Friday, March 17, 2006

Still Miss You, Dad

Three years ago today my father died when he went into the hospital for a "routine" surgery to have a kidney with a suspicious cancerous mass removed. He bled to death in the recovery room because the clips on his renal artery were either defective or were put on improperly. In an attempt to understand how this could have happened we pursued the matter with the coroner as well as with an investigation through the provincial coroner's office but since the clips couldn't be found, their inconclusive ruling (IMHO) was that the death was of "natural causes"

Don't get me started.

Does it sound like I want to blame someone for taking my father away? Damn right. I'm still bitter over the needless loss of a great man. Very often when playing with my son I think about how delighted my father would have been to meet him and how much Alexander would have cherished his Grandfather. I miss my father every single day, but I've tried to think about all the great things that he was and still is to me rather than dwell in a house of anger and blame.

I also try to think about the wonderful and zany sense of humour that my father posessed. Even on that morning when he died I remember watching him joke with the hospital staff as they brought him in to surgery. He always had this way of finding humour in almost any situation. I think that that's why each and every day I do my best to spread a little bit of humour where I can and try make people laugh -- I like to think it's in honour of him.

In 1996, I wrote a poem for my father and put it into a little frame. The poem was inspired by the painting Francine and I bought during a craft show at Carlingwood Mall -- it was of a man, his son and their dog. We gave the painting and the poem to him on Father's Day of that year. Being very crafty and creative, he mounted a transfer copy of the poem onto a wood round (it's like a "slice" from a tree, complete with the tree bark as a frame) and varnished it. I marvelled at the combination of my father's hobby of woodcrafting and my love of writing merging together.

A Man, His Son and Their Dog

A man, his son and their dog
Sit quiet, ever still
They are dark silhouettes against an intense fire-red
display of the waking sun in the eastern sky
The haunting call of a loon in the distance
And a duck flaps its wings, takes flight above the lake
Slicing cleanly through the picturesque scene

The dog whimpers, leans forward, looks askance at the boy
The boy himself turns his head slowly to regard his father
The man nods, smiles, then returns his gaze to the mist
rising off of the lake

In that silent exchange
Against the orange-tinted morning sky
A mutual respect and love are shared
In a way that can never be spoken
But which still carries more power, more beauty
Than any sunset of sunrise

One thing that I don't regret is that I never failed to tell my father that I loved him. And on the morning that he died, just before he headed in to surgery those were my last words to him as I kissed and hugged him.

I try to remember not to forget the importance of telling those people who are important to you how much they mean to you. So if you can today, in honour of my father, either tell someone you love that you love them or just try to make someone laugh. Spreading love and laughter, to me, are evidence that my father is not really gone, just missed terribly.

Eugene Lionel Lefebvre: June 28, 1938 - March 17, 2003


Zephyr said...

I'm sorry for your loss... and incredibly grateful for your inspirational words. Thank you. I don't know you enough to tell, but I get a very strong feeling that the man your father was lives on in you.

Anonymous said...

You touch me man, and i love you for that. Hug.

Sheri said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful father and words with us. He would be very proud of you and Alexander will know your father.... through you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sending my hugs and condolences your way. Your strength and love for your family inspire me.

lime said...

what a wonderful and loving tribute. thank you so much for sharing your dad with us. i am sorry for the untimely loss but so glad you can honor his memory with humor and love.

i'm glad blogger is cooperating again, i wouldn't have wanted to miss this!

Anonymous said...

This is such a touching story. Thanks for sharing it. Good for you for choosing to focus on the good and not waste your life being angry about the things you can't change.

You just earned yourself a hug from me with this post and for being the kind of person that can still smile even when their heart is sad.

Phain said...

I'm calling my dad right now...

212degreedesigns said...

i know this pain,...

i'm sorry.

the world has always felt different since that which was before me went away,...

Virginia said...

Beautiful words, Mark. Thanks for sharing.

Rainypete said...

I can almost see the painting. It's always sad to see the loss of a loved one, especially when in a way that seems so senseless and preventable.

I have no doubt that he watches over Alexander every day and beams with pride over the son he misses.

Touching and beautiful tribute.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for sharing.