Memories of dad, past and future

16 06 2013

For the past nine years Father’s Day has been about memories.

No phone calls home. No surprise visits. No little packages of some sort of meaningful surprise sent cross country.

Nine years ago, just a couple of weeks before Father’s Day, my dad succumbed to the scourge that is pancreatic cancer.

It wasn’t a very pleasant end for him; not that these things ever are.

From diagnosis to the end was about eight months, some of them good that filled us with hope he’d beat the odds. But most were bad, punctuated with discomfort and frustration.

As the end neared we gathered at the hospice that was his home, and our refuge, for his final week, said our good byes and assured him we would be alright, we would carry on and carry him forever in our hearts. His breathing became more shallow, and then it stopped.

In many ways our father-son relationship was pretty typical; there were times I thought he could do more, like get us better seats at the Maple Leaf game that was my annual birthday present. But mostly there was his quiet guidance, support and steadying hand that steered me into responsible adulthood.

Long after birthday and Christmas presents are discarded and forgotten, it’s that gift that endures. It’s that example that shapes us, helps get us through the daily challenges of life.

And as LIttle Ring and I celebrate our very first Father’s Day together, I can only hope that someday he’ll look back on our time and say what’s on my mind right now, Thanks Dad.

Big and Little Ring celebrate their first Father's Day!

Big and Little Ring celebrate their first Father’s Day!