Sunday, June 21, 2009
A Father’s Day Tribute - HE IS A LEGACY. HE DIDN’T JUST LEAVE ONE.
A NEW LEARNING
Here I am sixty-six years of age and I am remembering my father. I’m glad. He was memorable. Such an ordinary man but unforgettable. He is forgotten to the company for which he worked for forty-five years. He is not thought about within the church he attended for sixty years. I call him to mind often. That makes sense. As time passes, I do things that resemble him sometimes. At ninety-three years of age he was gone one evening last May. I miss his face. I miss him. I am delighted to say that.
A small man at five feet six inches in height, my father had three sons each of whom exceeded his stature. Yet as small boys, we saw him as a big man. How pleasurable it is now to recall that even in our adult years he was large in our hearts. He served in the Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He and Mom operated a post war coffee shop and a gas service station in a Prairie town. Then believing that opportunity existed in the east, Dad and Mom began again in Ontario and Dad took a factory job. Some years after he retired from his demanding physical work in a furnace manufacturing factory he answered this question. “Why did you keep working so hard at that place?” “I did it for my boys, “he said. Life’s purpose and responsibility was not more complex than that for Dad. Three boys grew up, gained and education and made him proud. We gave him daughters in law whom he loved and six grandchildren and they provided him with nine great grandchildren.
He loved our mother with all his heart for the sixty-five years they were together before he lost her to illness. He encouraged and assisted her entrepreneurial career. He was a man of faith and he was content. He was satisfied with the simple pleasures that a small income afforded to him. He never fulfilled two dreams, a trip to Hawaii and fishing in Alaska. Dad always loved ice cream. When I was six years of age Dad and I walked to an ice cream store. We were no sooner around the block finishing our cones when he said to me, “That tastes like more doesn’t it?” We turned around to acquire two more cones. I was ten years old when Dad operated a commercial crane 130 feet off the ground. He spotted me outside the company fence to which I had peddled my bike to watch him. He looked around and then motioned for me to come through the hole in the fence and I scampered up the long ladder into the cabin of the crane to sit with him until closing time. We remember him jingling coins in his pocket. He whistled familiar songs and we knew the world was good. He could yodel but few people were privileged to hear it.
He inspired my brothers and I to be dedicated Dads and we have sought to model faithful fathering to our sons who are now young dads themselves. They are doing it, perhaps better than we did. Thank you Dad. You live on.
(printed in The Cloverdale Reporter June 19, 2009, http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/48292882.html)