When I joined an alcohol recovery program in 2008, I was told not to be afraid to ask for help so here I am asking for help. It all started when my 31 year old daughter, Roxanne died trying to rescue a boy from drowning on April 21, 2007. Unfortunately the boy also died that day. Roxanne would have been 32 on May 10th which is also Mother's Day weekend.
My husband, Jack was devastated and mentally he could not take it all in. In 1989 his two children were shot and his son died at the age of eighteen. His daughter is still alive but not doing well. In October of 2007, Jack had a heart attack and almost died. At the time Jack had a garage, Jack's Garage, and I had a dutch store , De Winkel & Cafe. I tried to go back to work after my daughter's death but I just could not cope. I decided to sell De Winkel but no one wanted to buy it so at the end of 2007 I closed my store. Financially it was not a good thing to do but I just could not go on. I went into therapy and joined AA in 2008. Alcohol had become my way of coping. Drinking and then sleeping!
Jack never dealt with any of his losses so his stressors became too much and he developed early onset Alzhiemers. In 2008 there was also a stock market crash where we lost a big chunk of our savings. This just added to Jack's stress level and he started making bad business decisions. More of our savings dewindled away. He got angry and raised his hourly rate from $69 an hour to $95 an hour. He was no longer happy go lucky Jack and customers noticed. As the days past Jack lost most of his customers, blaming it all on the economy. He sat in an empty garage day after day hoping to make some money but no one came. When I suggested that we sell the building that had my store, his garage and an apartment, Jack was furious that I would even suggest such a thing. But by 2009, I had enough and put the place up for sale for $395,000. Jack was angry and refused to have realtor signs posted on the property but eventually he agreed. The first buyer we got was a woman mechanic and she offered us $375,000 which we accepted. Her son had died the year before at the age of 17. So we had a lot in common. But when the closing day got closer she disappeared and we never saw her again. We learned that another of her close family members had died and that she had a nervous breakdown. So that was the end of that.
Jack's memory problems got worse but doctors and specialists all said that it was just stress. Another year went by and still no new buyers so we lowered the price to $350,000 then to $295,000. We got another buyer in July of 2014. She offered us $275,000 which we accepted. She wanted to start working on the apartment right away so we let her. Jack started selling off his equipment because she wanted to take over everything by the end of August. So Jack sold his hoists, tow truck, tire machines, etc. This was such a great relief to both Jack and I. Now we could actually have some money and move forward. We had moved in 2009 to Crow Lake into a new house that we had built overlooking the lake and we wanted to retire there.
When August came the woman stopped work on the apartment and said she had changed her mind about buying our building. This was absolutely devastating to both Jack and I. What were we going to do now? All the garage equipment was sold so we couldn't really sell it as a garage anymore. How can I explain that feeling to you? It was just awful! Jack became so depressed and started saying things like,
"Why don't I just hang myself!" Oneday I had a big knife in my hand and he came up to me and asked me to kill him. By this time I was so stressed out by his depression and suicidal comments that I actually thought about stabbing him with that knife. I knew we couldn't go on the way we were so the next day when Jack went to work, I called his doctor and made an appointment. I packed a bag of clothes and toiletries for Jack because no matter what happened he could not come back home with me.
I called his sister and told her what was happening so she came with her husband, to the doctors with me. That night we had Jack commited into the Queensway Carleton Hospital. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done, leaving Jack behind. His Alzheimers had progressed even further. Now we were in financial distress and needed to sell our house and move back to town so Jack could be near his doctors. The doctors also took his driver's license because his memory was so bad he could no longer remember places and got lost just driving to work. All our savings and RRSPs are gone. We need to sell our home and move to a cheaper place so we can afford to live on Jack's disability. Our house is valued at $300,000 so we put it on the market for $279,000 and have since lowered it to $259,000. No one is interested in buying our home. The taxes need to paid. Everything I am trying to do isn't working. Here I am at 61 years old with no retirement fund. How are we suppose to live. If we sell the house for $250,000 we won't have enough money to put a down payment on another house. We need help! Any money at all would greatly help us.
All my life its been one thing after another! My sister was killed in a car accident 5 days after we immigrated to Canada. My mother became severely depressed that lasted her whole life. She discovered alcohol when I was 13. She tried to commit suicide twice. She died at 65. My father was also killed in a car accident in 1997. My brother, John was in a motorcycle accident leaving him brain damaged. His wife died of cancer a few years later and my brother ended up on the streets of Ottawa, unable to cope with life. He died in April of this year at the age of 57. He was an alcoholic and developed dementia. It was horrible to see him fading away. I ended up with his two children. My house burnt down the same night my son was born. When I left my first husband,with my two children, he kidnapped them twice and the third time he tried to shoot me. Luckily the bullet went over my shoulder.
After my daughter, Roxanne, died my son became severely depressed. I got a phone call that he was in trouble so I had to go looking for him and found him living in a shed. All his personal belongings gone, including all his musical instruments which he so loved. I took him to the Perth Emergency and he was later admitted to the Brockville Psyciatric Hospital. His stepbrother had been shot and died and he now also had to deal with the death of his sister. I can never describe to you how hard that was for me.
In May of 2012, I was in Holland visiting relatives when I got a phone call from Jack telling me that my nephew/son , who was in his early twenties, was in critical condition in the Kingston Hospital. All his organs had shut down and he had a heart attack. I had to take an early flight home so I could be with him. He is another victim of alcoholism. His mother had died of cancer and his father was living on the streets of Ottawa.
In 2012 I saw a building for sale in Perth which had an apartment and a small restaurant. I thought I could buy it and open up another De Winkel & Cafe. It was in a perfect location right on a busy street and inside was everything I needed to start a cafe. I thought it would be the perfect solution to Jack and my financial situation. I could do something I was really good at and start making money again. The rent for the apartment would pay the taxes. Also when the garage in Merrickville sold it would pay for the building and Jack would also have something to do everyday. As soon as I opened the door for business in July of 2012 there were line ups. It was just great! I had an awesome staff and money was rolling in. I started having problems with the bank. The business bank manager was in Brockville and she insisted that I have 3 bank accounts. She wanted me to have an account for deposits, one for my mortgage payments and one personal. I only wanted one account. The first sign of trouble was when automatic bill payments weren't going through and was I put under collection plus I had NSF fees. Then mortgage payments weren't going through so the bank seized my account and Jack's account for his business. I kept going to the bank to fix the problem because they were taking the money out of the wrong account which I had been trying to close for months. I still had three bank accounts and was only using one. By the middle of 2013 things with the bank got worse and worse. I had a new bank manager now and still nothing was going right. It was just a big mess that I couldn't seem to fix! I had no clue what the bank was doing to me. The cafe and store were very busy so where in hell was the money going? The bank could not explain to me what they were doing to my satisfaction. It was all so stressful and frustrating so by the end of 2013 I had enough and I walked across the street after talking with the bank manager again and getting no answers, and I put the building up for sale. It sold in two weeks and I took another financial hit. I put the bank under investigation but nothing ever came of it. I haven't been able to file my income tax for 2013 and 2014 because the same bank has lost my paperwork.
And now my husband, Jack has Alzhiemers and is no longer the man he use to be. Plus we are broke and desperately need help. Jack is now more like a child and I am his care giver. It is very very hard. We need help. I can't go on like this! I don't know what else to do. We need money to get us into a cheaper home and closer to civilization. Please help!