Victor Calvin Barr part 3

Published by Victor Barr on

In 2005 I had enough of the rat race that was Calgary.

After the high and low of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2004, they canceled the season in 2004-2005. A repeat playoff run in the spring of 2005 was not to be.

I met Joanne just after the new year and we started dating. I never fell in love with Joanne. After all my failures at love, I felt I needed to give the relationship a chance to bloom. Alas, that was not to be.

It was my buddy’s birthday and we celebrated late into the night. Joanne and I had indulged in both drink and a bit of smoke. Our inhibitions were in short supply and in the joy of the moment we lost control. It was the best accident I ever had. Nine months later Marijke Lee was born in Kelowna General Hospital. My life would never be the same again.

I had been commuting from Calgary to Kelowna on a regular basis. I was determined to build my business in the Okanagan. I wanted to live in Beautiful British Columbia. Calgary had lost its appeal and I was working on an exit strategy. Little did I know my exit strategy would be accelerated. In the spring of 2006, I bought a house and started my new life in Westbank BC.

Change can be brought about in slow gradual ways or in sudden almost violent ways. The change from the spring Stanley Cup run in 2004 to the spring of 2006 was very sudden.

2005 was a monumental year. It started out with promise. I was traveling back and forth from Calgary to Kelowna. I had a flex pass to fly Air Canada, unlimited flights, just pay the taxes. I made the most of it. I met a friend of Joanne on one such flight to Kelowna. We hit it off chatting on the plane from Calgary, I was a little smitten with the brunette babe from northern BC. When the plane landed we said our goodbyes and I never thought I would see her again.

That evening I went with a friend for dinner at Roses Pub on the waterfront. When we walked into the pub I saw the brown-eyed girl from the plane. She was seated with a pretty blonde lady. I smiled and said hello. With a big grin, she invited us to join their table. A rush of excitement coursed through me as we were welcomed by two good-looking ladies.

As the evening went on I discovered, much to my chagrin, the brunette had a boyfriend back in Hudson Hope. Joanne, her blonde friend, was single. We traded numbers that night. Joanne and I went on a date the next night to the OK corral. On the dance floor, I asked her if she wanted kids. Not something a guy usually asks a woman on the first date. I knew at that point in my life I wanted a kid so why waste time? I never knew how prescient that question would turn out to be.

January 12, 2006, almost exactly one year later, Marijke was brought into this world. I am forever grateful that I have her in my life. Even now as we enter teenage-hood, I will always love her with all my heart.

This year there was no hockey in May. The last time that happened there was life-impacting changes for me. In 2005 they canceled the Stanley Cup. Millionaire players and billionaire owners couldn’t agree on how to share the trillions of dollars they bilk from the fans of a game. Now, these same mega-rich people are trying to find a way to finish a season and bilk some more money from a sport starved fan base. Fifteen years have passed time does seem to accelerate as we get older.

In the summer of 2005, I met my biological family. One of my many trips from Calgary to Kelowna took me through the Kootenays and to a new chapter in my family life. That summer I also met Michele.

Michele pursued me. I got a call out of the blue from a girl that worked in my accountant’s office. She wanted to meet me for a coffee.

I was conflicted inside. Joanne was pregnant with my child. Instinctively I knew we were not for each other, yet she was going to have my child. It was very hard; I could not stop myself. Intrigued and excited I pursued Michele, she wanted to see me: I was a fool.

A fool in love. I still can’t believe how hard and fast I fell for Michele. She was young, pretty and seemed like a great match for me. We moved way too fast. I was going to prenatal classes with Joanne in Kelowna and moving Michele into my home in Calgary. Talk about making life crazy… it was a lot for me; it was too much for Michele. She thought she had found her man. I wasn’t ready. I asked her to take a leap of faith. When she left, she cried, “I’m still falling.”

Fourteen years later I hope she is no longer falling. I hope she has found happiness. I loved her and I lost her. I have lost at love and learned, this was one of the more difficult lessons.

Fourteen years I have lived in West Kelowna BC. It is an amazing place and every time I look outside my window I am greeted with the lush natural world I am blessed to be in. ‘Living the dream’ as my friend Brad likes to say.

My first few years I spent recovering and learning. My business in Calgary was struggling to find employees, my managers were struggling to do the job without me. I built the business in Kelowna and yearned for a simpler life. I was able to sell the Calgary company to my partner and concentrate on my new life in BC.

I have watched my daughter grow. As she becomes a little lady I hope she doesn’t make the same mistakes I made. I want to guide her, to teach her to be the best she can. Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs a person gets in life. Yet it has rewards that can’t be matched.

Those first few years I spent pushing a stroller to the swimming pool. We went camping with my Dad in Schroeder Creek. I split time with Joanne. I got to know my biological family in the Kootenays.

I was missing something in my life. I was missing a partner, a companion, a woman to share it with.

Krista, slowly, came into my life. What started out as friends; three amigos hanging out at my friend Christopher’s, morphed into friends with benefits. Then gradually grew into love. Eleven years ago we met and fell in bed together. I was a fool than as always when it comes to women. It took me a while to learn.

I resisted for years before I realized how much Krista meant to me. As changes go this one was gradual. I can’t imagine my life without her now.

My window cleaning business grew in Kelowna. Like the one in Calgary, it became the biggest game in town. I have always made sure my customers and my employees came first. To my inevitable detriment. Employees can be a business’s biggest asset and an owner’s biggest stress. Eventually, like in Calgary, I was struggling to find good people and keep the ones I had. When an owner feels he is a prisoner of his own company and he can’t fire anyone: It is time for the owner to leave the company.

That is what I did.

Now I look forward to the next chapter in my life. This pandemic has focused my energy where it has longed to be. I will continue writing my story. I have started on a work of fiction, I am excited to see where it will take me. I am taking a class on making money at writing. I am an entrepreneur and will need to feed myself and my daughter. I hope to succeed in my dream. The very act of pursuing it feels like success to me.

To be continued…

Categories: My Story

1 Comment

Louise · December 28, 2020 at 7:05 am

Good story telling as always. Looking forward to your next Life chapter.

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