I know this post comes a little late, and it’s not that I forgot to call my dad on this Fathers’ Day, but life has a funny way of intervening with my plans sometimes. In lieu of my timely call, I thought it would be nice to share a memory of times with my dad.
I didn’t grow up with my dad, but in a way, it has allowed me to cherish even more those times I did have with him. I may not have grown up learning anything about being a handy man or mechanics at all, but the memories of me with my father are vivid and remembered with great fondness. That may be a by-product of only being able to see him a few weeks per year.
My dad always had a way of trying to make up for lost time with me when I would visit, especially in my adolescent years. My father is one of those “man’s man” type guys – he served in the Canadian Forces, has lived off the land like many of my French ancestors. He didn’t often show emotion, or provide what some would call an understanding ear at a time of distress. But there were rare moments, special moments, where my dad would show demonstrate how devoted he was to his children.
Some of my favourite memories with my father are also some of the simplest. When I would visit during my teenage years, my dad would wait until my step-mom and my brother and sister were asleep, until it was just the two of us sitting in his living room telling stories and going through photo albums. He’d tell me detailed stories about my time as a kid, stories about my grandfather and great grandfather and the hunting and fishing trips he’d been on. Those were the times where we really got to know each other.
Little does my father know how much of an inspiration he has been through some of the most trying times of my life. I look to him because he’s not had it easy either, and part of those struggles were born out of my ignorance and childishness. Through it all, my dad continues to remain my number one fan, and he, the model I aspire to become if I ever decide to have children.
Some kids have the luxury of spending everyday with their dad, weekly camping trips, summer and Christmas vacations and so on. Many kids have the benefit of playing sports with their fathers, and seeing them whenever they want.
Well, my relationship with my father is one born out of a deep understanding of my identity: I am my father’s son. We didn’t have many camping trips, nor can I remember the last time I played any sports with him. An horrific car crash many years ago almost took my father from me. Today, he lives a decent life, a good life, despite being short a few limbs.
Dad, I’m sorry I didn’t send a card this year, nor was I able to call you yesterday. I will call you tomorrow, but until then, if you’re reading… Happy Father’s Day!