Scratchings in the Dirt

My dad

My dad gave us a scare the other day.  His heart apparently decided that beating at a normal, regular rate was just not cool, and adopted a rather fast and syncopated rhythm. Turns out that’s not very good for you.  After a few days of good care and doctoring in the Lethbridge Hospital, he is back home, but taking it easy.  It could be that he was just jealous after all the attention Mom received for Mother’s Day and was taking it up a notch, but I can’t confirm that.  We are just so very glad that he is feeling better and still with us!

It did get me in a reflective mood, though, and prompted me to dig out some old photos.  This may be the first one of me with my daddy, many, many moons ago, back in that much-too-short period when I was the center of their lives. 

 My dad’s dad lived with us then, too.  He was such a wonderful, kind person, and even though he’s been gone for 42 years, I still really miss him.   I think, though, that I can see what kind of grandpa he would have been by watching my dad with our boys and my sibling’s children.  Shoot, that just makes me miss him more!!

 Here’s a scene that has not been uncommon in our family over the years.  My dad played and sang to us, Clem played and sang to our boys, and now I watch my brother playing and singing to his boys. 

  I really miss seeing, and hearing, this!  I guess I may be somewhat biased, but I do have a bit of experience and expertise on the subject, and I believe my dad had one of the best singing voices I ever heard.  (His timing, however, is another story!)  Others thought that, too, and he was forever pestered to sing for whatever occasion – or non-occasion – as the case may be.  He entertained a lot of people over the years, and it was a sad day when he wasn’t able to sing for us anymore. I think that’s why I so much love this picture that was taken by my sister a few years ago.

 This isn’t the best picture of Dad, but it is the most natural, and iconic, I think.  One of his more common poses.

 Dad is a super Grandpa.  He loves spending time with his grandkids, and they love him, too.  Derek has always been his grandpa’s boy.  Last summer, when he was considering playing AA hockey, he made up his mind after an hour-long phone conversation with Dad.  I wasn’t allowed to even listen in.  And now our little perogie adores his “papa”, and even sings songs about him!  I love this three-generation shot.  

Ah, here’s another favourite shot – my dad bringing me wine.  Doesn’t get much better than that!!

I’ve learned so much from my dad.  His lessons were mostly by example, not a lot of preaching.  He was pretty busy when we were young – you know, making money so we could eat and have clothes, that kind of thing – but he always had time for an after-supper wrestling match on the living room floor.  He taught me how to ride a bike.  He taught me to love thunder storms.  He taught me that you have to swear when you’re chasing cows. He taught me that doing your own income tax isn’t that hard.  He taught me that it doesn’t matter what others think of you, (“Who are ‘they’, anyway?”), and that it’s OK to do things for yourself sometimes.  He taught me to make decisions with my head, not my heart, and that those decisions don’t have to be written in stone.  He taught me to add in my head sometimes, so that I won’t come to rely on a calculator to think for me.  And he taught me that he loves me, and his whole family, and that it can be true without being spoken.
Love ya, too, Dad.  Happy Father’s Day!!