Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Miss My Dad.

I really miss my Dad. He passed in 2005 but he is forever mentioned in my conversations & he crosses my mind and heart every single day.

Growing up, figure skating was my mom's deal. All other sports, building a fire, fast frying fish, changing a furnace filter? Poppa gets total credit!

Rummaging through my photos last weekend,  I came across a large manila envelope of pictures we shared at his funeral. The one I am posting now was taken two weeks before his friend Herve saved his life. I hadn’t seen it since his passing yet it still really speaks to me.

When I look at this beautiful photo I see a man that is home. He worked hard all his life and ended up exactly where he wanted to be. Living on the lake he grew up on, feeding the birds, forever tinkering, waiting for his family to arrive.

I’ll never forget the call. It was 3am. It was my Aunt. My father had suffered a serious heart attack; Herve had stabilized him and gotten him to the hospital. Plan was to try and move him into Ontario. My Aunt told me to "prepare the family.”

That was December 23rd, 2004. He pulled through and we moved my father into our home December 31. He passed in my arms on June 23, 2005. In those six months, my entire personal outlook on life changed. I changed and as a family we changed.

I look at this amazing photo and I see love. For those six months we were in this odd yet indescribable bubble. Not focused on the fact that it would end, nor worried that it would end, as a family just living in the moment. He was with us and we felt we'd been hand picked to handle his incredible journey.

Right or wrong, I never shared with my father the life expectancy they'd  given him in the hospital. Instead, I loaded him in the car and brought him back to Muskoka. Over the winter, we'd chat about `how we could elevate his gardens at the lake so he didn’t have to bend down’, and `how he’d have to get an apartment in the winter because living on Lake Temiscaming year round was no longer an option’.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that when I admire this photo I also see Herve and Karen. They too were his family. Before travelling to Muskoka for his service, Karen went down to his beach and filled a mason jar with his sand. She placed it in his casket and it was buried with him.

I can't emphasize enough that Bracebridge was where he raised his family but Lake Temiscaming was always his home. Even today, it feels peaceful to know the two were once again reunited, mason jar and all. Very fitting actually.

I love you Poppa....