You know, I rarely get personal in this blog. Like talk about personal stuff or what's going on in my life. If I do, it's usually some humorous anecdote about something.
But I just thought it was time to get personal, because it might possibly help someone else.
I lived in Japan from 1988 to 1993. I married a Japanese woman while I was there, with total opposition from her parents. We came to live in Montreal, and in 2001 we had a son, Tai-chan (his name is Taishi, but "-chan" is the diminutive term for children and sometimes close friends, so that's what I call him).
In 2004 my then wife, fed up with Montreal and wanting to go back to Japan, somehow met someone over the Internet (you can't make this stuff up) who lived in the vicinity of her parents. To cut a long story short, she moved back to Japan, we got divorced, she married this guy and had two children with him. He met someone else on a business trip and they got divorced. (Like I said, you can't make . . .)
From 2004 to about 2008, while Tai-chan was pretty much pre-school, I would have him for three months and she would have him for three months. I ended up flying to Japan an awful lot, as many of you long-time readers probably know.
Then he started school in about 2008, and it became so that I could only pick him up for his summer vacation -- about one and a half months, and maybe three weeks at Christmas.
Meanwhile, his mother had lost access to the Internet because she couldn't afford it. I used to be able to chat with Tai-chan every week, Skype-style, and send and receive emails, but all that stopped years ago. Nw I only talk to him on the phone once a week, when he's at his grandparents' house.
Last Christmas my ex-wife finally told me I couldn't take him for Christmas. She accused me of always bringing him back late so that he missed days of school. This was true. I had already bought tickets, thinking that perhaps now that he was ten years old, he could fly alone to San Francisco, where I'd meet him, and we could spend Christmas with my mother and family in California. I had to cancel all that.
I thought well, at least I'd have him for the summer. But then during the weekly calls my ex-wife refused to speak to me. Her mother insisted she wasn't going to get in the middle of anything. So no one would give me the dates his summer holidays fell on. he didn't know them.
And last week I found out that she's not going to let him leave Japan for the summer. In fact, I don't think she's ever going to let him leave Japan. So in effect, he has been kidnapped.
I can't do a single thing about it. Nothing a court in Canada handed down would be accepted in Japan. If I went to Japan and demanded to see him, she could (and probably would) theoretically have me arrested and deported, with the added stamp in my passport "denied entry to Japan for life."
So, due to the vagaries of my ex-wife, I have now lost my son. The only possibility of seeing him is when he becomes 18 and can leave on his own. I will be 62 and will have missed 8 years of his life.
Oh sure, I could go to Japan and see him for maybe a week a year, but the expenses involved are beyond my means. And she knows it.
So that's my story, folks. Just wanted to let you know that very, very bad things happen to ordinary people just like you . . . and me.
No more lively Japan-trip stories for you Flock, I'm sorry about that. You'll just have to wait 8 years.