A tale from the past

Hi there…

How are you today? I’m building a headache here!

But, I’ve been wanting to tell you about an event that happened about 8 years ago that was traumatic for my wife: who thought I was losing my cognitive processes; in other words, was I losing my marbles. Early onset dementia anyone?

After an evening of cultural infusion for some forgotten event, my wife & I decided to return our home in Etobicoke, the western borough of the Greater Toronto Area, by taking the quicker, more direct, 501 Queen Streetcar.

To get this streetcar, we are at the North East corner of Queen and Yonge streets. Even late at night, this intersection, this streetcar stop, is very busy, many people milling around, waiting for a ride…

We are waiting, one boy is 6 and the other is 2ish, closing in on 3, something like that… There is a Tim Hortons steps away… anyways, I believe my wife suggested I go get some Timbits for the boys, and a coffee, something to keep the kids awake as we were all walking, no stroller for the wee lad. So, I left the three of them at the corner while I went to get nourishment.

I wasn’t gone very long, but long enough to leave the store just as a much delayed 501 groaned to a stop at Yonge Street. It was packed, a busload of people got off, like kids rushing out from school at Friday afternoon, only there was also another busload of people waiting to get on! For 7 minutes it was crowded, confusing, crush of people.

So, there I was, quickly walking towards the corner, and entering this labyrinth of humans — remember please, I am Deaf-Blind, my night vision is already poor. — and I said to myself: ‘Great timing,’ and ‘…maybe they got on…’. In that split second, I made a choice; to board the streetcar. I didn’t even look around to see if my wife was waving at me, instead I ran, pell-mell, with hands full, toward the inviting back doors of the familiar 501.

I put one foot on, grabbed the handrail, when suddenly I was jerked backwards with tremendous force, I was surprised that I didn’t drop the coffee!

The force of the grab spun me around, and I was ready to lash out, I probably had some vulgarity on the tip of my tongue ready to trash talk the idiot who stopped me from joining my wife and kids…

That insult did not cross my lips, I was looking into the bright eyes of my wife!

Quickly she pulled me back to the curb and to the kids, who were sitting on a high window sill. I believe she was crying, I bet she was. And the kids were, at that age, nonplussed, and just wanted their snacks.

My wife, visibly shaken, yelled-signed at me: “Why you get-on streetcar?”

“…Thought 3-of-you got-on finish…” I signed feebly, with the conviction of a bluejay trying to outfly a torando.

The Tornado roared back: “We family! We-4 get on together! Left kids with strangers to grab you! I need help with kids…”…

The bluejay quailed and crowed, the tornado overpowered, hot tears rolled, apologies followed, preferably!

Please note: she was not berating me for my split-second decision to board the now long gone 501 Queen Street westbound streetcar, but concerned that I was not paying attention, not looking around to see if, maybe, she was frantically waving at me… with my poor vision, I should have been more observant!

We did get the next, less crowded, 501 about 17 minutes, and 9 apologies, later. That 501 actually caught up to the first 501. Typical streetcar travel!

While I was writing this blog, another similar event swam up from the murky mire of my memories. I’ll keep it short.

This story there were only three of us, we were travelling from Scarborough, East Toronto, to Etobicoke. It was summer and hot in the city, we were going to travel in style on the GO Train. Which could zoom from Main Street in Scarborough to Long Branch in Etobicoke in 25 minutes, or thereabouts.

We were actually rushing it, as the next train was arriving in 2 minutes, we raced down the ramp, I had the kid in an umbrella stroller, and my wife said, while running, “Me buy tickets” followed by, but missed by me, “wait for me.” The wife ducked into the station, while the train was stopping, and doors were opening. I was raising the kid, stroller and all, to toss him, stroller and all, onto the train…

When the wife runs out, grabs me, and the kid mid-throw… can you picture that?

She yells-signs at me: “I need buy tickets first! If you-2 got-on, doors close slam fast! I stuck here!”

My lame-ass retort was only: “I have pass!”

“I don’t!” was her retort to my retort. “If we get on without ticket, charge will! You need to think about actions!”

My wife was concerned I was developing forgetfulness. But no, I have CAPOS, muddy thinking is a part of ataxia. These incidents were a sign of things to come. And boy are they still coming!

My wife and I, we will be celebrating 20 years of marriage in 2022, we are still in love and will continue to stay that way! No matter what is thrown our way!

Thank you for reading, sharing, liking and donating!

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