Category Archives: fear

The Appointment by Raymond Roy

Window sample packed so tightly into my coupe, I had to lean the front seat forward just to squeeze it in. 2pm in home demo appt. 

“You wait right here young man, I will be right back”. The lady of the house went in to the kitchen. The house smelled old. As I heard her clanking around, I couldn’t help but notice the city citation letter sitting on her coffee table. It listed specific home repairs in lieu of condemning the property. Windows was one of them. As I understood her husband was on the road driving tractor trailer. 

Clanging in the kitchen continued, muffling out what sounded like voices. 

Sitting patiently, tap, tap, tap, an iridescent house fly pummeled its exoskeleton against the plastered wall. Suddenly it dive bombs down into to corner of the room on to what appeared to be a matted rug sticking out from behind an ottoman. Like John Coffey in “the Green Mile” opening his mouth to release the evil he had sucked out of another being, a flurry of flies swarmed out from behind the foot rest. Much like a flock of starlings swirling in the windy autumn day, the flies orchestrated their way toward my side of the room gathering on the unkept glass of the south facing picture window. Looking closer at the matted rug, I realized it wasn’t a rug at all but sadly was the tail of a once beloved family pet. Hmm, 

“Ma’m, everything okay in there? Ma’m? ”

Walking toward the arched doorway, I struggled to get my footing as the well worn shag rug offered little resistance to the soles of my dress shoes. To the left, the front door was to the and to the right a narrow hallway leading to the kitchen. Her back was to me as she continued to bang dirty dishes around. As I walked closer, the voice I had heard was hers, spewing out a series of expletives so graphic it would make a sailor blush. “Ma’m? ” Approaching the rooms threshold, I understood what the clanging was loud, the was no water in the sink nor was any coming out of the tap as she repeatedly went through the motions. 

Through the kitchen window I could see the overgrown back yard. 

“Ma’m”?  

She looked up, put down her pots, as if to surrender, her shoulders sank. I reached out a hand and gently placed it on her back. It was if she had never experienced a human touch. Heavy teardrops rolled down her face ashen cheeks, splashing on the chipped porcelain sink. The last thing she needed was windows. 

“Day in Court”

I was 15 years old, visiting my Dad in Edmonton Alberta during my high school Spring break in Washington State. Strangely He and I went on a shopping spree. Blue plaid suit, deep blue shirt and a white tie. 


The next day we got up early. Dad standing in front of me shirtless freshly shaven, smelled of Aqua Velva, and his fine thin brown hair still wet. A lit Export “A” cigarette hung in his lips, the neglected ash fought the forces of gravity as he struggled to complete a full Windsor knot in my new tie. Looking me over, it was if he was searching for something he had lost long ago. 

Securing each button on his dress shirt, his “Born to Love” jailhouse tattoo on his chest slowly disappeared from sight…….
Sitting in a narrow hallway of a provincial court, for what seemed hours, little did I know, I was to be Exhibit A in his “day in court”. Dull humming of the flickering fluorescent lights was interrupted by a “Click, Clack” as the court door opened. “Raymond, come in here”. Wincing I entered the brightly lit court room. Unaccustomed to the tie, my throat tightened as I saw a room full of serious faces. I sensed that a dialogue had been taking place and I was about to become part of it. My ears were ringing, I felt like I was looking through a fisheye lens. My Dad glancing at me with out making full eye contact. (He was somewhere else mentally) “Raymond,tell everyone how old you are”. 

I blurted out, “15 years old sir”. 

All eyes were on me, still oblivious to what was going on. Through the fog, my Dad was pointing at me, I heard “Your Honor, this how I looked!” “This is how old I was when I was arrested for joyriding in a jeep and sent into general population”! Still a bit puzzled, Dad gave me a quick glance of reassurance, and escorted me back in the hall. 

The story continues with me coming to understand the high level of abuse and mistreatment my Father experienced as a teen while in “custody”. During one particular incident he was forced to clean up the room directly under the gallows. 

I hadn’t heard these details until I was sixteen and with his death shortly after that, I put these stories away. It was too much to carry as a teenager. 
If this was my Dad’s “day in court”. Why had I felt judged? Why did I feel the weight of the chains that seemed to still bind him? 
Was the click of the courtroom door the securing of an emotional lock for which I had not the key? 

What had I done? Answer? Not a damn thing! 
As a teen, part of the burden was simply knowing that injustices such as these even existed. Wanting to rectify the injustice against your loved one is only natural and I had to accept the fact that this was HIS “Day in Court”. Those were HIS choices, and not mine. I would and still have many of my own mistakes to pay for.

There is importance in speaking out against injustice. Getting a “Day In Court” may seem ideal but a sobering fact is that justice as you perceive it may not prevail. 

Secondly, understand who “The Court” is before asking for them to pass judgment. Otherwise, be not surprised when “the judgemental” judge you. 

Finally, as a Dad of 5, the only one wearing a blue plaid suit to MY “Day in Court” will be me.


RIP GJR 

Peace. 

Living In Tension 

True personal growth comes when you choose to honestly communicate and understand those you have conflict with even if it means living in tension and being accountable for each of your own actions. This is when discrimination and self serving categorization of others ends. 

If you are of Christian persuasion, please remember, Christ did not come as more commandments on a stone tablet, rigid, cold and without feeling but, rather a warm, loving, and totally transparent being. 

The Obituary 


I learned that you are dead. 
Although words say you have passed, your cruel deeds committed by you to me as a child still lingered for decades.
You might have softened and treated your own children better than you treated your foster children. 
I had a condition you judged as a plea for attention. Rather than love and understanding you provided physical and verbal abuse. 
Perhaps you learned cruelty from those that mistreated you. I have pity for you or anyone in that circumstance if that was the case. 
Perhaps you thought you taught discipline and tough love. You were mistaken. 

I learned from you how it was to feel neglected and mistreated. 
Because others that showed me what unconditional Love was, I was given the gift of learning that not all in the world were evil and cruel. 

With this gift I have strived to the best of my ability to choose Love. 

Love has the power to break all chains, yes, even the chains that until this point attempted to bind me, even from the grave. 
Dedicated to all child victims and survivors of abuse, neglect, and those many many upstanding Foster Parents that instill Love and understanding to those in need. God Bless You. 

The Sin Of Anger

There is a saying that when you hold onto anger, it’s like drinking poison while expecting the other person to die. 

Last year at this time we were part of the loving vibrant church. It was a large part of who we were as a family and we miss it dearly. I won’t go into any details of what happened at the church other than to share how I feel. I can honestly say I don’t hate those responsible for destroying the church as it was, as hate is too strong a word even for those I am angry with.

 Yes, I still find myself angry.   

 I am angry with the lies and rumors that they chose spread even after they  were shown to be untrue. 

I am angry with those who failed to make amends towards my family and to those close to me.

Jesus Christ took away our permission to call people sinners and said, love your neighbor. And by the way, (here is the tough part ) everyone is your neighbor. 

Up until this point in my life I feel I have been a forgiving person. I have gone toe to toe with someone, got my nose busted but afterwards sat down for a beer together as if nothing ever happened. Perhaps it was because physical wounds are easy.  
Recently I was sharing with my best friend on how I was amazed that my children could be so forgiving of those who have crossed them while I as the parent, struggled to be forgiving of the infraction against them. It’s simple she explained, those are your children and you want to protect them.

 I believe as Christians, if we want to hate sin, it must be our own sin.I must now choose to spit out the poison of anger. The sin of anger. May God have mercy on me. Amen. 

What we can learn from Archie Bunker? 

” That guy is a regular Jew”! As a 10 year old, I really had no idea, what that statement was insinuating. As an adult it came to my attention that it was a derogatory remark meaning somebody had a stereotypical frugality that supposedly Jews were known for. I was still trying to figure out why I was being called a “Cheesehead” (supposedly being Canadian born had something to do with it). For a moment think of Archie Bunker. He made bigoted stereo typical comments such as these. He was a hardworking man. Drove a taxi as a second job to make extra money. He came home like clockwork and expected dinner on the table.

Periodically Archie also showed his soft underbelly. I remember an episode of All in the Family when Archie painfully reminisced about being tormented with the nickname of “shoebooty”. It turned out the nickname came from his childhood when his family was so poor, he didn’t have a matching pair of shoes and was forced to wear one shoe and one boot. 

 Recently , it dawned on me , that the above description could’ve easily been that of my stepfather Tony. If he missed work because he was sick, that meant he couldn’t get out of bed. When my dad was on strike at work, he picked berries in the fields as well as bailing hay to make extra money. Tony also shared stories where he had struggled growing up, For example it was was a treat to eat a raw sweet onion, just like an apple. or the luxury of getting fruit in his stocking at Christmas. A stark difference between these two men was that Archie was a White Anglo Saxson Protestant aka a WASP and Tony was a Mexican American originally from Texas.The premise of this post is not too belittle or dishonor but rather take an honest look at perhaps what made these men tick. Just in the past week, millions of, Archie Bunkers showed up to vote. The reference is not to that of the bigoted ignorant not politically correct voter, but rather The citizen that is busting their ass, see their house devalue. Seeing manufacturing jobs go elsewhere and a government that seems to be only interested in themselves.

 Back to the comment at the beginning of this post. What statement have you made? Typical, (fill in the blank), right winger, bible thumper, socialist, libtard, liberal, and conservitroll. I remember a few of Archie’s favorites, Pinko Commie, (still never figured out the “pinko”reference). 

Point being, how much of the “fill in the blank” portion of your statement is shaped by what we are being fed by social media, agenda driven news sources, as well as, personal relationships. 

I will leave you with this, *Carroll O’Connor who played Archie Bunker, was one of the most liberal open-minded caring people you can imagine. Not only is this a tribute to his acting skill but also a tribute to him as a human being, A human being who took the time to not only portray but, also understand somebody elses point of view. A point of view on the other end of the spectrum. Peace. 

-RR

 

*Carroll O’Connor played Archie Bunker on the groundbreaking 1970s sitcom All in the Family. His comedic portrayal of a working-class bigot brought political and social issues into the popular dialogue of the time.