Greetings and salutations. While I could have made this writing a part of Steven’s Story, I have not chosen to do so. Instead I wanted this to be separate from those. This is more about how these writings came into my hands and the struggle to bring them forward. I feel that telling this to you all will be cathartic for me in a way and will give you deeper insight into things regarding myself and my life with and without Florence Mary and how this all came to be. It does not start in the beginning. It starts towards the end.
My first experiences and times with Florence were in Trail BC in the early to mid 1990’s. After a few years in Trail, Florence moved to Campbell River BC on Vancouver Island and lived and walked her walk and shared with others. I stayed back in the Kootenays and we kept in touch a lot. 2 or 3 hour phone calls were not out of the norm when there was information to be shared and our own experiences and such. For a short time in 1995 I moved to Campbell River and stayed with Florence and a dear friend for several months before moving back to the Kootenays.
Time moved forward for both of us. I was discovering who I was and dealing with family obligations and living life. I had taken a course at the local college and I was offered a scholarship in graphic design. I was about to take the scholarship when I got a phone call from Florence Mary. She had decided to move to Aldergrove BC back to the house she had shared with her ex-husband and her children. Florence had felt that she was somewhat held back because the assets after her divorce had not been maintained or dispersed and so she went back to live in the house in spite of the fact that she had walked away from it many years before. For her it was about tying up loose ends and getting her share of the assets so she could build a new life independent of ex husband or anyone else. The house and property were run down and it was her determination to fix it up and get it sold. Her husband was working and living elsewhere and had ignored the house and acreage. Florence asked me to come down and help her. I said yes and I moved to Aldergrove to help her bring everything full circle. There was a ton of work. It was endless and hard, but we made it work. Florence’s sons would be great help in that process. A meditation/healing room went in where the family room used to be and Florence began to manifest her life there. When she went to play the bowls I would go with her when I could. She would have me anchor energy in the room. The keeper of the bowls, I was. Packing up and transporting them and her when I could.
We were on 5 acres of land. It was beautiful. We built new gardens and revived the old. I used connections to bring friends and family to help with a new roof and a new deck. The pool had snapping turtles and frogs in it and the water was brown. The windstorms had blown the giant slide into the pool and nobody had noticed or cared. It took connections and hard work and a lot of struggle and physical and emotional pain to fix and get everything back together and marketable. I raised rabbits. Started with 2 and ended up with 45 of them. They ate better than we did on most days. Times were hard.
For a while, Florence rented rooms out to keep the house afloat. We had a tenant who came from Italy. Her name was Gina and she came to Vancouver every year to work in the movie and television industry in whatever role she could get. She was an older lady, very mousey looking but with a big thundering booming voice. One day I was outside rototilling a garden when Gina came up to me and said ” you are handsome, here is my agents phone number, call him and make arrangements to get your photo taken, I think you can get work in acting”. I chuckled and took her card and thanked her kindly and then I got back to work. That evening I mentioned it to Florence and she said, “hey, lets do it and I will see if I can get work too. It will be fun. Nothing ventured nothing gained, right?” So we called the agent and went and got our photos taken in Langley BC and he did a short bio and we were off. I laughed and did not ever in a million years think the phone would ever ring with a job like that but it was fun just to play in the process.
3 days later the phone rang. It was my agent. He had a job for me on Dark Angel Season 2, a television show on FOX that was filmed at Lions Gate Studio in North Vancouver BC. You will be the bartender for the second season. You have a certain look. They want that look for this role. You will be background but regular background so it might lead to other roles, either way, they have chosen you. I have my own stories in relation to that work but I will not share it in this writing. My second week of filming was on September 11, 2001. I will never forget that day ever. It is seared into my consciousness beyond all measure. That was the day hell came to Earth and we were the only show that kept filming during that traumatic day. That day was mind blowing and surreal. There were people on the phone saying goodbye to people who were jumping out windows in New York. I will never forget that day. It is burned into my heart. The fact that they would use the possible date of Jesus birthday made it especially foul and tyrannical. There was rascaldom in that whole matter.
I stayed and I worked until the show was cancelled. It was only on for two seasons and we were pre-empted by the Olympic for 6 weeks and we lost our audience. Such is the way in Hollywood. Between jobs, we would work flea markets selling our handcrafted items. Florence sold jewellery and knitting and I made and sold walking sticks. Florence developed a client base for her healing work and played the bowls in session for clients who were very sick and needed a vibrational change. I worked roofing off and on and it started to take its toll on my body. After a while I was tired and voices from back home were telling me to come back. I had helped Florence as best I could and the time came for me to leave her for a while and come back to the Kootenays. I had been in Aldergrove almost 3 years.
My father had congestive heart failure and so I felt it was time to make my peace with him and help him and my family. When I got back to Nelson I began to get very sick. Fibromyalgia would take over and nearly destroy my life. I went to doctor after doctor. Every drug they gave me backfired or I was allergic to. It was hell. Every day was a struggle just to cope with the pain and uncomfortableness of my own body. The searing burning nerve pain. At times I could not walk without a cane or braces. It was hell. I had been home for a few weeks when the losses started to pile up. I was laying on the beach and a big white feather landed on me. I sat up with a chill and felt that someone close had become an angel. I got home to a phone call telling me my best friend was dying. The car he was working on fell on him. He was brain dead. They were waiting for me to come and say goodbye before they pulled the plug. There was no way I could make the trip to Calgary, Alberta to see him one last time. I was so sick and very, very tired. They pulled the plug and my heart was crushed. That was the second best friend of mine taken by death. I took it very hard. I was devastated. He was a true kindred spirit but I know I will be with him one day and that he is just fine now. But at the time, it was another body blow, a punch in the gut. About a year after my best friend passed away we lost Grams, who was my ex-wifes grandmother and my daughters great grandmother. She was the heart of the clan and her death devastated us all again.
Not long after that, my daughter met a young man who she would marry and that was going on, then a pregnancy and a marriage. As this was happening I was in physical hell but I kept going. My dad got very sick and eventually he would go into emergency and they would give him a drug that would take his mind away. That was horrible. We brought him home to die and he wasted away for two and a half months. Finally, after 15 days with no food or water, I watched him take his last breath. My dads death shook us to the core. It upended our world. Everything changed. 5 days after my fathers death we were blessed with a new member of the family. My daughter had given birth and our grief was replaced with joy for a short time. My little grandson saved us from the long torment of grief. We had to be there for each other, grief would have to wait, but it didn’t and it took its toll on me.
Only a few weeks after my grandson was born and my daughter was struck with horrible seizures that have affected her life ever since. Nothing scares a father more than knowing his child is in trouble.
About a year after my grandson was born I had a massive heart attack. I went to emergency and after some bloodwork they said some of it was a bit unusual but nothing to worry about. Yes, they sent me home during my heart attack. I struggled to survive the night and the next day around noon they took me back in to the hospital. They did more tests and then the next thing I know I was in an ambulance on my way to Kelowna BC for coronary surgery. They gave me a stent and saved my life. You have beaten the widow maker, they told me, and apparently there are few who do.
After my heart attack I had only 1 refuge and that was the Earth. I started forcing myself to walk and to hike. I took refuge in nature and she welcomed me home. Deep inside me is a mountain man and he started to take over. I sought out sunlight. I bathed in it every chance I got and went to the lake to immerse myself and to cleanse. The wind would tell me things. Parts of me were coming back to life.
Then one day I got a message out of the blue from Florence. She had sold the house in Aldergrove, had bought another one in White Rock and had sold that and wanted to move back to the Kootenays, Nelson to be specific. She asked if she could come and stay. I said yes, and she came. We had a house full. It was summer and warm I offered Florence a place in the house but she said no. Instead, she bought a recliner and put it under our carport and slept there for 3 months until she purchased her house here in Nelson. She loved the fresh air, the night time raccoons and skunks and just being outside.
After 3 months with us, Florence bought her house and lived there until illness would take her life 3 years later. She moved here in 2012 and was gone in 2015. Our time was very short but it would bring us full circle. Just after Florence passed away, the house flooded. The downstairs of Florence’s house had feet of water in it. I just noticed it in time and moved the writings and artwork upstairs. Another hour and they would have been paper mache. While doing business in town the next day for Florence’s estate, I was rear ended by a lady in her car who was not paying attention. This gave me a whiplash. It was one of the worst the doctor had seen in his years of work. The doctors ignored my situation and so I gave up on them. I went to a man who practiced acupuncture and he worked on my body and made it liveable again. The fibromyalgia went into remission and I started to become strong again. But it was a hard fight. Chinese medicine saved my life.
We had just started to get past the loss of Florence when my mom got sick with cancer. We kept her going for a while but she died in my arms and once again, it was a punch in the gut. I had lost my mother and she was very special to me. She had been my rock throughout my whole life. Now she was gone. Florence first, then mom. My mom and Florence were close so it was a one-two punch.
While prospecting I had a bad fall on an icy patch of earth and when I fell I impaled myself on a cut down christmas tree. It took a while to heal my spleen but I got through that. Then, after I started to get my life back I had been out hiking and I had a bad fall. A tree I had grabbed to make a jump from one ledge to another literally came uprooted and I tumbled head over heels down rock skarn. I was crumpled and bashed and battered. My acupuncturist had moved on and my finances were zero so I looked after myself the best way I could and I still do. About a month after my fall I was walking down a path and a round large rock that was sticking out of the ground suddenly decided to roll as I stepped over it. It was like trying to walk on a ball. I went hard into the air and landed on my upper back. I thought I would be crippled but I wasn’t. I still get devastating pain from this fall but I carry it until one day it will go, but it grinds on me.
So, now we are to where I started the writing and the blog. I started on that and then I received a nasty hernia in my groin out of no-where. I lived with it for a year and then had surgery. The surgery fixed the hernia but it also left me with no feeling from my navel to my knee on my right side. It took me months to heal. I still have no feeling in my navel to groin but through Chinese medicine and magnetics I have managed to get the feeling back in my right leg and am working on getting it all back now. This situation has kept me from putting the writings up earlier and caused delay but I have persevered in order to finish what we started unknowingly so many years ago. Energy blocks started to leave in November of 2018 and I have moved forward determined. I have woke up. The hell feels like it has left and I can be free to get this out. Now I hope I have given you some insight into where I have been at these last 15 years. The only thing that has held me together is trust and faith and a tenacity beyond measure when filled with the spirit. It is my refuge now. I walk my great alone and yet now I share it. Never give up when the truth burns inside you. It is a fire that is not quenched with reason yet is not myopic in the least. I am astounded at the force of God in my life and heart and mind. I have seen things no man can explain. Those are the gifts that come. Little carrots dangling….to keep one alive. Many times I hold back the tears when I write and I feel so deeply but that is the treasure. To know and experience something you are a part of that you cannot explain and yet it is the deepest heart. It moves me to the core and I am swept away.
There are a million words in between what I have told you but this is a glimpse into where I have been and how everything has effected me and my life and why I continue to post these writings. Thank you for your interest and your kindness of thought. I do my best to keep my pain from others and to most I’m just another regular guy. They do not see my pain. But sometimes sharing some of it can be cathartic to a man who has literally nothing left to lose.