June 15, 2008


Dad


I read a thing this morning in the Star saying that Father's Day never really caught on as much as Mother's Day. I found that odd; we made a fuss over Mom because it was easy to, but we did the same for Dad because it wasn't.

Father's Day was always around his birthday (June 21st), so we kind of rolled it into one. We bought him garden tools, even though he preferred his old rusty implements, special gloves, even though he preferred the ones he'd pilfered from Dofasco (I still have some - light cotton with suede palms. Towards the end, it is just a big bag of left-handed gloves, because we'd all use a right one for weeding, but he pinched them in pairs). We never bought him ties; he didn't wear them. Sometimes a golf shirt, but he was a saver. He'd save his nice stuff for 'later', and unless and until my mother forced him to put it on, he'd never wear them. Of course when he did wear them, everyone would tell him how nice he looked, and he'd preen like a peacock. Men are weird that way.

I wrote a father's day piece for my column yesterday - here's the link - WGJ will post it tomorrow, but I'm too lazy to bug him on his father's day. Editor Mark probably thought I'd bowl in another weeper piece like the Christmas one, but no, this time I let more of my real Pop show through.

My mother always made this fabulous 8 layer poppy seed cake for today - it was my Dad's favourite, took forever to make, and tasted like heaven. He was the only one that got that cake - she was a fabulous baker. Now, she's not here to make it, and he's not here to stand over it with a fork after everyone has left, eating directly from the cake while my mother smacks his hand and tells him to get a plate. That's how my Dad ate most things - standing up at the sink. It's an art form.

While searching for pictures for the column the Star ran, I realized, as most of us probably do, that we don't have that many of Mom and Dad. It's always the kids, and then the grandkids. And the cat. Tons of Nooly. When parents have the camera, they take pictures of the kids. When kids have the camera, they take pictures of the cat.

The pic to the right is a wedding pic, but it's my absolute favourite of my Dad. My friend Karen took it. It was the only time he'd ever worn a tux, and Roz slicked his hair back and he looked like Blake Carrington. He had great hair. Within minutes of leaving the church, he had his hat back on. Wearing more clothes than he ever had, and he still felt naked without his hat.

That was 1990. He was already pretty sick, but he went off his steroids for a few weeks before the wedding so he wouldn't be irritable. Those damned things helped him breathe, but destroyed his patience, never in abundance to start with. Looking back, I realize that party was as much for him as for me. Probably more about him. It was a long day, and he paced himself, but it took him a week to recover. He died 6 years later, to the day.

Today, get out the box with all those old pictures. Don't worry that they aren't in order, or you can't remember who is who from the old neighbourhood, or when you took that trip.

Sometimes it's all you have left.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad only had six weeks, from diagnosis to death.. he waited to see each of his 5 daughters, (we were scattered to the wind) said goodbye in his own way to each of us and slipped away... I miss him.

June 16, 2008 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorraine: You had great parents. I can see from the pic your dad thought the world of you. God Bless them.

R...

June 16, 2008 10:08 AM  
Blogger DJ said...

Thanks L.

I am very fortunate to have a video of Pa from an appearance on TV many years back. Thinking about how precious that is, I should keep it in the fire safe.

DJW

June 16, 2008 9:36 PM  

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