Remember to thank your dad

Brenda reminisces about life lessons learned from her dad in the lead up to Father’s Day

One hundred years old. That’s what we have for Father’s Day which is on the horizon, June 19.

My memories of a special day with my father are fading as time roles along. I do remember high school graduation day back in the 60s. I had a homemade graduation dress. My friends and I waited for our name to be called. Before we could get started my father, Doug the barber, spoke to all of us about our future aspirations. Ceremony over, then it was off to the big dance. There he was again. My Dad was the chaperone for that event. Five days later my Dad was killed in a traffic accident.

Those memories are clear as can be, but the odd thing is that I can remember all I was told about life from my Dad. He was big on life lessons and how to fix or build stuff. Maybe throw in how to cast and good fly at Loon Lake. For certain I do not recall ever giving him a Father’s day gift. I would sweep hair in the barber shop. One gift was a sprig of pussy willows in glass medicine bottle. Maybe I gave some socks or a tie but no tools or long holidays etc. Did I ever thank him for all he did for me? Even at 17 years old I must have been aware of the many interesting events that came my way because of my Dad. He encouraged me to help him write his two scientific books. He wrote a symphony for the orchestra I played in at age 7.


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Most of all he taught me about tolerance. I would be taken to the Sikh Temple to learn and listen. We would visit new folks from India or other countries. We would visit families at the First Nation reserve. Many hours spent at the residential school where help was needed.

I should have known about giving thanks from my time associated with the Anglican Church. My dad helped out there as well. Kinsmen, city council, Masonic lodge and so it went giving to a community. But I ask you what did I do do to thank my Dad? Sounds so hollow now but if I had the chance I would tell him thank you for the life lessons and recognition that I would only benefit from knowing people that were different that I am. Worked out well for me. Did I ever say thank you?

The community named streets after him, China Creek Park was dedicated to him and so on.

Let’s go back to the beginning. After my father’s funeral we were driving back to town. Walking along the hot highway was an elder woman from the reserve. She carried a couple flowers for the grave. My mother had a funeral car stop to give the elder a ride back to town. The elder said thank you but did I ever say anything special to my Dad on Father’s Day?

If you are a father enjoy your special day and if you are not remember your own father.

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