Donald White’s Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘My personal life’

Part of my Life

Posted by donaldwhite on October 5, 2008

I apparently was an unwanted child. My mother had had abortions before I was born and afterwards as well. I guess this was her form of birth control back then. She doesn’t know why she allowed me to be born and admits it openly and was disappointed when I turned out to be a boy. Mother keeps telling me that I cost her $57.00 to deliver. I was named Donald because it was very close to Dawn which would have been my name had I indeed been born a girl. She and my dad didn’t get along, in fact the only reason they got married in the first place was because of me.  My father could not keep a job and just wanted to play music all the time. Dad actually played drums with Oscar Peterson in Montreal in the 40’s at some small jazz clubs. Oscar went on to fame and fortune and dad, well that’s another story. Dad I guess wasn’t very responsible and my mother didn’t like this and asked him to leave when I was only a few months old. Back in those days a single mother was almost unheard of so it wasn’t long before I was placed in a couple of different foster homes. I cannot remember anything up to the age of 5 but apparently I was very poorly treated by these foster parents and especially by a Mrs. Nadeau. I have a scar at the top of my nose and on one of my toes as a reminder of the things she did to me. When I reached 5, my mother asked my Aunt and Uncle if they wanted to have me. They had been trying to have children for many years but were not blessed with being able to. They immediately said yes and from that moment on I had what could be called a normal life with an adopted mom and dad. I would at times see my birth parents but that was only on special occasions like Christmas and Easter, days like that. I always wondered what life would have been like with both my parents together and all of us living under one roof. Brothers and sisters was never an option so I remained an only child. (There was an exception to this but that comes later)

Aunt and Uncle were wonderful to me. They made sure that I received a good education and that I never wanted for anything. The tried to be the best parents they could, but as we all know, being a parent is not an exact science. Although I knew they loved me, I never experienced their love in a way I can say was natural for me to show and experience with my own children. A love which I am sure you know all about. 

My childhood was a good one. I had only a few friends that I hung around with on a regular basis but my best friend was my bicycle. I was always on it and went everyplace with it as well. Montreal is an amazing city at any age but through the eyes of a youngster, it was the whole world. I would ride my bike from what I thought was one end of the city to the other. In later years I would realize that it was but a very short distance from where I actually lived. I always had a vivid imagination and even at a very young age I found ways of having fun. I would find wood and make a cabin built for one in the backyard, or using an old pair of roller skates, I would make a scoter and head up the laneway to my friends’ homes. I realized at a very young age that I was fascinated by music. I would never know the impact that music would have on my life until many years later.

I loved school and did very well at it both elementary and high school. There was of course the time when in fourth grade I sort of played didn’t attend for a few weeks until I was caught but other than that it was uneventful. I was a member of the drama club as well as the chess club and debate teams but all were short lived because I sort of lost interest. Music was more important to me so I picked up a guitar and started to play. I was self taught for I couldn’t see the purpose in wasting 10 dollars a week to pay somebody to show me how to read a book. My mistake however, was quitting for I never did learn how to read sheet music. My father was able to play the piano and was quite the drummer and at the age of 13 or 14 I had the opportunity to be on the same stage as him when I was invited to a wedding he was playing at for a long lost family member. He played drums and I was on the guitar and singing some old Elvis stuff and I believe “Blue Swede Shoes”, it was so long ago.

When I was 15 years old I met the Hallas family. There were 4 boys and 5 girls in the family and they all lived together with their parents and their uncle. It was a family that loved each other and stuck together all the time. They would have weekend parties in their basement and would go to a summer cottage when the weather was nice. The family, were my best friends. Emile and Raymond played music as did I and it didn’t take long for us to form a band. The band kept us together as friends for several years. I was never the great musician my dad was but I did have fun and was always in pitch. My interests in music would further develop as I grew older. 

I had the good fortune of being in two different bands with two totally different types of people. My first band was “The Transparent Creatures” which we renamed “The Conspiracy” because the other members were high class snobs and thought the new name had more meaning. We got several gigs in the Montreal West and Westmont areas for parties and dances in some of the biggest mansions I have ever seen. I was the poor one among the others and boy did they know how to live. When I left this group because of the drugs they had started to take, I joined up with the Hallas’ and we called ourselves “The Caves” which when said in French meant the basements. We always played our music in the basement of their house so it was an appropriate name.  

Edith, my mother was an alcoholic and had been for many years. She would at times invite me to spend the weekend with her in Ville LaSalle. The time I remember the most was when she took me along to a party she attended and got so drunk, she didn’t remember where she lived. We got into a taxi and I had to look through her purse and wallet to find her address. I was about 12 at the time. She would put me into a taxi and send me back home on Sunday evening. The taxi ride took about 40 minutes or so to make it all the way to the northern part of the city. She tried at one point to remove me from my Aunt and Uncle, but I managed to run away to my father’s house and she never tried it again. It was her boyfriend at the time that suggested she come for me. He too was a single parent of a son about my age so he wanted a brother for him.

My father on the other hand, rarely saw me except for my birthdays, Easter and Christmas. There were times however when I did not see him for a very long time because he was either very busy or forgot he had a son. The times I did spend with my dad, were very memorable in that he was just as crazy as I am today. I see a lot of him in me. He always tried to seem cool when I was with him. He drove a truck for a living, played music for fun and took life one day at a time. His history with his own son took a different twist when he became a counselor at a center for delinquent boys. He was helping guide boys with troubled lives back into living good lives. He died when I was 18 years old of a heart attack. I managed to see him when he was in the hospital on all that scary looking equipment. His last words to me when he saw mw come into the room were, “I must be very sick if they got you to come and see me.” I went back home and during the night his
second wife Veronica called to tell me my dad was gone. I cried and cried and continued to cry for many years. I cry even now at times for I loved him so much and I miss him even more now than ever before. 

Dad remarried when I was about 13 years old and the marriage produced a son for them. They named him Daniel Harvey White. Harvey was my dad’s name. I have not seen him in over 25 years. I recently found him on Facebook and have called him. I was 14 when he was born. I really have no idea what it is like to have brothers or sisters, what it means to love them and worry about them and yes I would imagine argue and fight with them. There is such an emptiness not being able to relate to this sort of thing. My wife and I named our second son Daniel Harvey as well to keep my dad’s legacy alive for another generation. 

Other than playing music, riding my bike as much as my legs would allow and some sports, I guess I would have to say that my youth was for the most part un-eventful. My Aunt and Uncle did very little with me, took me few places but allowed me to do things on my own without much supervision. I promised myself that when I was a father, I would be very different. I am proud to say that I kept this promise. I had an accident when I was young that put me in the hospital for a week. I was playing in a house under construction and fell into a whole hitting my head on a rock. I broke my temple on the right hand side of my head. I blacked out and only woke up in the ambulance. I thought twice before ever doing that again. I do not remember how old I was at the time but I was in grade school.

My work history has been quite interesting to say the least. I started working at the age of 18 for a thread company. I was an assistant shipper and took orders over the phone, my first experience with sales. From there I went to three different zipper companies, two metal distributors, two different consumer electronic chains as well as a couple of telemarketing companies before coming to Moncton. I have always worked and have only lost one job due to a family situation. I was back to work within two weeks from this event.

I didn’t have much in the way of girlfriends when I was younger for I was way too interested in music and the band. I was 18 when I met Nancy at the company I was working for the zipper industry. She had a 1 year old daughter in the social services circle and she was trying to get her back somehow. I had an aunt that worked with foster children and agreed to try to help Nancy get her daughter back. It was suggested that she have a stable home life so I offered to allow her to move in with me so that she could show social services that she was indeed stable in her life. It worked for a couple of weeks after moving in, she welcomed her little girl back into her arms and her life. Nancy and I got along as friends but neither one of us was in love with the other. We did this for Cynthia’s sake. We lived together for about a year until Nancy was back on her feet and at that point she moved back in with her mother, who finally accepted her and her
grand-daughter. 

I met Madeleine when I was 19. She also worked for the same company as I did. She did not like me one bit. I was English and was put in charge of the shipping department and I was also in charge of her. She was with the company quite some time before I started there so she was nun too pleased. We did however manage to work together to get the job done. There was something very special about Madeline. She was not a fake. She was 100% down to earth and honest and these qualities were true to the core. She was a great person. I knew she was the one for me. She had a conversation with her boyfriend one day and he wanted to take a 1 month vacation from their relationship and think things over. They had been going out for 3 years. She hung up the phone and I asked her if she was alright. She explained what was going on and I immediately asked her a very strange question. I asked her if she would marry me. She looked at me, realized that I was serious and then
said I would have to ask her father. I made the arrangements to go to Mascousche to see her parents the very following weekend and with a few words, he realized that his daughter did want to marry me and gave us his blessing. This was in February and we were married in September. 

More to come…………………

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