Saturday, June 25, 2011

This Ones For You, Dad

I know I'm late with this as Father's day was last weekend (sorry Pop's)and the weather was spectacular.  We visited my mom and dad and had a little BBQ.  Because the weekend was so busy I never had the chance to scan some beloved photos to share with you why my dad is so special. He is the kind of dad that gives and gives and keeps giving and doesn't know how to do anything but give. When we were younger Dad worked at not one, not two but sometimes three different jobs to give us all that we ever needed growing up. He always had a twinkle in his eye looking for the next opportunity to poke kind fun at someone to get a chuckle.

My gorgeous younger sis Catherine and a very proud father of the bride.

Dad played hockey all his life and in his footsteps each of us played baseball or hockey or both and Dad coached all of us sometimes giving up 3 or 4 weeknights plus weekends going to games and tournaments all over the place. He even coached my younger sister to be the best softball pitcher in Ontario in her age group and took my older sisters team all the way to the provincial championships. Very impressive indeed!

I was small but mighty on the ice
(at least I thought I was, LOL!)

and my brother was a star thanks to Dad's coaching

 If you ever needed anything he was always there.  Everything and I mean everything he did was always for his family and I want him to know that I appreciate all he ever did for us. Dad has never been  a gusher with his words to express how he felt, (except when I really ticked him off when I was a teenager which I'm sure I did a lot) but his love was expressed 100 fold in his actions.

We spent the last two weeks in August at a cottage mom and dad rented for us each and every summer. It was also the best times of my life, swimming, boating, water skiing, weeny roasts, fish fries, marshmallow roasts card games, board games, frog hunting, ice cream eating best ever times. I  would hear my dad and older brother get up early early in the morning to go fishing and remember being so jealous that I didn't get to go. It probably was the only time that dad got  to bond with my only brother and so that was good that the pesky little sister didn't get to go after all.
Ken with a huge musky catch!

Dad worked his butt off so we could move to a beautiful hobby farm complete with 10 acres of pasture, with a fresh water stream running through it, an apple orchard and a small but charming century home. I guess that is where I got my love of older homes as it was the best years of my childhood. We were so very lucky to have experienced such a simple but grand life here.

I didn't want to move away from my friends out to the country at the age of 13 but Dad promised me something very very special, my very own horse! He was a 7/8's Arabian gelding named Silver Jubilee and we called him Jube. I adored that horse and the memories are so very precious. I don't think I've really ever let Dad know just what he and mom gave me and how my life was so enriched.

And to keep Jube company, Dad fell for a lively colt named Sunny. We had both of them until we sold the farm. That's Ed Harrington, a friendly gaint of a man who used to play for the Toronto Argo football team. He co-owned the stable that we bought our horses from and patiently showed me all I would need to know about taking care of our horses before we brought them home.

Dad was there for us helping when mom took time out to pursue her degree to become a teacher. I just know it was not easy but we never ever knew if it was a challenge. They shielded us from whatever struggles they may have been going through.  That is what great parents do, they protect their kids no matter what.

Dad would not have seen it any other way than to have his grandchild and daughter (my older sis) move back home after the father decided to bolt and abandon my sister and her newborn the day she went into the hospital to have him. Dad has always been a stable constant in Rob's life, not a father replacement but someone he could always count on.

                                  Always a proud grandpa who loves his grand kids to death.

And even with all he had going on, the farm, the kids, work, he 
ran for town councillor. I had no clue what it was all about at the time but
looking back it makes me both amazed and so very proud of what he accomplished.
        He even found a way to send me to college for my Cosmetic and Aesthetician Certification.

In 1994 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, the first in my family to have a serious illness. I was supposed to be in Mount Sinai hospital in downtown Toronto for just 5 short days. Hospital error in surgery along with other hospital errors extended that stay to 6 weeks and I almost lost my life twice to those preventable errors.

My dad would get up every morning I was there and fought the terrible traffic to drive my mom over 1 hour to the hospital to spend the day with me. He would then drive in traffic to work which was not near the hospital, work all day and then after work drive back down to the hospital to see me for a bit and then drive home the long drive home again.  He did that each and every day, every single day for 6 weeks.
My Dad saved my life by giving me the blessing of having my mom there for me. She was able to watch over me like a hawk, take notes and question anything that didn't seem right and demand answers. If he didn't do that for me then I know without a doubt I would not be here today.

                          Dad, I know I don't say it but from the bottom of my heart

                                    THANK YOU FOR BEING MY DAD!

                                                        I LOVE YOU!

1 comment:

Simply Jo said...

Such a beautiful post Sandra!