One instant, alive and making others smile. The next, gone.
Sometimes I think back to how I should have spent more time with my dad; listening to the wonderful and hilarious stories he used to tell (whether they were fishing tales, hunting stories or memories of his childhood and his years as a younger adult) - I know I would have benefited from simply knowing more about him while I had the chance. And at times, my heart aches for all the missed opportunities.
But instead of focusing on what I missed, I like to concentrate on all the times I did share with him, on all the stories I heard, on all the memories we created together.
|Dad and I on my wedding day - 1996|
And I'm thankful for the very last words I said to him before he walked through the doors and into the pre-op room that fateful morning.
I kissed him and said: "I love you, Dad."
Yes, a grown man who is supposed to be embarassed about doing such things about saying such things, about being seen acting in this way. And in a rare moment in a public place, I tossed all those things away, kissed him and told him I loved him.
It doesn't make up for all the previous opportunities I missed out on, how, at a certain age in my childhood I stopped holding his hand, about the many teen years where, as children often do, I pushed away from and rebelled against my parents, and all the stories that I never got to hear.
But at least I didn't leave unsaid the important things in my heart.
I've long blogged about my Dad, and, particularly on this anniversary of the day I lost my father, I've come back to reflect on all the things he was to me.
Rather than repeat, I'll simply post links back to each year's memory.
2010 - A Man, His Son & Their Laughter
- Includes a poem I wrote for my father back in 1996)
2009 - Mourning Son
- I talk about my still unpublished novel Morning Son, much of which was inspired by stories from my father.
2008 - And I Miss You Just The Same
- Mostly pictures of my Dad
2007 - Dad, Four Years Ago Today
- Memories of the last hunting trip with my Dad and my cousin on Manitoulin Island
2006 - Still Miss You, Dad
- Basic memories, a lot of which I have repeated in this blog over the years; and the father/son poem
2005 - Miss You, Dad
- Simple thoughts of being a new father myself and thinking of Alexander and my Dad interacting
|Dad and I playing Intellivision - 1981|
Sometimes, when my son and I are collaboratively trying to beat the computer on a game (most recently the Lego Star Wars game on our Wii), I think back to the joy brought by the memory of this simple time spent with my father.
And I'm thankful for every moment I spent with my father; and every moment I spend with my son.