Paddy’s Last Words Series #6: New Year’s Eve reflections

[Note: This is the sixth of Paddy Mitchell’s seven final blog entries, written shortly before his death on January 14, 2007, and mailed to Ottawa to be posted on his blog. The series is being published posthumously between January 21 and January 25th.] 


It’s Sunday morning, 9:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve and I’ve just turned off my Sony radio after listening to an hour of N.P.R. (National Public Radio).   The headlines were:  the death of ex-president Gerald Ford, Saddam Hussein and James Brown.   

This is the first time I’ve picked up pen and paper since going through a chemotherapy treatment on Thursday that kicked my butt.   It’s a product I haven’t been treated with before.   The initial treatments of chemo had worked fine, stopping the spread in its tracks, but then stopped working, thus the sudden change in product.   I’m just coming out of the “fog” (that’s what is is referred to here, “chemo fog”, you lose your strength and memory and appetite and balance… you walk around in a fog all day).   It’s called Gemcitabine (or Genzar). 

There’s still a few hours remaining in this waning year.  It hasn’t been a good one for me healthwise; but other than that, it hasn’t been a bad one for me either.  I got to see my 2 grandsons and my son  (grandsons for the very first time) (they are 13 and 15) and my son for only the third time since I escaped from prison in 1974.   So it has been a good year in that sense! 

I believe my first wife, Joanne, has forgiven me for all my peccadilloes, she wrote to me (after not doing so, and hanging up the telephone on me several months earlier, angry about embarrassing her with the publication of my book) a couple of times this year;  it’s been a good year in that sense! 

And, I’ve made some new friends through my website; and now a new “blog” (that has grabbed a lot of attention) set up by a wonderful new friend named Susan who volunteered to help me.    Of course, I still have Lynda who has helped me with all my typing through the years.   So, that’s all a blessing! 

I’m sorry, I’m just reminiscing, remembering good times that ’06 has given me:     I think that Dave Brown of the Ottawa Citizen and I have buried the hatchet after some heated words on paper last  year.  I wrote to apologize for my letter on my website where I let loose my anger at him over something he wrote about me in his newspaper column – but he was perfectly right!   He’s written back and if you think his columns are good, you’d love his personal letters.     He inspires me to write better.

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