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Imagine someone telling you, they believe their mentally disabled son, who is 9, should be castrated and that someone is your husband.

Imagine you are legally separated but residing in the same house.

Imagine fearing for your safety and the safety of your children due to your husband’s actions.

Imagine, you are on the precipice of cementing the legalities of living separate lives and sharing custody of your children.

Imagine, you get a phone call that your step-father is on life support and you are required to take a taxi from one city to another over an hour away that cost $150.00.

Imagine having to make the decision to pull your step-father off life support because your mother is not of sound mind to do so, and in Canada the decision falls to her next of kin, not his adult son or daughter.

Imagine realizing there is something severely wrong with your mother within a few weeks of her husband dying, but you are not clear what it may be.

Imagine having to deal with the entire organization of Christmas, 7 days after planning a funeral, instead of for 4 people, but 8 people.

Imagine the phone operator calling you in the middle of the night and finding out your mother is calling random people wondering if they will take her for coffee.

Imagine having your mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s approximately 6 weeks after his husband’s death.

Imagine having to remove your mother from her beloved home and put her in a care facility and ‘abandoning’ her there because it’s the right thing to do.

Imagine your mother breaking her wrist and not receiving the care she should have, so having to take her to the hospital.

Imagine watching your mother pee in a garbage can because she thought it was the toilet.

Imagine waking up four days later to find out the government hid the fact, there was a second outbreak of SARS while you were at the hospital with your mother and you now must arrange to quarantine not only your mother but yourself.

Imagine doing these things while caring for two young children, one who is mentally disabled, when they were 10 and 9 respectively.

Imagine going to a Woman’s Support Agency to be told, we cannot provide you a ‘safe place’ in your city because we cannot accommodate disabled children.

Imagine that same person tells you, if you remain in the home with your children, family services has a right to take your children away from you because you are living in an unsafe environment for them.

Imagine you don’t have two nickels to rub together because you quit your career to save your marriage and put every dime you made to pay down your mortgage and your salary has gone from $65,000.00/yr to $25.00 a week from your residing separated husband.

Imagine your lawyer telling you that it will be a tough sell to a judge, a caring and loving mother can be an online-gamer and that the equivilant to “Dungeons and Dragons” (Everquest) does not make you a bad person.

Imagine your step-family decides they have a right to their father’s money on behalf of their own mother and themselves and serves you a letter via a lawyer, demanding a half million dollars.  That is 25 years of alimony and 25 years of child support for a (cough, cough) capable adult plus 18% interest.

Imagine having to find out the hard way you are the executor to your stepfather’s estate and your mother’s Power of Attorney, both to which you repeatedly request they not make you.  On top of your legal papers for a separation, the papers required for a disabled child, you are now resolving an estate and selling all the assets for someone suffering dementia.

Imagine relocating your mother to a second care facility after she has spent several weeks quarantined with no family being allowed to see her AND she has just suffered the loss of her husband and her house.

Imagine the man you reside with has decided he will no longer pursue separation as there is money to be made off the death and illness of your own family.

Imagine a dead crow found in your front yard (West Nile virus).

Imagine all this happened from December 5th through to the end of June the following year.

As you have now guessed that person was me and if it wasn’t for my two amazing boys, two amazing friends, two amazing Respite Workers and one guy who believed in me, I wouldn’t be here to tell the tale.

Had it not been for them, rainbows, nature and a bird, I believe my journey would have come to an end.  Shortly after all that happened, I looked back and I truly wondered who the woman was who made it through all that was thrown at her.