Dad was in the Royal Navy and so was away on tours for months on end, but we had that great first start. He did have an extra long tour of twelve plus months and so when he came home, he had to peek through the letter slot and ask me to open the door. I wouldn't let the strange man in!
Then my parents decided to emigrate to find a better life in Canada. It wasn't their first choice but New Zealand was too far away for their parents. That must have been hard to leave behind family, friends, and a way of life and living.
Here we are sitting by the Thames estuary shortly before we left the UK. I'm four years old. I can recall being on the ship (S.S. Empress of Britain) and I can recall the large engine of a train.
Dad in the early 1970's
NZ was beautiful and it was weird having picnics for Christmas day dinner at the beach! Sweating in the heat of summer and exchanging cards with snow scenes and putting up Christmas trees. It wasn't a British lifestyle, and it wasn't a Canadian lifestyle either.... it was like going back into a quaint other world.
This is Dad's old car... a 1958 Ford Poplar in 1972.
Mum quickly decided that Canada with all its modern comforts was a much better place and so we returned to Canada. This time we stayed on the warmer west coast!
The Vancouver area seemed to work very well for my parents raising a family. Dad moved from being a Deputy Sheriff to a Fraud Investigator.
Poor health forced an early retirement in the late 1980's, which after my mother's sad passing in 1995, he spent alone. He traveled back to the UK and did jaunts to Europe with his sister as well. He visited us on our various shifts in home location around southern BC. He was the family's anchor, our glue that pulled us all together... the Dad.
This time last year he was in hospice care and so we knew it was our last one with him. There were cards, flowers and tears... hugs and smiles.
This Father's Day is our first with out him. It would be so nice to pick up the phone and hear his voice. But not just today, but any day....
Father's day, like Mother's day, is *every* day! Its a 24/7 commitment from the first day they bring you home, until their last day. And beyond....