Peter – The Long Goodbye


This week’s effort will be another short one, as I am working hard to clear out Lois’ apartment before October 31st, my publishing date, coincidentally. While I have been working by myself mostly, Lois’ friend Sandra has come in twice from Guelph to help out, and my awesome nephew David Finkelstein not only gave up a precious Saturday from his family, but also rented a van on Wednesday and came to bring me within sight of the finish line. Many thanks to you both. I really appreciate it.

An EA – 6B Prowler

Lois had an awful lot of stuff. She had more picture frames than the Louvre, beautiful clothes, shoes and cosmetics and enough electronics to outfit an EA-6B. Her neighbour Kathy selflessly loaned me two dollies, without which the whole thing would have been impossible. ( Otherwise it would probably have been easier to turn the building upside down and shake it 😉 ! )

Sure, it’s a lot of work, but Lois is worth it. Sadly, much of her property went straight into the dumpster, as I delayed too long in contacting organizations. In my defence, I am still very much in a state of shock, and my depression has decided to come out to play. One more reason why being an adult was a hell of a lot more fun when you were in Grade 4.

Endless shuttle trips from the 10th floor to the dumpster, remembering suddenly that she also has a storage locker which must be emptied, it’s pretty tough, especially as Mother Nature takes great delight in reminding me that I am not 19 anymore.

There are compensations, however. Every day that I am there, someone whom I don’t know comes over and offers me their sincere condolences. Lois was highly respected in her community, and that makes me very proud.

She collected a lot as well.She had scrapbooks, yearbooks, prayer books, recipe books, schoolbooks and bankbooks. She had Christmas stuff, snowmen, Santas, reindeer, polar bears, just about anything and everything Noel. China, fridge magnets, pottery, cutlery, spoons and paintings. It was all very beautiful, and it gave me further insight into this marvellous woman who made such a difference in my life.

As an employee of a movie studio, she had posters, t shirts, baseball caps, figurines and other promotional items, seemingly by the truckload. CDS, DVDs and casettes of every kind were in her possession, and they run the gamut from the 1940s to 2010 in scope.

She even had a lock of hair from when she was 3 years old.

I also had to sort through her correspondence. Lois wrote a lot, especially about her feelings and her relationships with other people. Her chronicles were very candid, and showed me an extremely complex woman, I destroyed those which did not specifically relate to me, once I realized that they did not, out of respect for her privacy.

One general entry dated 1999 was particularly moving. She wrote”…I guess it is my inadequacies that prevent me from finding a nice man…” I wiped my eyes when I read this and thought that no, it was the kind of man she was seeing.

When we met, and especially in our second iteration, we built a strong bond, a strong relationship that was an inspiration to many people both real time and on the web.

You are probably wondering what I am driving at today. It’s very simple. You have the power to change your partner’s’ s life, their self image, their self worth. You can do that by telling them that respect in a relationship is the default setting, NOT a privilege, and by acting upon your words. “Facta, non verba”. a)

I am going to finish off this week with a photo I took of a page in Lois’ last journal, which  she started after she retired. She simply printed my name, surrounded by hearts. Mission accomplished, I think.


See you soon.

  1. a) Latin “Deeds, not words”.

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