Back in 2001 I was stopped at a red light going up Goreway Drive at Derry and I looked down for like 10 seconds to reach for my gatorade and when I did, an ambulance skidded into the oncoming traffic, smashed into the car directly beside me and both vehicles were destroyed. Then around 2004 someone sped in front of me on the same street, and they crashed into the car in front of them while I drove right by.
I woke up, had a small breakfast, showered and left around 10:30am. Mom, Freddy, sis and I drove to London Ontario and arrived around 12:30 only to find Eggbert was working till 2! How annoying. She told us to be there at 12. Well anyway we drove around a bit doing some sight seeing and hit a huge hail storm. I got it all on video camera.
We went to Mason’s around 2:20pm and sis worked on Eggbert’s hair until 5pm while we all chatted with her family. My hair takes 5 minutes to do, why a girls hair takes so long, I don’t know and I don’t care. We spent the time reminiscing.
Around 5pm we took some photos of Eggbert and then left. From 5-7 we drove home having some good conversations but I know some of us were getting headaches from all the driving.
We went home, I washed my face and then left to pickup Lauren and Jordyn. We brought them home to my mom’s place where we all ate a delicious lasagna dinner while Jordyn had fun running around. She was a bit fussy because it was way past her bed time. I remember when Jordyn was still learning to wiggle around on the ground, here she is walking and running and she knows a few words here and there.
We talked, took photos and video, played with Jordyn and played piano, sang songs. We tried to watch a movie (Derailed, 2005) however Jordyn was too fussy. So Mason and I took Lauren and Jordyn home. We spent some time at Lauren’s which was fun. I thought to myself – it’s been about 2 years since we’ve done this. We used to hang at her place all the time. As life goes on, these kinds of things happen less and less.
Mason and I left, picked up my sis and we went home, and slept. Mason slept over.
Church, then lunch at a Chinese buffet. After some more good conversation mom and Freddy left for Lakeshore and Mason and I dropped sis at Joanne’s house. Mason and I drove home, where I showered and had to do a work phone call. Anyway, we started driving around, and we went downtown Toronto to do some sight seeing. Unfortunately everything was closed, and at the the last minute we decided to visit his new college campus. We had just enough time to drive back down Young Street, eat a sausage and then see Mason back on the bus towards London.
It took me a good hour to drive home as usual, but I got to listen to some fantastic songs on the car radio. Some jungle songs I haven’t heard in about 10 years. It brought back good memories.
In high school one of the math teachers, who was also a computer science teacher and also a gym teacher wanted me on the track team, but I couldn’t, I had way too much on my plate already.
I frequently jogged on the schools track though. My schoolmate Danny had a house not far away, overlooking the track. As I would run, he would yell out the window “go asif, go asif, go go go asif!”. I wish I had that motivation now. I feel like I’ve lost some of my passion. I’ve been getting paid constantly from the consulting project I finished almost 12 months ago and although I am working hard during the day, I’m not really pushing for anything like I used to. I’m just coasting. I have several things going but I’m not as on fire for my work like before. Part of the reason is that I’ve been working 7 days a week for the last 2 years on a project that’s taken everything out of me and will hopefully pay off very well.
I have an investment project from 2001 that is finally going to conclude at the end of this year plus I have several other ideas for projects I’d like to start, but I’m sort of just dragging my feet. I go to my mailbox every week to pickup cheques. I’m doing some neat missions projects as usual.
I’ve been working like a madman since what, age 6 or 7. So maybe a short slowdown is nothing to be concerned about. I’ll just try to enjoy it.
When I was in grade 2 there was a girl who was different from the others, I think she had a scar on her face or something along those lines. Forgive me if I’m wrong about that part.
She would be made fun of often. Kids can be really nasty and they tend to work in groups.
I came to her rescue this one time and after that she stuck by me always. She would always walk closely behind me, trying not to be seen by me. Sometimes I wouldn’t even know she was there, following behind me quietly smiling. When I would turn around and see her, she would freeze as if that made her invisible, first trying to figure out if she was in trouble, then smiling with relief after I smiled back at her.
Well one day I overheard a group of the bigger boys (this school went up to grade 5 or 6) saying they would pull down her underwear during recess to humiliate her in front of everyone. This horrified me, but being the complete moron that I am, instead of telling the teacher, I told them that I would beat them all up – all 6 of them. One of these kids, named Ronald, might as well have been Andre the Giant or Goliath. Compared to me, he was a big giant. And I was a scrawny little guy that got random nose bleeds and still wet the bed. Worst than that was that my teachers were used to calling 911 because I would randomly faint during class. I was a sickly kid, malnourished and already got beaten up at home. One time I threw up during the national anthem. One time I fainted during a test. Needless to say I wasn’t known as a tough guy in grade 2, at least not yet. Anyway they took me up on my offer, and during lunch break I proceeded to fight 6 kids to defend this girl. The deal was, I would fight them, and they would leave her alone. If I didn’t fight them, they would pull down her underwear.
It was amazing. Oh, no I can’t say that I won in the sense that I beat them all up, because they kicked the crap out of me, even made me swallow sand and dirt. I took punches to the face, my hair pulled, kicks to my balls, scratches. There was blood and tears. I got body slammed several times.
But I did my fair share of damage as well. I fought each kid one by one and sometimes 2 at a time. The worst is when one would try to hold me down while another beats me. Each one of those kids went home with cuts and bruises because of me. The nurse had to tend to our wounds. We all had bruises that would take a few days to heal. Each parent made an inquiry as to what happened to their child, except my parents.
The fight caused such a stir at the school that all the teachers were called, and my super nice teacher, Mrs. Wright cleaned me up. She thought I was amazing, and because of that, I thought she was amazing.
To this very day I still think about, and pray for that girl. I don’t remember her name anymore. I sometimes think it could be Jennifer, but I can’t remember. I hope she’s okay and the Lord knows that I did everything I could for her.
The Bible describes Satan’s fall from heaven, his rise to power, his rule over the earth and his final demise on judgment day, when God binds up Satan and throws him into the lake of fire, with all of his demons and all of his human followers. The bible goes on to describe how all of God’s people live happily ever after in heaven for all eternity. Most biblical manuscripts end the bible with the word Amen.
No matter what, that’s how our story ends. Amen.
A good teacher is priceless. And I do believe that it takes a community to raise a child, especially these days where there aren’t many good parents left in Canada. In middle school I would visit my primary school teachers. In high school my friend Corey and I would visit our middle school teachers. In college I would visit my high school teachers. I’m still friends with some of them, and a lot of them are in the retirement stage. I fear for them though, because even though most of them are in a stage of retirement, the ones who are left might be fired for what is being called politically incorrect or intolerance. Back in my days teachers were in charge of the kids and allowed to teach and say whatever they wanted to say if it would raise up good men and women. For example our gym teacher Mr. K taught us about being responsible, my English teacher Mrs. Bell taught us to wait till we are married to have sex. Today she might be forced to hand out condoms. Today the kids are in charge and the teachers can only say what is politically correct, even if it’s wrong. And because of this I fear that many of Canada’s children will grow up to be wimps. I think the bully problem will get worst and based on what I see on the net, things are getting worst in society.
Anyway about 10 years ago Corey and I visited Mr. Morris and incredibly, not only did he still remember me but he still had an unfinished project of mine tucked away near his desk. He pulled it out from his files and asked me to finish it. I told him no lol but I was amazed that he had my unfinished homework.
He taught me several life lessons I still use to this day:
– Sometimes rules need to be broken. Middle school had a serious rule that only 1 person per class was allowed to go to the bathroom at a time. One day one of our classmates was moving away to Kingston Ontario and was crying, Mr. Morris let her go to the bathroom with a girlfriend. He said no at first, then said yes when he saw her crying.
– Get a different perspective on problems when you are stumped. He would do this thing where he would write a complicated problem on the chalk board and pretend he was solving it with us. He would pretend he didn’t know the answer, get up from his desk and go stand in a bizarre corner of the classroom. He’s say something like “I need to see this problem from a different angle.” I still do this to this day.
Now here’s one of the real reasons I really liked him: At that time in life, grade 8, I didn’t know anything about computers, I used to make fun of people who had them, “oh hi I’m Asif, I’m a genius, I have a computer, I can help you with your taxes.” is what I used to say to people who had computers. Many of my classmates had them though. Mr. Morris would ask me to fix computers and it got me out of class. I don’t know if he thought I knew about computers, because I didn’t, I rarely ever touched them at the time. It could have been some kind of lesson he was trying to teach me. But I would learn all about it because the more computers I could fix for the school, the more class time I could avoid. I ended up fixing just about every computer at that school, while getting full class credit.
He is on my list of favorite teachers. Of course today he can’t pull those kinds of stunts. Kids like me would be heavily medicated and given false disabilities. He would simply be fired for giving too much homework or for pushing kids too hard. Teachers are no longer in charge, it’s nut job parents and kids who are in charge, and if their children don’t want to do their homework, the parents just complain till the teacher gets fired. Get their children falsely diagnosed with some fake disability and over-medicated. I see parents all the time who complain that their child has ADHD, when really they are just bad parents and their child is spoiled rotten. Okay, obviously some of the kids have real disabilities, but every reasonable adult knows that most people fake it. Go ahead, ask your doctor.
The last day of Lancaster middle school was filled with action, one of the local dope smokers lit the school on fire, apparently starting with the massive stage curtains in the gym. Turns out that now many years later the school will undergo a massive renovation.
A few years later in high school when I was walking up Airport Road back to Malton, this same kid caught up with me for a chat. He lived in one of the newer, nicer houses and had a lot of toys. People told me he was basically a spoiled brat who was always on playtime. He ruined that last day of school for us, my backpack had some of my prized possessions inside at a time in life when I didn’t have very much at all. It was lost due to the fire.
Fast forward to when I was in high school, he was coming home from his probation meeting or something like that and I was coming home from job hunting. I considered pushing him off the sidewalk into traffic but during the long walk with him I thought it through. Too many witnesses first of all, but more than that, I felt sorry for him. He was a real loser. Today I hope and pray that he’s doing better.
Today I woke up, had some tea, read the bible, worshiped, spent time in prayer, then I worked to around 530pm, then did some errands. For dinner I had a salad and a cheeseburger from Mcdonalds. As a treat I have cotton candy. Now I’m typing up this journal and hopefully I’ll watch some tv tonight, go out for a prayer walk and be ready for bed around 11. Almost every day I’ve been doing a lot of biking riding all over the trans Canada trail and Malton with Mason and Eggbert. Sometimes we invite others along and it’s really fun. One time we went to Woodbine Centre after to get Chinese food and another time we went to Popeye’s at Albion Road to get biscuits. I like getting discount clothing from Albion Mall. They have track suits there for $8.
I have this box of precious memories, I call it my treasure chest. My grandma would usually throw out every good thing I had, so it was a struggle to keep certain things hidden within the furniture of my bedroom. I’ve amassed a small box with hundreds of little important trinkets that I like to look at. I’ve been keeping them in a secure location the last few years, I have them with me again. This month I’ve been looking through it, organizing it as best I can. There’s my stamp collection, stock certificate collection, old currency collection, fathers day cards to me. Photos, old video tape, there’s notes written to me by children that say “I love you Asif” or “Asif I wish you were my dad”, drawings, old letters, report cards that say “Asif can do better.” If those teachers would have spent a few nights at my house they would have given me straight A’s.
My neighbor across the hall does Tae Kwon Do. She seems to get locked out of her apartment often. On May 13 I invented a really good lemon chicken recipe. I own 2 pairs of shoes and I’m happy with that.
On May 29, Mason and I did our longest bike riding adventure so far. 7 hours in total, we rode from Malton to Harbor front in Toronto. We used the Trans Canada trail, riding through forests and so on, so it wasn’t a direct route. We didn’t ride for speed, but for enjoyment. When we got to harbor front we took a break, ate a hot dog from a street vendor, and then started the ride back. I saw chipmunks up close for the first time, and there was a shot my camera couldn’t get – we were riding through a forest, on a dirt path, something like you’d see in a movie. The sunlight pierced through the trees and it looked like beams of light shining through. We got back after dark. Talk about work out. Talk about fun.
When I was 15 I worked a construction job that was way outside of my skill set. I was a skinny weakling barely able to lift the tools we used on the job site. But I gave it my all and did a great job, however I was eventually fired for messing up an important project. If you ever go over to 255 Queen Street East in Brampton, you’ll see a building with various stores (as of the time of this writing). I used a machine called a Flaky Jake to pull up the old floors, I mixed the flooring solution for the new cement floors, and I helped to pour and level the new floors. On the outside, I held up the exterior wall material while another person attached it. At the factory in Etobicoke I built hundreds of the high quality wall materials. And I built (by hand) the crown molding that sits atop the exterior walls. Actually that’s why I got fired, I forgot to add sand into the mixture for the molding, and when the guy went to attach it, it crumbled. This happened on a Friday night and we all had to stay late and do it all over. It was for the best, I couldn’t pull my weight at this job consistently enough and this held everyone else back.
As far as I can remember this was about 12 hours per day, Monday through Friday and I was earning around $9 an hour which was a fortune to me at the time.
Any way during lunch at this job I would sit on the steps outside with my small cooler, eating my boiled eggs, peanut butter sandwiches, etc, and there was a hot dog vendor who worked nearby, who would talk to me when there was no lineup. Once in a while if I had enough money I would buy a hotdog but that was rare, because by this time in life most or all of my money would go into family expenses. He (the vendor) told me I should marry as soon as possible, because – as he said it, wieners don’t work forever, and if you wait till your old to get married then your wiener might not work by that time and you won’t have a happy marriage. He made it very clear to me that my own wiener will one day not work. He made this point every time I saw him. I’m not kidding! Now at the time I couldn’t imagine this ever happening since I was a teen and suffered the opposite problem.
Fast forward to today in 2002, close to Valentine Day I woke in a cold sweat thinking about this very early in the morning, and figured I need to get married soon just in case my wiener really does stop working one day. My friend Nathan and I listed the different girls at church I could marry and finally decided on one. It wasn’t easy because initially we had some differing opinions. I ordered the nicest bouquet of flowers I could afford and sent them off to her to break the ice. She teaches a children Sunday school class and we are both heavily involved in the lives of children and missions work so it should be a good match. And now to play the waiting game :)
And in other news, I’m watching a movie on video tape or dvd almost every day after work, this is a nice new thing for me, as usually I work until it’s time to sleep. What with all the children I don’t have a choice but to rest. Hopefully I can get some time to watch one of my favorites soon: Planet of the Apes.
I was remembering some of the fun times I had over the past few months…not just 2001 but also in the last part of 2000.
I remember the time I was walking to my moms house and a van started speeding towards me with its tires screeching…making me go ahhhhhhh. Only to find out it was 5 of my very good friends who have fostered over 130 (yeah, one hundred and thirty) children and currently have 9. They were playing a joke on me. And when you’ve raised that many children’ you do need an outlet, I’m glad they had good brakes :)
We had a good laugh about my ‘near death’ experience and they gave me a ride to my moms house in their mini van. I was also thinking about this large prayer assembly I went to a good while back, in which churches of all denominations were invited to pray for each other and different important issues. I sat beside 2 young girls from our church (sisters). (i forget their names only because there are so many children I can’t remember all of their names no matter how hard I try.
We had a full 2.x hrs to pray and I asked one of the girls if she wanted to come with me to walk around the ultra massive Toronto church building and pray for people with me.
She was nervous and asked me to teach her how to pray. This is something you NEED to teach your children to do. It seems like these days the kids now how to bully, beat up, steal, lie, and so other bad things but they lack good skills like reading, math and praying.
She took my hand and we went around the church praying for dozens of peoples needs.
Oh she was so happy and she didnt want to let me go, I think she held my hand most of the night. I’m soft hearted for stuff like that.
I was so happy to know I had helped to plant the seed of prayer in her life. I never did see her again though, her family moved far away :(
I’m wondering how shes doing.
I wonder about all of the children of my life. Most seem to remember me even when I don’t remember them, and some do not remember me even though I remember them so well. But
I love them all so, so much. Sometimes I’ll be at Westwood Mall or Woodbine Centre or Square One and the parents will say “Hey Asif, do you remember my son / daughter so and so?” It’s amazing to see them growing and doing well. It’s a bit embarrassing when I don’t recognize the child or the parent :)