So I wrote a thank you to my mom for Mother’s Day and I told Dad I would write one for him. My dad was a mere 18 years old when I came into his life. He was married, providing for his little family and ready to start this little family he and mom created at such a young age. It came at many sacrifices for him. He had to drop out of school and work, he needed to find a home for us to live in, furnish it, feed us, clothe us and keep us safe. That is an extremely tall order for an 18 year old kid. Guess what? He did it and continues to do it.
I could not imagine the pressure he had on his shoulders to take care of his family of four at the age of 19. He worked hard jobs, construction, driving a semi of which I have fond memories going on the road with him, he was a landscaper, he ran his own company building furniture for RV’s that were sold around western canada, he sold Quonsets to farmers in rural Saskatchewan, he made custom made cabinets and he’s built houses from the ground up. He has worked with at risk youth after getting his diploma from the Justice Department of British Columbia. He changed these kids’ lives. I have learned all my handyman/woman skills from my dad. Some he taught me and others I learned by watching him. It’s an amazing gift he has given me. If I had good lungs I would build my own fences and shingle my own roof if I could. He is the hardest working person I have ever known. There is nothing he cannot do in my eyes. If he can’t do it, then it can’t be done. He is a talented craftsman. He’s built my backyard decks, put in sprinkler systems, built an extension on my house, laid sod, and the list goes on. He built a ton of stuff for my gym including the boxes for box jumps and storage for wall balls, kettlebells and dumbbells. He also built the showers in my gym. He did all of this to help me be successful and for free. He did all this stuff while doing his own full time job as the operations quarterback for a reputable and successful construction company, Delcor Construction. They love him there and he loves working there. At 67 years old he is still the lead dog in many many ways. I am always so proud to have him as my dad.
I have so many memories of boating and doing these cool adult activities like getting driven to school in dad’s souped up SS Nova, I always waterskied while on his shoulders, often times covering his eyes as I hung on for dear life. I need to find those pics cause we would get quite the looks while dad was on one ski weaving behind the boat on the Shuswap with me on his shoulders. It was insane when you think about it and we never wiped out once. He had my safety in mind first and foremost. The fact that he could do this on a dry dock start with one ski is probably something for the Guinness book of records in all honestly. My dad was seriously the coolest guy I knew and know to this day. My friends were always jealous of my parents cause they were just cool and Neil and I did just fine living in their world. There is a saying that when you have kids, they join your world you don’t quit yours and live their world. It is definitely true for us. We followed mom and dad to ball tournaments, curling bonspiels and hockey tournaments and we loved it!
Dad was also the disciplinarian and when Neil and I hit our limits with him we would get the count of 3. If he ever got to 3 we were spanked and I’m happy to report that he rarely reached 3 as we feared and respected him and a spanking was not so fun, deserved but not so fun. We learned to live just on the edge of his patience without crossing the line. Haha. He was an excellent father and still is. He can still straighten us out when needed even as 47, and 48 year olds.
We weren’t rich but mom and dad would give up things for themselves like new shoes or new ball glove for the things Neil and I wanted. We got everything we needed and most often times we also got what we wanted. We longed for nothing. I had friends growing up that seemed rich but it didn’t matter to me. I felt rich. Considering the start of this family, it is a miracle of hard work and love that Mom and Dad are going to celebrate their 50th next year and Neil and I are very successful in our own rights. They done good. They should be proud of the family they created and continue to keep together.
Now in regards to all the CF events that I have run, Dad was always the MVP, he did the nitty gritty work, the behind the scenes, the crappy stuff if you will. The success of any event I would give to my parents bar none. He has built stuff for the stages, hauled all the auction items to the last 15 galas, moved tables, moved stages, moved arches, blew up balloons, got volunteer food, brought the drinks, anything you can think of Dad would do, no questions, no complaining just doing. You will never find a volunteer like that ever. I am blessed. I was a busy kid and an even busier adult.
Now when it came to my CF he was the hardliner. If I needed to have pills shoved down my throat, it was dad who had to do it. If I had to sit still for a needle it was Dad who had to hog tie me. If I needed physio, dad was the best. His big strong hands could beat the mucous out of me every time, especially the shakes we would have to do while I would huff. Many times in my later life and being quite sick Dad had the flexibility to take work off, so he would sit with me in the hospital or come and stay at my house while my ex-husband was working and help me get better. After I got my feeding tube he moved in with Dean and I for a couple weeks getting my tube feeds prepared and hooking me up and managing the dosing and the rates so that I wouldn’t throw up in the middle of the night. If I needed him, he was there…always. Even now, the cool accommodations he has made to the 5th wheel for all my machines and meds etc. Has been awesome. Built me my own room, hid my oxygen so I don’t have to here it at night, built me extra shelves for my meds and other machines. He even bought enough solar power panels for our trailer so that I can go camping anywhere and always have power to do my meds. It’s amazing. Also a reason I love camping as it feels like an escape from my ‘groundhog day’ life.
I could go on forever but I want to get this posted. My dad was my first love, my hero and my friend. I can always count on him. He will never disappoint me and If I fall he will always be there to pick me up. I am blessed with an extraordinary father and I am so glad that he was a young dad cause that means I get more time with him!!
Love you Dad!!