Peter Thanks You

The annual Reg the Cat birthday column is hereby postponed until next week. In its place, I present the following.

I have been in an abyss of grief since my Dear Lois passed last month. I would never have believed that such pain as I am feeling was even possible. But in darkness there is Light, in the midst of despair there is Hope.

The overwhelming rush of good wishes and condolences has been, well, overwhelming. Let me just mention some examples.

While Lois was in palliative care, she got a hot dog for lunch. She wanted relish on it, there was none available. I rushed over to Fran’s near Massey Hall, explained the situation to the hostess and was promptly ushered over to the bar, where a bartender told me to take what I wanted. You can bet that once this gets settled, I will go there, eat, and ask to speak to the Manager. I will explain to them exactly why I chose to give them my patronage.

How about the palliative care nurse who came into Lois’ room one night, saw me sitting by Lois’ bedside, crying and drinking a beer? She did her and left, leaving us in peace and me with my beer.( I never heard a word about it.)

Lois’ friends visited her on a regular basis. They would encourage me to take a break. As an aside, it was very nice to have so many people ask how I was doing. Her family visited as well. One Saturday morning, I came into her room and there had to be 15 of them. Very heartwarming.


I got a message from Spencer Pollard, a fine plastic modeller and author/editor. He told me that while it wouldn’t help much, he wanted to send me the latest issue of his magazine, “Cold War Aircraft Modeller“. He did so, and when I messaged him my gratitude, he said that he only wished that he could do more.

In that issue, there is a story about building a 1/48th scale model of Mrs Montreuil’s little boy’s favourite jet, the McDonnell Douglas F-4J “Phantom II”. As it is a newly released kit, I wanted to get one, but it was “discontinued” according to the story. I messaged my favourite hobby shop, “Wheels and Wings ” a), who replied almost immediately. They were expecting some in the next few days. I asked them to put one aside for me.


Over the weekend, Lois’ condition deteriorated and she passed peacefully in the early hours of September 10th. I called the shop and explained the situation and they said they were hold it for me until I came in, which was very kind of them. The Monday after the worst week of my life, I had an extremely unhappy interview with an extremely unhelpful bank officer and also applied for Lois’ CPP Death Benefit, which went better as I was interviewed by a former co worker who thanked me for helping her develop her skills. I pointed out that she had chosen to listen and learn from me. I was to pass this exchange on to a great manager, who in turn let the employee know and she was so pleased that she sent me a grateful email.

Figuring that I deserved some spoiling, I then cleaned out my bank account and started off to “Wheels and Wings “. I picked up the model and a few other “bits and bobs” and started to cry b) at the cash as I thanked the store employee for the store’s kindness. If this highly unusual reaction to a model purchase threw him off, he didn’t show it. He simply said that it takes less effort to be a nice person than it does to be a jerk.

When we went to Lois’ first radiation therapy appointment, we must have looked like frightened rabbits. A woman who was leaving came over, touched Lois on the shoulder and said “Don’t worry, you will be old pros at this soon.” Very inspiring, very much appreciated.

People on Facebook have been terrific, sending me songs and supportive memes and messages of support, again, very humbling. On the Friday of the worst week of my life, a man whom I know purely through plastic modelling sent me a message. His wife passed away from cancer several years ago and their valiant battle was a source of inspiration to me. Gary included a 5 part a capella cover of ” Bridge Over Troubled Water” that frankly sent chills up my spine, very beautiful. I probably watched it 20 times that evening.

The day I picked up Lois’ ashes was a terrible day. I decided to go get some beer. Walking over to the liquor store, I heard my name called. It was a young cousin of Lois’, with a couple of his little friends. One of them asked him, somewhat doubtfully ” You know this guy?” I replied that we’d been in jail together. The kid gaped, while Lois’ cousin laughed. Thank you, Spencer, I needed that human contact, it brightened up a wretched day.

The response from the great people in the GTA “indie scene ” has been heartening as well. So many came to her viewing, some even took the time to come to her service. Humbling, very humbling.  Thank you all for your support and friendship, and your understanding. I have been to two shows since Lois passed, have not been able to stay for the whole show, but you all understand. Baby steps. I even left Pat Blythe’s birthday party, she has been a rock during this horrible time, and I am delighted to see that she has some happiness coming her way. Pat is one of the nicest people I’ve ever known, and I am delighted. I also want to thank J.C. Sandoval, another in a seemingly endless line of creative people in the GTA, who put me on the list for the show at Lee’s Palace this Friday night, featuring ” The Crooked “, “Drop Top Alibi ” and two other fine bands.

All of these tangible gestures have made a world of difference to me during this horrible time.  What is even more wonderful is that so many people who don’t even really know me aren’t just “walking by”, but are thinking of me and reaching out to offer me comfort, to let me know that people care. You people are tremendous, and Lois will live on through your kindness.

See you soon.

  1. a) 1880 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario. If you build plastic models or know someone who does, you have to check this store out.
  2. b) As you might imagine, my emotions have been pretty raw lately.

6 Responses to “Peter Thanks You”

  1. Winnie Czulinski Says:

    Peter – I was so very sorry to hear about Lois. Thank you for telling us about your times and moments with her. I feel as if I knew her. Blessings and sweet songs to you.

  2. Peter….it’s easy to be kind to you. Besides, who else is going to watch my cameras 😉 I’ll see you at Lee’s tomorrow night…..with my cameras….. Love you xx P

  3. Doris Payne Says:

    Peter, I just read your column. I’m so happy that you can write a column each week. I know you were a great comfort and love to Lois. I would love to read your column each week and ask if you can send it to me on E-mail. I don’t know how else to get it unless the paper you write for is sent to the U.S. If they do send to the U.S., I would love to be on their mailing list. It can be sent by E-Mail or let me know if they send in the mail. If so, I’ll give you my address. I want to thank you again for being in Lois’ life as she loved you very much and I know you brought much happiness to her. As I said before, Lois was the best person at Fox to welcome me to Toronto. She helped me throughout my almost 5 years at Fox. Lois was my Secretary and the kindest person there. We became friends from right away and stayed in touch from time to time after I retired from Fox. I loved reading your column and say you have a way with words and it is not surprising that you are indeed a writer of a column. Thank you again for being the love of Lois’ life. You brought her so much happiness. Much love and regards, Doris

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