May 22

Published by Victor Barr on

When I was a young man Friday meant something. It meant where was the party? It meant where were we camping? It meant something more than just another day that ends in a Y. Now it began with the question of why? Why does my back hurt so much? I know why. It doesn’t make it any easier.

I hate to complain so I don’t usually tell anyone how much pain I am in. I suffer in silence like so many others in this world. Today I decided it was time to do something about it. It was time for the chiropractor and the doctor. My wife suggested the doctor, my faith in doctors is not very high but I made the call anyway. I made two calls in the morning. My chiropractor is open for business; my doctor is open for a phone consultation.

I went to the chiro right away. Upon entry to his office the only sign of PPE was hand sanitizer. No masks, no gloves. He spent his usual seven minutes cracking my back and neck. I was surprised to learn he had been open the last two months. He said he was an essential service. Why did the medical doctors switch to phone consults two months ago yet some chiropractors were able to stay open? It seems, in spite of the recommendations being made by the health officials, people were free to do as they saw fit. The chiropractor told me he thought that there wouldn’t be a vaccine but that everyone may have already had it as early as last October. October? That was a new one. I felt it was January when it may have spread through Big White. The nature of this disaster we face is that no one really knows; we are all guessing.

My medical doctor called me at the appointment time. I was surprised they are not going back to the office. He didn’t even use facetime, just a phone consult. I hoped he wasn’t getting paid full price for his appointment. He couldn’t even see where my pain was. As usual, the doctor recommended pills. Ibuprofin for the pain, muscle relaxant, more of the same thing I have been told for years. Deep down I know the best thing I can do for my back pain is to lose twenty pounds. The easy way is medication, herbal and otherwise.

Exercise is a good way to lose weight. I took my truck to get my tires switched and to get the oil changed. Not a cheap prospect on a diesel dually. I had my bicycle in the back and hopped on for a ride while they worked on my truck. My first destination was my hairdresser friend Karen’s place.

I wanted a haircut but have been feeling like letting it grow. So we compromised, Karen refused to give me my mullet back so we just trimmed the dead ends off. When I got home later my wife commented that she thought I was getting a haircut. Obviously Karen didn’t take much off. I am OK with that. I will wait for a vaccine or for things to open right up. That’s when I will get my hair cut short again.

In spite of the pain I was in, I enjoyed my bike ride around Westbank today. When I got home I had an invitation to go to a friend’s for a beer. Beer is my friend and my nemesis. Some things in life are like that.

Some people we meet in life we form a connection with right away. We feel a kindred spirit and connect in subtle ways that are hard to describe. We know that person inside and it feels right. Jim is one such friend. We met through the Greater Westside Board of Trade and formed a connection from the start.

I have only been to his home once before. I felt welcomed by him and we automatically shook hands at the door. We know that this human connection is frowned upon. But the satisfaction gained in shaking someone’s hand felt worth the minimal risk we may have faced. Hand sanitizer at the ready we laughed as we used it. Jim has had an amazing life, a life filled with travel and love. We spoke of our friendships and loves. We spoke of connecting in life and how things can sometimes turn out in disappointments.

I told my friend about all the planning that went into our trip we were to go on this summer. We were going to see Guns and Roses in Holland in June. The Pretty Reckless was one of the opening acts and I was disappointed that we would not be enjoying their awesome new rock and roll. My disappointment pales in comparison to what he has gone through in the last few years. Jim’s wife Elaine succumbed to her long battle with Cancer early this year. Cancer is an insidious disease that some people fight and win. Unfortunately for my friend, their battle was lost.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada. When we look at the big picture the terrible scourge of Cancer makes the death toll from Covid19 seem insignificant. I have a tremendous amount of respect for my friend. He was incredibly blessed by having been with his amazing wife for forty years. They were able to travel the world together and he regaled me with tales of his travels and his life. I felt a connection, a purity in my soul, having visited my friend. We assured ourselves we would see each other again soon.

Our evening ended with a session of watching YouTube videos. Jon Bos has released his Friday video today and we settled in to watch. Jon is really getting into a groove. His show today was outside at Big White in the village. He set himself up in the Big Chair that sits in the village at Big White and proceeded to entertain us. I am sure it is strange for him to play to a couple of cameras instead of an audience. But it gave him a chance to make the sound perfect. I questioned if he really was there outside, it sounded so good. His hair fluttered in the breeze and confirmed that indeed he was outdoors. Laughingly I told my wife that it was a good thing he hasn’t had a haircut in a while.

Friday night at home watching YouTube is a far cry from my party days back in cowtown. Even pre-covid we probably would have gone somewhere to watch live music. Now we connect in person with the sounds and sights of rock and roll on the couch. We enjoy the simple pleasure of each other’s company and our love. I feel lucky to have my wife by my side. Life is short, we must make the most of every minute.

Categories: Daily Journal


Michael Powell, Australia · May 23, 2020 at 6:07 pm

Really good reading … can relate to everything you wrote … especially the lower back pain.

I turn 70yo on 2 weeks but love skiing Big White in February and March each year and, like everyone else at Big White, love and enjoy the music and friendship with Jon Bos.

Am booking my flights to Canada for 2021 today.

    Victor Barr · May 23, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you very much Michael. I hope to see you and many other Australians again this coming winter.

Jon · May 30, 2020 at 6:58 pm

Nice, pal!

    Victor Barr · May 30, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks Man. I just fixed the link. now when you click on your name it will go to your youtube video.

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