Archive for August, 2011

Ailish and I had very different approaches to how fast one should drive.

On the highway, I believe you should pretty much go the speed limit. This used to drive Ailish absolutely crazy. I used to catch her looking at my speedometer and rolling her eyes. I’m pretty sure this is why she normally slept while I drove, just so she wouldn’t get annoyed. She thought the speed limit was a mere suggestion, and a rather stupid one at that. She did not drive recklessly, but she did not drive the speed limit.

On the other hand, I also managed to drive Ailish to distraction when in residential areas. There, too, I went the speed limit. Ailish thought this was dangerous and irresponsible, and that one should drive 30 Km/hr in neighbourhoods. She claimed this is what society demanded. I claimed if society wanted to demand that, they could do so by lowering the posted speed limit from 50 to 30. Ailish would just roll her eyes at me.

Court Confusion

Today, I went down to court to file a Victim Impact Statement, and to try to determine if it was worth my while showing up tomorrow, the date of the bus driver’s court date. The result was utter confusion.

Normally, Victim Impact Statements are filed only in criminal cases. The bus driver has been charged under the Traffic Safety Act and is mandated to appear at the Provincial Traffic Court rather than Criminal Court. The lady I spoke to in traffic court clearly had never seen a victim impact statement before and was rather confused by my request to file it. Her supervisor also was unable to shed any light on the matter. She indicated that it would make no difference to the sentence as the penalties had already been set out. She asked what I hoped to accomplish and I stated that the bus driver killed my wife and I wanted to file a Victim Impact Statement. She clearly figured that I was not going to leave the court until they accepted my statement, so she (very reluctantly) did, and added it to the file.

I have little faith that the statement will ever actually be read into the record (or presented to the bus driver) if he is indeed found guilty. Section 3 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act implies (to me) that they must accept and use the statement, but given the total confusion, I suspect it will conveniently be lost.

After much consultation with friends (thanks, D and J) and with information given to me by the court employee, I will not be attending court tomorrow. If there’s a trial, it almost certainly will not happen then. If he does plead guilty tomorrow, it would be in front of a Justice of the Peace, not in a real courtroom.

At this time, I do not want to publish the statement I wrote. However, I will point out that I had exactly two things I wanted to say when writing the statement:

  1. Ailish was awesome; and
  2. I really miss her.
It’s not quite what you are meant to say in a Victim Impact Statement, but it is all that really matters.

Almost two years ago, Ailish convinced me to try jogging. This was a pretty monumental task because I hadn’t run at all since grade 10 in high school, and then only when forced. I was out of shape, hated sweating, and was rather dubious about the whole idea. And we had a wedding to plan.

Ailish, true to her nature, didn’t give a single minute of thought to any of that. Not only were we going to start jogging, but we were going to run a half marathon in the spring.

The first time out, I could hardly run one hundred metres without gasping for air. It took weeks until I could comfortably run five kilometres, and longer still to break 10. Focused as she was on the half-marathon, Ailish often decided it was a better plan to go out for dinner and a couple of drinks, and who was I to complain? Still, come April, 2010, Ailish, Siobhan (Ailish’s sister), and I, we all ran in the Edmonton Police Half Marathon. And we all finished. My time was 2:15:21.

After Ailish died, a year to the day after our first half marathon, I needed some reason to leave the house. My friend, Nicholas, convinced me to sign up for a training camp thing. So for the next sixteen weeks, I ran once again. I still hated every minute. I still don’t like sweating. I still think running is dubious. But once again, I ran a half marathon with my friends, Shane and Nicholas. My time was 2:07:45.


Note: It is possible that some of the information presented below is incorrect, though I think it is accurate.

The police have laid charges against the bus driver who hit and killed Ailish. He faces two counts under the Traffic Safety Act: failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk; and careless driving.

Together, these amount to ten demerits on his driver’s license. I believe criminal charges were not laid because the police (or the crown prosecutor) would need to demonstrate more than a momentary lapse in concentration and/or judgment. It still feels like an awfully small penalty to pay for taking Ailish’s life. But I guess he will have to live with what he’s done for the rest of his life.

Two sides

There are always two sides to every story.

It is very clear to me when I write stories in this blog that I can only ever provide one side. And the joy of relationships is that there are always two points of view. I wish Ailish was still around so she could explain why she bothered with a slightly crazy, introverted, geeky boy like me. Or tell the stories she thought were important, which I’m sure would have been different from the ones I tell. All the little ways I drove her nuts, or the tricks I had learnt to calm her down. What parts of our relationship was she confident in, what parts still confused her?

All this, too, is lost.


The very beginning part of a relationship can be quite difficult as the two people struggle to define boundaries and agree on definitions.

Ailish and I first met in the middle of August, 2007. From very early on, we played the occasional board game. Later, we would discover the joy that was Settlers of Catan, a game Ailish won about 2/3 of the time, but early on, I tended to win most of the games we played, much to Ailish’s annoyance. So, with that in mind, I asked Ailish in an email on September 2nd, 2007, if she thought I was cheating.

Ailish’s carefully worded response was to question if we were officially dating (something we had not yet discussed) and, if so, we had better be exclusive and I had better not be cheating. Clearly underlying her wording was the guarantee that my answer had better be clear and straightforward because even the possibility was unacceptable to her.

I pointed out that, errrm, that wasn’t what I meant at all. Indeed, the email had just been talking about board games before I asked her about cheating.

But, hey. That was as good a time as any. So I officially asked her out, after clarifying that I wasn’t cheating on her, and telling her how much I enjoyed spending time with her and how much I liked her. And of course, Ailish said yes.

So I count the official start of our relationship from September 2nd, 2007. Ailish always counted from our first date at Marahari, but hey, the occasional disagreement just adds spice to a relationship. I never did confirm that I wasn’t cheating at board games.