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Surviving Suicide – Part 41

April 22, 2011


I’ve had the privilege of connecting with really amazing people lately, many through my interest in suicide pre and post-vention, grief support pages, my Facebook profile page, etc. It touches my heart when I connect with a fellow survivor and we share our stories. Each one is as unique and different as the person sharing it, or the person lost to suicide and yet the common bond we share is enormous loss and sadness, and depending on where they are in their journey – often overwhelm.

I’m constantly amazed at how some deal with their grief and decide to make good come of bad. Some like myself blog, others have created fan/support pages, others educate by giving talks or holding conferences or training sessions. All of it makes a huge difference and I love seeing the individual creativity behind each project.

For my readers, I’d love to hear from you about what you have found has helped you? I love getting comments and feedback, but don’t often get the opportunity. I’ve been very remiss at keeping consistent blog posts happening, but hope to get to know how you’re coping, whether you are or not, what you’ve found to be a helpful support page or organization, what it is that would help you?

When I meet new people through doing my posts here or on my FB profile page, some really strike a chord with me and when that happens, I generally like to share them on my Resources/Links page of this blog. So don’t forget to check them out too!

March – May 2003 – Life Goes On!

March 2nd I’ve noted I had a phone conversation with the wife of my prospective buyers for my boat. She told me she was leary because she’d heard twice that the boat engines were rebuilt as per the mechanic who had worked on them. This was news to me as my late husband Rob and another Volvo mechanic Rob knew, were the only mechanics who had ever worked on our boat and I knew for a fact that neither engine had been “rebuilt”.

That’s the problem with gossip and hearsay. I asked her what mechanic had told her that and she wouldn’t say or couldn’t remember his name. I told her that my husband, a friend and another Volvo mechanic that my husband knew had done a repair on one cylinder and also offered to let her speak to the Volvo mechanic or friend, but of course she didn’t want to do that and refused to tell me who the mechanic she’d spoken to was. A repaired cylinder is not a rebuilt engine.

She then told me she’d listed her boat on Ebay, which was a strange place to advertise an expensive boat. She went on to say once they sold theirs, if mine was still available they’d consider it. At this point her story had changed entirely, initially her husband had told me and I’d made a very clear point to ask whether they’d have to have their boat sold first before buying mine, and had been given a resounding No!

She told me once again she wanted her deposit back, very adamantly told me she’d get it and to make no mistake about that. I told her I’d incurred at least $15K in expenses to date from the time of their offer, that their offer had been contingent on them getting financing, which they had. She came back with her bank not being willing to give them the extra $23K for the taxes triggered because they couldn’t secure normal financing and I told her that was not my problem, nor had it been covered in the offer.

She also mentioned her husband’s business was not doing well and that they now needed their boat to be sold before buying mine. It was pretty obvious to me their stories kept changing and I’d lost hope of the sale ever going through. At this point, I even made the offer to her of dropping the price of my boat by $25K which was even more than the $23K they’d needed for the taxes, and I knew they had been approved for $300K by their bank. She declined my reduced offer and she finished off once again telling me they’d be coming after me for the deposit and expenses and we left it at that.

Shortly after hanging up from that call, another broker called that I was also working with to see whether his client had contacted me. I told him no, the amount was far less than what I wanted but I’d entertain it all the same. This whole frustrating process of trying to get my boat sold taught me much about the boat sales industry, what people said and did were complete opposites, the importance of having proper paperwork and contracts, and to keep meticulous notes on everything. Still to this day – if I see any trouble in any of my dealings, I tend to keep track of it all as you never know when you’ll have to go back later and memory tends to forget many things.

In fact the buyers did come back at me, but many years later. This timeframe I’m blogging about today is March 2003. It was two full years later, March 2005 when I got served papers at my home for the deposit of $25K. I of course consulted with a lawyer, and I countersued the boat broker I’d started this whole deal with in May 2005 to cover all my bases. Lots of documentation was needed which I thankfully had, my chronological list of events was invaluable and after much dallying around, it finally went to discovery.

We were exceptionally prepared, they were not. Their lawyer was a cocky, arrogant little guy, tried to get my goat by bringing up the fact my husband had died on board so therefore that would reduce the value of the boat and tried pretty much everything he had to get his clients, my buyers, their deposit back. All of this of course cost big bucks both for me with my lawyer and what was needed to bring this to discovery, plus their lawyer too. In the end, we didn’t back down and they realized they were not going to win so decided we’d all settle without paying further monies. I was out an additional $8K for legal fees, I’m sure they were out at least that amount or more, but was glad it finally was resolved and over with. Learned a lot going through that legal process too and learned not to be fearful or intimidated by anyone, but it was one helluva expensive lesson – story of my life lol!

I guess I got tired of keeping notes because much of my daytimer is blank for April 2003. I did make a note April 14th that I’d called a local store who sold hunting, camping, shooting equipment to see if there was any interest in purchasing my husband’s reloading equipment and custom bench, so I was still trying to unload many of my husband’s things he’d accumulated.

I’ve noted May 13, 2003 “Got my Dell Dude!” which was a slogan Dell Computers were using at the time and I’d just received my new laptop :). With Spring coming, I was so looking forward to enjoying my newly planted backyard gardens. I didn’t discuss this on my November 2002 blog post, but I’d finally decided to treat myself to getting my empty backyard done. I had a big yard with only grass in it and had done the deck the previous year in 2001, so I now planned carefully what I wanted for gardens.

I’d consulted with a feng shui gardener and she gave me the 9 sections of my yard, the various plant materials and colours for each sector and I used her guidelines in conjunction with my landscaper. He went through all the suggestions, came up with a great plan also keeping low maintenance in mind and it all came together late Nov. 2002. So Spring 2003 was my first year to really enjoy the new blooming of everything and I couldn’t wait to enjoy it.

Was also having a horrible problem with a Mama racoon that made a nest for her babies in the attic section of my living room ceiling. It sounded as though they were chewing their way through the ceiling and I was worried they’d break through and just drop into my living room. May 22nd I’ve noted Mama was caught on top of the roof in a live trap cage. Then it was a matter of getting the babies out and that was a long process too. The wildlife people were so fed up trying to catch this racoon that they even offered to give me my money back but I told them not a chance! Get that animal and its babies out of there. Finally on May 24th Mama and babies were all safely transported away!

May 2003 I’d also ordered a few pieces of lawn furniture for my back deck. We’d bought some beautiful lawn furniture years prior for our old house, but some had been used on the boat when the new house had no place for it and unfortunately, quiet a few expensive chaises and chairs had gone overboard in bad weather while on the boat and I needed a few more things to even up the set. I cleared the shipment myself at customs and set up the new and old lawn furniture and was so thrilled with how my yard finally looked. I did up my 9 deck planters with flowers and remember sitting out on the first night it was all done, admiring everything, listening to the small fountain and wondered if Rob could see what I’d done and what he’d have thought of it all. I also felt sad that I had no one to share this marvelous backyard with or life in general.

Went for dim sum with my girlfriend on May 25th and noted “Nice!”. May 26th I received a fax from my old corporate lawyer that came from the Labour Board. Turns out two of my previous employees had filed a complaint with the Labour Board that I’d not given them enough notice before terminating them when I had my Firestone dealership closed down Sept. 2002. I was disappointed as they’d known as well as I how badly things were going, I’d let them take whatever things they’d wanted from my shop like a small fridge, stereo, other tools, etc. for free and sure wasn’t expecting them to come after me later.

Ticked me off, but figured it was just par for the course and they were trying to get more money out of me. Don’t recall what transpired, but remember nothing much and no further monies were given to them. I was disappointed and hurt they’d do this, but wrote it off to another of life’s lessons. The oldest of the two mechanics had been calling me and keeping in touch seeing how I was since closing the business, we’d gotten to know one another quite well, he’d share about his family, what was going on, etc. After getting this Labour Board complaint, he still had the audacity to keep calling but I no longer took his calls. I think even a year or two later he still occasionally called. Never could figure out why but didn’t care to find out.

May 29th I’ve noted that my son’s school Principal called and that they definitely wanted to downgrade him. She said he was vacant in class and had “quiet” defiance. She once again said she felt he was depressed and that she recommended counselling. My son said he’d rather go to public school than to be mocked and teased about being downgraded from College to Academy level. My son didn’t seem all that upset, but I sure was and was extremely disappointed and cried. My son told me he had no homework that night. I’ve noted “BAD DAY!!!” and hadn’t done a note like that in a long time so it must have been bad.

May 30th I checked his agenda where notes and homework were recorded and found out my son had lied and had hidden a note from his Literature teacher saying his book report was overdue. I asked him why he lied, and he said I was already freaking out! I told him better to have one freakout not two!

As I do this blog and look back at what was going on in my life then, I’m always amazed at how many balls I was juggling at once and kept going. It serves as a good reminder to me what I’m capable of and although I’m glad things have calmed down, I know there’s not much I can’t handle. 🙂

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