The hardest thing I’ll ever have to do.

Had a conversation with Emily today about Chef and Ariane (Chef’s autistic daughter.) I said this could be the most difficult thing you’ll ever have to do but it could be the greatest thing you ever do as well. It made me start thinking about what I’ve been through with Ann Marie.

Pre-july

  • I was 29, wife and two kids, making 72k per year with my job, freelance and rental. I owned two houses.
  • Ann Marie’s failing interior design career caused a constant employment/layoff/EI cycle. It didn’t really matter though because she didn’t really need to be working.
  • We discussed either having more kids and she stay-at-home moms it or she goes back to school. Ann Marie decides to go back to school for nursing.
  • We figure we have a great relationship with my parents and my mom is dying so moving in with them wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. She could go to school in Kingston, my mom would have the time with the kids, and I could continue to rent our properties and make 90k per year instead of $72.

July 2011

  • New city / New job.
  • Ann Marie had to get 4 high school credits in a year while raising 3 year old twins.
  • Moved in with parents because my mother was “dying”. (Diagnosed in 2008 and given three years to live.)
  • Started paying full time daycare when we realized we didn’t trust my mom to discipline the kids at all.
  • House ran out of water.
  • Lucked out with good tenants in 106.
  • 104 tenants bailed without notice.
  • 104 got fleas and became vacant. Rentals were only breaking even.
  • I had a nervous breakdown and started trying to find an anti-depressant that worked.
  • Ann Marie volunteered at GoodLife.
  • Steve Jobs dies.

2012

  • First anti-depressant was bad. (Slept all the time.)
  • Bought a mini-van we didn’t end up using much. Really expensive.
  • Second anti-depressant was bad. (No libido.)
  • Living with my parents remained difficult.
  • Found a tenant for 104 after 6 months of dealing with fleas.
  • Couldn’t stand my parents so we ate out a lot. $$$
  • Ann Marie got shingles.
  • Ann Marie’s anxiety went through the roof during her first year of university. Her hair was falling out and she was crying uncontrollably all the time.

2013

  • Ann Marie’s grandfather died.
  • Ann Marie barely passed first year.
  • Inherited $25,000. Paid off debt.
  • Ann Marie got a job as a PSW.
  • Ann Marie got appendicitis and had to have it removed.
  • Ann Marie dropped out second year for the first time.
  • Good tenants in 106 terminated their lease.
  • New tenant in 104 didn’t pay their rent for 4 months.
  • Decided near Christmas we’d had enough and started desperately house hunting.

2014

  • Ann Marie got a job as a PSW.
  • Sold 106 easily. Sold 104 w electrical upgrades.
  • Paid off debt.
  • We bought our current house and invested $20k into upgrades.
  • Van died. Bought an Elantra.
  • I got Graves’ disease.
  • Ann Marie’s dad had a tumour found in his chest.
  • Grave’s disease almost killed me.
  • Ann Marie’s dad had open chest surgery to remove the tumour.
  • Ann Marie’s Grandmother had a heart attack.
  • Ann Marie dropped out of second year the second time.
  • Ann Marie’s complete breakdown  

2015

  • Cashed out our RRSPs. Paid off debt.
  • Things get better. We start to feel normal.
  • Ann Marie got a job as a PSW.
  • Ann Marie attempts second year again.

2016

  • Ann Marie passes second year.
  • Ann Marie gets a job in the renal unit at KGH as a PCA.
  • Millie’s mom Flora dies.
  • Ann Marie’s grandmother keeps having heart attacks and needs a valve surgery.
  • Ann Marie starts third year.

2017

  • Ann Marie passes third year.
  • Ann Marie gets a job in the renal unit at KGH as a PCA.
  • Ann Marie’s grandmother had her valve surgery and her dementia got way worse. 
  • Ann Marie’s great-uncle Josh dies.
  • Ann Marie’s cousin aria died. 
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