Monday, June 16, 2014

To Mr Social

It is a bitter sweet day. Tributes to fathers everywhere are flooding in to Face Book this Fathers' Day.  My Dad was THE BEST.
Consider yourself blessed if you too can say this.

Dad, Mom and I on my wedding day 1986
Rod and I got married wearing noses and glasses, tails (Rod + a top hat), jeans and sneakers
Dad and Mom played along for this shot

Thanks Dad for:
- letting my childhood self climb up on your lap and snuggle in when you were watching TV in front of the fire
- tucking me into bed so tight it was as if I was "shrink wrapped"
- tutoring me in the fine art of throwing and kicking a football
- trusting that I was resilient as my child self threw myself off of high bars, flipped of furniture, climbed trees and did God knows what else
- standing out in those cold Canadian winters watering the ice rink for us and the neighbourhood kids
- taking us out to your skating pond on the marsh by the lake; getting warmed by a fire afterwards over a hot chocolate
- instilling in me an abiding love of nature; helping me to see and hear that that this is where "God" resides
- silent early morning paddles - dipping our paddles so gently and quietly into water, as calm as glass, that nothing was disturbed; invisible, we witnessed nature arising
- teaching me to respect the water, how to canoe, emerge from an overturned one and challenge my swimming abilities and then have the confidence in me to let me go out on my own
- sailing us out to the "middle" of Lake Ontario so that we could swim off the boat
- instilling in me a love of the west through stories of your adventures on the road
- being a great listening ear and confidant; allowing me to return the favour for you in your old age
- encouraging me to hone my "gift" for art and believing in me and my ventures
- respecting that, having taught me well I could make my own decisions and was responsible for their outcome
- accepting that I'm not  "9 to fiver", can't be pinned down and need to be free above all else
- letting me go
- letting me come back
- letting me test myself
- being there through failures, disappointments and successes with wise words, consolation, encouragement and being in my cheering section - "it's not about how many times you get knocked down…"
- your sense of humour and love of fun; the glint in your eye
- your curiosity about everyone and everything
- your open-mindedness, idealism, and ability to see the best in everyone
- your love of kids, genuine interest in my friends and being young at heart, being our biggest, oldest and one of our best playmates
- having a kind heart and empathy and teaching me about kindness by example and showing me that a real man is kind and gentle
- being the great old philosopher/story teller - "you can catch more bees with honey"… and so many more adages
- for being the top graduate and originator of the Norm Thacker school of dressing
- sharing the story of you and Uncle Lou playing "disgruntled customer"; years later inviting me to take the bait and play along with just a glint in your eye and a shift in body language. How could I resist?! What fun it was!
- freely expressing gratitude for a beautiful sunny day and innumerable seemingly "mundane", but really miraculous things in life
- being passionate about life; never giving up
- greeting me at the door with "NAN'SA DARLIN'!!!'" to which I answered as usual (as if surprised to see you) "DAD!!!"and then enveloping me in the best, most reassuring hug ever when I needed to see "my Dad" in you just one more time
- entrusting me/us with your most precious gift and expressing your love for her so openly and often
- still being a presence in my life, a support and guide though you left this earthly plane 12 years ago

Thanks Dad for being not only my Dad but my "friend"