Day 122 - Ford (4th person I approached)
May 02, 2014 - As I was telling Ford about my project, she stuck out her hand and we shook. I knew before even finishing my introduction that she would speak with me. Ford was waiting for some food she had ordered; that usually makes for a captive audience. Usually it is me driving the conversation, at least for the first few minutes. With Ford, I sat back and listened from the start.
Ford is the middle child of three.
“I’m the forgotten one. I was too young to hang out with my older brother, and too old to play with my younger sister. My mother felt I was independent and didn’t need the kind of attention my siblings required, or got,” she said. Ford’s mother was a single parent raising three children on her own. The family moved around a bit. They lived in Penticton, Salt Spring Island, Cortez Island, on a boat, in a hostel and at one point, in a garage.
“My mother had her own issues, and did the best she could. We maintain contact, but only through email. When I was 14 years old, I left home. There wasn’t a high school on Cortez Island. Usually everyone goes to Campbell River (Vancouver Island) to attend school. I didn’t want to do that. I have always had friends who were older than me. I just felt more comfortable with adults. I had a friend who was moving to Nelson (British Columbia) with her boyfriend and so I went there with them. They only stayed a few months, but I stayed and went to school. I ended up moving back to Salt Spring Island, living with my mother again and completing high school,” said Ford.
We spent some time talking about Ford’s younger sister, Diana. She was murdered five years ago in Shanghai, China. Diana was a model and had gone to China for work.
“A guy who worked across the street got into her room and was stealing a computer and my sister surprised him and tried to fight him off. He stabbed her five times and she died. I got a letter yesterday from a friend. It was about some woman in China that has written a blog about my sister, and our upbringing. It’s just all wrong. People seem to think that because we grew up in ‘alternative’ communities that it was all barefoot and unicorns. This woman has written that we had no television, that we were homeschooled and lived a hippy lifestyle. Sure, there are a lot of people who smoke weed in the towns and communities that we lived in. But that wasn’t the way we were raised. It’s so frustrating and infuriating. People judge and make assumptions. I’ve had my own mental health issues. I’ve contemplated suicide. The last few years I’ve really worked to simplify my life. I don’t have a mortgage, I’m single, I don’t have any pets. I’ve focussed on financial intelligence. I’ve learned about how to manage my life, to make it work for me. I’m happier now than I was in the last eight years or so. I know a lot of people. There’s many people I can say hello to on the street. I have very few friends though. And when I like someone, it’s because of who they are, in their heart. People need to be real and be genuine for me to like them as a friend. I have many acquaintances,“ said Ford. The man that murdered Diana was arrested five days after her murder. At trial he was sentenced to death. The court ruled that the sentence would be put on hold for two years, to see if the man could demonstrate remorse. He would then have his sentence reduced to life imprisonment. There has been no more information released. He was 18 years old at the time of committing the murder.
Ford has had a variety of jobs, most related to retail.
“I worked for (a natural cosmetics company) for five years at the factory. Now I’m working for a company selling kitchen counter tops. I’m still working with customers and I really like the work that I’m doing. It’s physical, and varied and I drive a forklift. I like where my life is right now,” said Ford.
“I have no plans to breed and have children. I have friends that have kids and that’s enough for me. My lineage ends with me. I talk to old people, bus drivers, people I see waiting in lines. Everyone deserves to be treated like a person, and respected. I talked to an old man on the bus recently and he told he that people didn’t usually even acknowledge he was there. He said he felt invisible. I have a few rules in life. Don’t lie, steal, cheat or be mean. Treat people nicely and be open.” #notastranger