Money for Martin, where to begin? It’s now ‘97, I’ve borrowed $15,000 from Manfred to pay off Ray and to get out from his high interest rates. I’ve sold the Round House and Workshop to Luc and Annie and set their interest rates at 20% lower, which I’m also paying to Manfred for his loan. Yes, it’s a Crazy Clown that I am but I’m choosing a ‘bowl of soup’ for my mind’s peace to swim in.
I’m left with the Mushroom Building which gives me plenty of working space and its problems. I’m over 60 now with two pensions to consider. First my Canada Pension which I only contributed to for 3 years; $180 a month at 65, but an early value of $150 a month; a no brainer, I take it right away. The other is an Alberta Government Employee PLan, I have 13 years in it; I choose to wait but some time in 1988, I decide to take it early too.
Sometime that year I’ve scraped together $10,500 and I decide to offer that to Martin. “Yes, that would be nice but I have a mortgage to pay off”,!!! of course him too. I decide to take $500 a month from what Luc and Annie are paying me; and off I go to the Credit Union to sit down with a friendly accountant to discuss my situation: which had the added problem that Martin’s Bank wouldn’t deal with the Credit Union Clearing House in London. She thought about it for a while, but saying “don’t worry I’ll get it done”. Which she did until Martin’s death and I’d thanked her.
Martin’s initial response was slow at first, but as his sense of security rose, and maybe his embarrassment at being ‘bailed out’ subsided, his mood moved closer to one of optimism. His health as chafed by his demeaning battles with the NHS, continued for 2 more years. Then finally, with his own doctor ill in hospital and Martin needing his prescriptions; the Doctor’s secretary saying “she didn’t have the responsibility”; Martin ‘exploded again’ until with his “pills”; he remarkably added “I laughed about it afterwards”. Clearly a major breakthrough had occurred. He had found his way to a hospice, he had been talking to others who were also dying; he was not alone; something that I’d wished for my mother.
Two weeks before he died Martin phoned me and we had a long happy sharing with each other until, tired I think, he said “it sounds like there’s someone at the door”. Two days before he died he came back from that hospice to spend it with his family: his son Kevin and daughter Heather came and my eldest brother Raymond was called to join them. He drove across England to Cardiff and found all them in quiet amiable conversation while Martin, eyes closed appeared to be asleep. Raymond unsure, looked to Liz who confidently said “Oh, he knows you’re here” too; and it was here with his family that he found his peace.
I couldn’t have been happier for Martin; but if you think that was an “end” for him, you should have heard the endless ‘intrusions’ he would continue to pour into my mind. As a ‘spirit’ he was a free flier wanting to be part of my life still; and for many more months this new ‘friendship’ continued but then stopped. Briefly after that, Heather wrote saying that she was pregnant again; so teasingly I responded, saying that I thought Martin was planning on re-incarnation: Dalai Lama watch out. So when her son Edwin was born, I was sure, it was with a God-Grand Father in tow. More recently Edwin has uncovered a talent for playing a guitar, and the ambition for a band to play with. Thanks Martin, That was some life you’ve led, don’t stop.