Tuesday, August 25, 2009


It's coming up to a year since my beautiful little sister died.
August 29th to be exact.
Anyone who knows me and has read this blog knows the details so I don't need to go back into them again.
Thank you for that.
I had a note from a longtime friend of the family the other day.
In it she mentioned that she was thinking of me as the one year mark of Hayley's passing approaches.
She also mentioned that she had been in touch with my aunt who also lives in England.
This aunt is my mother's sister and the friend was mom's close friend since childhood.
She mentioned that the two of them had called my brother in law's house recently and left messages that they were thinking of him at this time.
They had not heard back from him.
I'm not sure if they are surprised about this or not.
Right off the start I want it clear that I love them very very much and their hearts are absolutely in the right place.
As are the hearts of everyone who sends me messages of love in what they know will be a tough time for us.
But I'm pretty sure that they will not be getting a call back from my brother in law. I say this because I think I know how he feels.
I feel the same way.
Maybe I'm wrong and maybe I am different from some people but I am doing everything I can to ignore the day.
I want to be so damn busy that I don't even know what month I'm in.
Then I'll wake up the next day and it will be the 30th. Just another day on the calendar.
This isn't going to be easy and I know it will be impossible to avoid some days.
Mom died on New Years Eve last year.
The only way to get past the first anniversary of mom's passing will be to totally focus on the fact that New Years Eve is the gateway into another fresh year.
I'll do my best.
As I know the rest of my family and friends are. Just get through another day and before you know it another week has passed. Then a month.
And then a year.
I'm convinced that the year is the hardest since it is what birthdays are based on.
When it's turned around to a death day it is so much stronger emotionally. To me anyway.
So, I have plenty going on these days. I think I'll be okay.
For those who are thinking about my family and I, thank you. We love you for it.
For those who send messages I thank you too and love you just as much.
I'm not going to end this one with a witty phrase or clever line.
I just want to say thank you to everyone for being there and for caring as you do.
One year at a time, right?

Stay well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If nothing else today, please watch this video

I did a blog about this short movie quite a while ago.
I'm blogging it again because it was posted on Youtube yesterday by its creator Daniel M. Kanemoto for all to finally see again.
It hasn't been available for a little while.

I don't know why I do this to myself but I watched it again as soon as I found out.
And it made me cry again as it does every time I watch it.
So emotional. Wow.
The first time I saw it was when a friend sent me the link to it a few years ago.
That Remembrance Day I forwarded the link to everyone I know. I'm certain many tears flowed among my friends.
What talent it takes to make a grown man cry over an animated film...

Have a look.

A Letter from the Western Front

You can read about it here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0209097/ and Daniel here http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0437548/bio .

Please share your comments with Daniel to show your appreciation of his work and tell others to watch it too.

Thank you for sharing it with us again Daniel.
But stop making me cry! :)

Stay well,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm sorry, I can't hear you.

I'm not trying to be funny with this or make light.
This is something that many people have to live with every single day.
It's about hearing loss.

I have been totally deaf in my left ear since childhood.
What got me thinking about this was when we were driving to Moncton the other day and I had my earphone in to listen to music on my BlackBerry while the boys watched a DVD and Cheryl rested.
Most already know this but in headphones stereo sound is split up between each ear. When I listen to music I only get half of it.

I can often very faintly hear the other half in the background but it sounds lousy.
If I want to hear what I'm missing I can switch the earpiece to hear but have to switch back.
For whatever reason there does not seem to exist anything to push all of the music out of both earpieces.

I haven't heard true stereo since before I lost my hearing as a child.(If it existed.) Although I doubt that I paid much attention to things like that back then.

From what I understand when I was 9 or so I had a bad ear infection or similar ailment. I think that we flew in a jet and the air pressure change made my ear pop much more than usual and my nerve was damaged beyond repair.
I don't recall any pain or even when it happened but when I lay in bed I noticed that outside sounds were eliminated when I lay on my right side.
I remember being in a booth at Sunnybrook Hospital with lights and buttons but only being allowed to push one of 2 buttons when I heard a sound in the earphones.
It's funny but about 30 years later I thought one day that with medical advancement and technology as it was a cure must have been found.

I booked an appointment to go back to Sunnybrook to see what was new.
I went back in that same booth with the buttons.
Then I was told there is nothing to fix my ear.

For those who have lost all of their hearing this way there is cochleal transplants which dramatically improve their hearing.
In fact, someone I work with had this procedure quite recently and he seems very happy with the result.
Unfortunately for only 1 ear this would not provide any benefit so it's not an option for me.
Hearing aids don't work for me. Not for total nerve loss.
Years ago there was a rumour that acupuncture may cure nerve deafness.
My mother bought me several treatments.
Not surprisingly, the acupuncture did absolutely nothing to affect my hearing.

This may sound strange but I consider myself lucky when compared to those who have completely lost or have never had the hearing in both ears.

I'm luckier but the problem is very real and very serious with me too.
When I was 16 years old I applied and was interviewed for a part time job in a grocery store in Toronto.
It was the Dominion store at Bayview and Cummer.
However, the head office was at the other end of the city on Rogers Road where the interviews were done.
I remember it took ages to get there by bus and subway but I wanted that job badly so I spent my entire afternoon for this process.
I completed the written tests without a problem.
Everything was going very well in the interview until I mentioned that I was deaf in my left ear.
I'm not certain exactly how they phrased it but they used a scenario of a falling box to tell me that they would not be hiring me due to my hearing loss.
They felt that if something was to fall and another tried to warn me I would be unable to hear and react in time to avoid being hurt.
Wow, that hurt. I was so sad as I returned home.
When I told my mother she immediately contacted a friend of ours who was in management at Dominion.
After some discussions and help from our friend it was eventually agreed that I would be perfect for the job despite my deafness.
And I was.
Nothing ever fell on me and the job was fine.

I wasn't so fortunate though when I applied to try and become a police officer with the Metropolitan Toronto Police.
I was flat out refused. No discussions.
Again the danger of my deafness was thrown at me.
This one made more sense.
If a bad dude tried to get the drop on me in a situation and approached from my left I would be unaware of his approach and would be at risk.
So I never pursued my dream of being a police officer.

One thing that many don't realize is that without hearing in both ears I have absolutely no sense of what direction sound comes from.
You could yell like mad at me but if I can't locate you visually I don't know what direction I am being called from.

This scares me very much.
What if someone is in serious trouble? Perhaps my kids need me and are calling for me to help?
That fear has kept me awake at night.

Just imagine being totally deaf and never hearing anything at all if you are being called for help.
From ANY direction.

How's that for a scary thought?

Can you hear me now?

I'm afraid not...

Stay Well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happy Birthday "Old" Pal!

The world's second best blogger is 50 years old today.
For half a century Charles LeBlanc has been driving people crazy. :)

For those that don't know him (I can't imagine how anyone could not by this time), he wanders around Fredericton every single day in all weather taking pictures and video clips of everything.
He has a knack for being on the scene as news happens and scooping the traditional news outlets to so many stories.
They hate him for that but quote him and use his information anyway.
You just know that every reporter and journalist around wishes that they could take off their ties and cut loose like Charles does to get the "real" story. But they can't so they watch him and see what he has to say.

Charles is one of the few people in this world that I would trust with my life.
I know that if anything ever happens to me he is out there watching my back.
Those of us who consider Charles a friend know how fiercely loyal he is to those he loves and to those who love him.

Charles taught me how much fun having a blog can be. And how much of a difference one can make in their surroundings by blogging the truth and saying what's on your mind without pulling any punches.
He's the type of guy that most people try to hold at an arm's length but he gets right past that at gets into you anyway.
And that's a good thing.

It's hard to imagine a world 50 years ago before baby Charlie came into it but I'll bet it was much quieter than it's been since that day.

What about the next 50 or so?
Maybe he won't be here for all of them. I know that I won't.
But the ones he is here for should be fun.

Have a great birthday my friend.

Stay well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry