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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dad - Four Years Ago Today

My Dad died four years ago today. It seems like such a long time ago, yet almost just like yesterday when we (my Mom, my cousin Rodney, and I) spent several hours that morning at the hospital waiting with him to go into surgery. He was supposed to be in surgery at something like 6:30 AM and he didn't end up going in until some time around 9:00 I think.

I remember kissing him and telling him that I loved him and watching him walk in with the nurse, already joking and horsing around with the hospital staff. Leave 'em laughing was his motto.

We never saw him again after that. He bled to death in the recovery room when the clips on his renal artery unexpectedly came out (he'd had a kidney removed).

I'm posting a picture of my Dad which was taken a couple of years before he'd died. Dad, and Rodney and I were staying at a cabin on Manitoulin Island in November during deer season.

I'm not a hunter, but Dad and Rodney were hunting. I was the cook who stayed at the cabin and spent the day writing while they were out hunting. I was working on what I think was the fourth draft of my novel Morning Son -- it's basically the story of a man whose father dies and states in his will that he wants his son to spread his ashes at his favourite fishing hole. Only, his father kept his favourite fishing spot a complete secret, so the son is scrambling around, interviewing all of his father's old friends and digging through family archives trying to figure out his father's secret. He ends up also uncovering some deeply buried family secrets as well.

Although entirely fiction, this novel was, in a way, an ode to my father, and some of the scenes in it were based on things that had actually happened to him (like when he was 18 and was almost killed when a car slammed into his motorcycle on the highway).

In the picture, my Dad is reading the motorcycle accident scene. Because this was one of the scenes based almost entirely on something that actually happened, rather than a fiction that I'd concocted, I'd asked him to read it and correct me where I steered too far from the truth.

I remember the tears in his eyes when he read the scene. I could tell that I'd actually been able to recreate it genuinely (I wrote it based on dozens of conversations with him about the accident as well as the court transcripts I'd read about it -- the person who crossed over the centre line of the highway and struck him was charged). When he'd finished he told me how proud he was of me.

That was a very rewarding and memorable afternoon that I will always cherish.

My novel Morning Son is currently at a publisher, and last I heard, just last week, the editor who is considering it has passed it along to a second reader. So, he's actually considering it. That gives me a bit of hope.

If this novel ever does get published, it will be one small way of bringing back at least some elements of this man who I greatly respected and whose memory I cherish.

Goodbye Dad. Not a day passes that I don't think about you, and miss you dearly.

5 comments:

SIMPLY ME said...

Touching, thanks for sharing.

lime said...

aww mark, you were blessed to have such a wonderful dad. and you've blessed us by sharing him. peace to you, friend.

Sheri said...

Your dad sounds like an amazing man. ANd your book... I must have it! I'd love to read it. Please
keep us posted on the publishing.

Lighting a candle and remembering your dad too.

Sheri said...

Your dad sounds like an amazing man. ANd your book... I must have it! I'd love to read it. Please
keep us posted on the publishing.

Lighting a candle and remembering your dad too.

Rainypete said...

Beautiful Mark. A bit of a heavy day on the heart though. I'm excited to hear that the story is progressing nicely though. I was wondering what was happening with it.

We'll just have to sit and wait fr it to arrive.