his room, he was still a bit addled and shakey, but we collected his things and took him out to the car.  On the way he began to weep silently, saying he didn’t know if he’d be here (there) tomorrow, inferring he may die that night.  I think between his realization his memory was going and his loss of identity at the moment he became overwhelmingly sad and his grief came through.

Dinner went well for the most part and his mood improved.  He was still at a bit of a loss regarding the move from the house but that occured over 25 years ago and even I couldn’t remember how it went down.  We took him back to his place after and Mo took him up.  On the way out she discussed it with the on-call nurse and they would check on him later to see how he fared.

I called him this morning and he still seemed to be a bit at a loss but much better on the whole.  This is likely just the beginning of the end.  It hurts my heart but I guess it’s just life, sad but true!


Dad again

Well Dad’s had his assessment and it sounds like he’s a good candidate for assisted living.  I think we are well on our way to having him move closer to us, soon I hope, but there are still a few hurdles that need to be crossed.  The current one is getting his current tax info.  He can’t remember if/when he’s had it done though and that is making the task a little more difficult.  We will persevere though, these are not tasks that are impossible only challenging, especially from a distance.

The whole situation causes me to have many emotions though, frustration is a big one, along with sadness, grief over loss, anxiety, and some optimism of all things.  Hope that he will make it long enough to come live near us, and in a small way I just want it all to end.  It makes me tired and stressed.



So if honesty is important to my posts I’d have to say I’m often bored in conversations with others.  It just seems like so much of what we say to each other is mundane, I don’t have the knack for small talk, don’t necessarily want to either.  I think it comes back around to the whole “adapting” philosophy Gloria and I talked about. I can adapt and chat with others but unfortunately I don’t often enjoy it, the small talk I mean.  I feel as if I’m forcing myself to say something noteworthy, something germaine to the conversation.  It seldom feels real.  I also have to say that this isn’t necessarily a frequent occurence, it’s not every conversation I have, but when I try to bond with some people I think I come across as being phoney.  Perhaps I am, I don’t want to be though, I want to genuinely connect.  I sometimes watch others relate, to monitor their body language and how/what they say in hopes of picking up clues as to how to improve my skills.  So far no epiphany, and that makes me sad.


Sadness Felt, and Loss of Closeness

It’s often interesting to me how the written word, and often other benign media, can have such an impact on ones mood, in this case bringing me to sadness.  It’s not only the sadness of loss, which I certainly feel, but the sadness of loves felt and missed.

The book I’m reading, fiction in this case, is Stephen King’s “Duma Key” about a construction magnate who after becoming seriously injured moves to Duma Key in Florida and takes up painting.  He produces paintings with an ethereal quality that in the end reflect past events on the Key.  The most significant of those is the drownings of twin girls many years in the past.  He sees later how that occurrence in the past has the potential to impact his 2 daughters lives in the present.  Anyway he often refers to his one daughter in particular and it’s that reference that often brings me to the brink of tears.

It draws the love from me for my daughter Ay, but not drawing it out in the sense that it was not there, certainly not, but taking that overwhelming love and drawing it out to where it’s hard to contain.  In the story the man’s daughter expresses her love freely and openly and that is something I yearn for, and miss in my relationship.  Where I know Ay loves me she seems to have that trait exhibited by many on my side of the family that makes it difficult for them to express love in the conventional sense.  It hurts and brings me sadness to not know her love in that way.

G has often asked me if our loss of Shawn has caused me unresolved emotions like grief, or anger I guess, emotions I can’t or won’t allow or admit to.  I have always answered no, but now I wonder if this loss of demonstrated love from Ay is accentuated by Shawns death, as if somehow now I need more reassurance or confirmation. Things that make you go “hmmmm”.