Four Years, Nine Months, Three Days

 

Today she would be turning twenty-nine years old. The date always sneaks up on me and catches me out of the blue.  In the last four years I’ve developed a psychological routine that prepares me for May.  She was admitted May 1st, and passed on May 31st, the entire month is a psychological battle of endurance I have struggled with for the last four years.

n665245586_1086785_9894There were only a few cracks and relapses last year so I feel like I’m finally getting to a point where I’m ready to live twelve months of the year instead eleven.  There’s news coming this May that should help me reach that milestone – news I can’t talk about yet.  Though it will probably be the most trying period yet – aside from it being the fifth anniversary, I struggle with my own memories.

As per usual, the human mind is a great, yet unreliable machine.  I remember the stories, and the times I spent with her but a lot of them have now become just a memory of facts.  I’ve been telling the stories about her for so long I’ve become very good at the details, yet the more time passes, the more they become stories instead of memories.

I remember her crying after our first kiss, because I know it happened. But I’m losing sight of the look on her face as it happened.  Today she would’ve turned twenty-nine, I’m sure there would be some low-key event with some of her friends.

I still feel guilty even talking about her sometimes, there are so many of you who will read this who were closer with her, in fact I’m willing to bet most of you were.  I spent most of her battle with Cancer and the fallout from her treatments living on the west coast and talking to her off and on.  As I said before I had to leave the city years ago to find my own sanity, and although she changed my world and shaped the person I became – It was mostly done from afar.

She was always one of the two people I MUST see when I came to St. John’s.  #1. Elaine Mahon, #2. Chrystal Horwood.

Her death was the single most influential factor of my return to St. John’s. For that I can never express enough gratitude to her.  If I didn’t come back when I did I fear my life may have taken a different track and there’s no telling where I would be with now and with whom.

I still owe everything I am to her, a lot of you may have been closer with her physically, but she was one of the most important people in my life I have ever and will ever know.

Just in the way she looked at me I know she saw a man lurking in there someone, one far better than the one in the room.  She saw the person I have the potential to become, not the slack, unambitious, passive, waste of life that I was at the time.  I will forever be indebted to her for that.

It breaks my heart that I had to lose her to learn my lesson, but at least I can say that when that fifth anniversary comes I may finally be able to visit her with my head held high.  There won’t be anymore excuses, no more reasons why I haven’t hit the goals I wanted to hit – in her name.

I presently live in Paradise, I share a four bedroom home with my Fiancee, her father and our six year old daughter. (Before people scratch their heads about me having a six year old – I will clarify I met the little girl when she was two.)
I have two full length novels finished.  I have a six novella series that I’ll be wrapping up its first arc today or tomorrow.  By summer’s end I will be a self published author on Amazon.
There is other news I can’t mention yet, but I’ll fill you in later.

All of this I owe to a lot of people.  My parents for one, and others who have helped me along the way.  But with all due respect, I don’t think anyone deserves the credit more than Elaine Mahon.

Without her, I don’t know if I ever would’ve made it to Telelink where I met Jess, I doubt I ever would’ve got to the point where I FINALLY started taking my writing seriously.  Whether I crash and burn or not, it doesn’t matter – I’m trying.  I have a supportive family that are behind me and I’m giving it an honest to God shot.

I work as many hours writing as I do at my full time overnight job.

I believe nothing in my life is completely independent from Elaine’s influence in some way. I know she wouldn’t want me to still be upset, or depressed, or sad in any way about her situation – yet, days like this remind me of just how much I miss her.

Happy Birthday Elaine
~Devin

If I Saw You In Heaven <- Still as true today as it was back then – Still the hardest entry I’ve ever had to write.

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– 2010 In Review Part Two: The People And Places –

As I said yesterday it would be impossible to completely sum up such a long period of time in my life into a single entry, even breaking into a couple of entries will not do it proper justice.  I know that there will be some aspect of the year that I will end up leaving out, and if you are reading this and think there should have been something about you then I offer my sincerest apologies but for now I will go with what I can remember.

Disclaimer: Just because you were not mentioned in this entry does NOT mean that we are not friends or you are not important.  This is merely an observation of the changes in my life over 2010.  Eden, Carrie, Elaine, Chrystal, Kim, Bonus, Paul, James, Misty, Kelli, etc etc.  I’m not naming every important person to me here.  But Hopefully you get the idea.

I think one of the most surprising turn of events that happened in 2010 would not necessary involve a person, but a place.
Clancy’s Pub

Clancy’s Pub – September 2009

Going into this year Clancy’s was my home away from home.  Before I lived in Stephenville I am pretty certain that I spent just as much time at Clancy’s hanging out than I did in my home in St. George’s.  It was comfortable there and I felt like a member of the family.  Unfortunately, my regular routine of doing open mic was starting to weigh on my sanity.  I was learning new songs (or at least printing off new songs because no one can learn that many new songs in such a short period of time) but the problem is they were all getting overplayed because of how often I played.  I was getting tired of it all, and the customers were no longer even registering that I was playing anymore.  There are obvious exceptions, but for the most part I was stale.  Anytime word got out about someone else hosting I felt like there was a better crowd and better critique from the regulars.  So I quit.  Before the summer started I needed to find real work so I quit doing the open mics.  Of course since then I’ve done a couple when they needed someone and to this day I attest that I still will step in if they were in a spot… but for the most part I’m not considered anymore in those decisions.  My old role has been assumed by Kim Nippard.

This is all fine and good, but the problem is that now that the mentality has shifted to me being a patron, I’m just another face in the bar. I don’t feel overly close to any of the bartenders anymore.  Sure they are still pleasant and talk when there are not busy, but it isn’t the same. Clancy’s just doesn’t feel like home anymore.  This is by far the biggest surprise when I look at the year as a whole.

Now it’s time for the people who I think were noteworthy in 2010.  I’m going to clearly have to start this off with the Golden Age of course.
Jeff Vineham & Evan Willoughby

Jeff Vineham, Evan Willoughby, and ShallopNewf

I’m going to admit here, this combination took my by surprise.  I knew Jeff from mutual friends at CNA and we somewhat “bonded” I guess over poker in Corner Brook.  One random night I am going out to Corner Brook to hang out and Evan Willoughby (Who I was working with over the summer)  gets invited to come along… for the next month and half or so the three of us begin what Evan dubbed, “The Golden Age.”  Me and Jeff kind’ve just went with it.  But it’s true, Epic weekend, after Epic Weekend.  Misadventures in Corner Brook, trying to educate Evan on the behavior of women, and lots of alcohol being drank.  Jeff did state many times over that it was the best summer he has had, and I am inclined to agree it was pretty amazing.  The post-golden age friendships were tested though.  I’d still be okay with considering Evan a good friend but he has since left Stephenville and we hardly talk.  Jeff ended up finally getting the girl he wanted and him and Carrie have been together ever since, some drama between then and now threw a monkey wrench in our friendship that only now seems to be slipping away… Jeff was in contention for being my best friend during that summer, and even now I still wouldn’t say he’s far from it.  New friends are always a plus when reviewing a year eh?

Stacey Green, Kelsey Sibley, Nicole Delaney.
These are the three women that I have been linked to since the break up with Candace.  Also where I got the milf-tamer reputation since at the time of the “relations”  they were all single mom’s.  It’s funny to look at this now because they are all in relationships now, well Nicole is practically.

Nicole Delaney & Jude

Nicole’s note worthiness in 2010 comes from the fact that it prides me to see that she has gotten control of her life and seems to be on the right track.  She is “getting to know” a great guy (as far as I am told about him), and she’s back in school.  This is a far cry from her life in 2009 when she was working in the Call Center until she gave birth to her son, Jude.  Going out with Jude’s father who was, (in the spirit of the holiday season I will not be as negative as I would like to) far from Mr. Dad.  Nicole’s turn around is something to note in my review of this year because of the pride I have in what she’s accomplished.

Kelsey is a bit of a different case, worth mentioning in this entry because it was only this year where I met her. Randomly going to see a movie with her in Corner Brook blossomed into a very unorthodox friendship, but a close friendship none the less.  To be completely blunt on this topic, I don’t feel that we’re very close anymore, partially my own fault because of drunken conversations, but if nothing else I received an education in my friendship with her.  Basically I know that it is important to know what you want and what you have to do to get there.  The things that hinder her progress seem so trivial to me, irrational mentalities…

Kelsey Sibley

but in reflection I look at myself and see the same.  People observing my own detrimental behavior could say the same.  So in essence it was through the friendship with Kelsey that I learned that you gotta overcome any mental or social barriers holding you back.

Then, that leaves Stacey.  I’m sure I could write an entire entry about her in and of itself so it’s going to be difficult to sum everything up.  Meeting outside Clancy’s by her essentially bitching about me not inviting her camping when I invited Eden.  That should have been my first clue that she was going to be a bit different.  Anyway, over the first half of the summer and extending well into the post-golden age era Stacey actually surprised me.. as I did with her.  I’m usually a very observant guy and most of the time I can tell someone what they are feeling or explain why it is they do what they do when they don’t even realize it themselves.  I do not know if Stacey will admit to this but I’m pretty sure I’ve displayed this observation skill to her a couple of times throughout our friendship, knowing her a lot better than she thought possible for someone she met a month prior.  However, she still intriguing in that she still can surprise me.  That isn’t an easy feat.

Stacey Green & Her Boyfriend Tyler

I’ve made no secret about this, but yeah Me and her starting getting closer, but it ended up going nowhere.  I really wasn’t ready for any kind of relationship at the time and she had already had the foundation set for what is now her current relationship.  If I had come around a month earlier, and if I wasn’t going through a break up at the time who knows.  All I know is that 2010 brought me friendship with the female I needed in my life.  She is the female equivalent of myself when it comes to advice and dealing with dramatic bullshit.  The same counsel I would offer someone, is the counsel she offered me during a few times.  Stacey & Jeff remain the top two new people in my life this year.

Living In Stephenville – Johnny Pardy & Jawsh Nickerson

Finally getting out of St. George’s and having my own place in Stephenville.  This has made an incredible amount of difference in my life.  Instead of a gas tank lasting a week, I can stretch 20 dollars of gas over two weeks… a full take

Johnny Pardy, Jawsh Nickerson

might last me a month.   Living with Johnny was something we had planned for quite some time anyway. But Jawsh is the surprise.  Eden was our intended third room-mate but she backed out to go to Residence with Mandy, so we picked up Mr. Nickerson.  This is something that I believed worked out impeccably.  Disclaimer.. Jawsh…. Is… Gay.. okay, now that’s out-of-the-way.  The living situation is great, we have some issues of cleaning and money management but all in all they are without question the best two room mates one could ask for.  Considering I didn’t really know Jawsh all that well at first had the potential to be a terrible thing but no.. the guy is epic.  The first thing I remember hearing from him, was to say “I hate fags”  coming from a gay guy… this is when I knew we’d be getting along.  I’m looking forward to this semester.

Sabrina Barrett

Sabrina Barrett

I guess it would be unfair to leave Sabrina out of this post.  I mean, for a period of time she was the closest thing I had to a girl I could talk to  about shit.  We were good friends, and saw eye to eye.  There was one terrible night though, I completely broke down.. it was the eve of my epiphany that put me on the right track.  I broke down with everything going through my head with Sabrina, in the midst of her arguing with her ex-boyfriend.. it was not a good night.  I crashed on her floor, left the next morning, and we have not been as good of friends ever since.  I’m not sure if it is coincidence or if the night had anything to do with it, I just notice that this is when it started.  I could describe Sabrina as the same as Stacey in that she offers counsel similar to what I would provide someone, I guess that’s why I felt close to her.  I helped her when shit was on her mind, and she helped me… until that night.

Fast forward to today… again it’s the same, we’re not overly close.  We barely talk except for when I do show up at Clancy’s and even then it is only for a moment’s conversation before that is finished for the night.  I’ve only really received two texts from her in the past few months, both times when she was upset.  Which I do find a little flattering, I mean our friendship somewhat dissolved, but she can still come to me when she needs someone.  Couldn’t really ask for more than that.

Surprise of Steve Squires
This completely floors me.  I mean, I knew Steve for a while now this isn’t new.  But I mean, I would not have gone as far as to say that I talked to him frequently.  But, working over the summer at the Marketing building, there were very few people online, one of them would be Steve Squires.  He also usually gives me a Facebook chat message after each entry I put up back then.  So, we usually end up in a conversation about the topic matter of the entry, and I am completely dumbfounded at how alike we are when it comes to thought process.  Almost everything he says is a thought of mindset that I shared myself, and a while ago I learned he is also a huge avid WWF fan.  Yes I said WWF.   The man knew who Jack Tunney was.. So, Steve has elevated from, a guy I know that I talk to when I see him.. to a guy I’ll actually just talk to.

 

Leah Swyers

Leah Swyers
This one actually strikes me not as a surprise, but it’s without question the most random occurrence of the year. Late night, nobody online, I randomly send a message and we chatted.  Been chatting every since.  Along with Squires, Leah here is probably one of the big contributers to me still finding the energy to keep this blog going.  Not to mention the insights and discussion that she offers surpass almost all that I have experienced before.  I can’t believe I did not include this paragraph in the initial entry, I also cannot believe that I only started talking to her as she left the province.  Sharing a similar sense of humor, interests, and outlook on life she’s pretty interesting to say the lease.  Definitely unexpected but still, one of the most pleasant surprises that 2010 brought.

The Epiphany & The Clean Slate
Psychologically I am far from impervious.  In fact a lot of my problems is that I do not understand the reason I do the things I do or why I feel the way I do.  2010 was a year of inner thought and reflection.  I feel more complete now after everything.  That being said, there were two events this year that I believed shaped the mindset that I have right now.  One happened over the summer. April 29th, 2010.  The day I ceased to be the fool I’ve been and the demise of the uncertainty that plagued my mind.  April 30th, I became who I am right now.  I let go of the past, I embraced the future, and I started enjoying the present.  I started enjoying the freedom of Single life, and I no longer carried with me a dark shadow of remorse that followed me everywhere I went.  Hell It was this epiphany and the subsequent Facebook Note that I wrote that paved the way for this blog.  Still going strong body and mind.

The Clean Slate, I can’t remember the exact date, I’m sure I could run through Facebook status’ and find the exact date.  The relevant thing is that sometime in the fall of 2010 I proclaimed everyone will receive a Clean Slate from me.  No more holding onto shit that bogged me down with my friendships.  Of course this is unprecedented for me because once I lose trust in someone, we are through.  This is the first time in my life that I sent a mass forgiveness for untrustworthy behavior.  So far it worked out.  As I said, I’m back to having a friendship with Samantha Stone, the Jeff and Carrie fiasco has subsided and as long as everyone leaves me out of their drama I’m sure it’ll be mended.  These two events are the biggest contributions I would give credit to for my change in mental age over the year.

That is basically it.  There was a piece written on Candace, but despite my original claim to not censor this blog, I refused to include it.  I think it would just spark more complications and right now I don’t need anymore of those.  So, There you have it.  That is my 2010.  Part 3 is going to be up tomorrow, but that is most likely going to be a mission statement for what I’m hoping and planning for 2011.

To those of you going out and having tonight, I hope everyone has a good night, and best of luck in 2011.

Welcome 2011!