Sunday, June 19, 2016

Not just One Day...





 Dad and I went back sixty years together.  Here we are in the back garden in the UK playing together.   We had a close bond more than the usual 'father-daughter' bond. My mother was ill after I was born and so he looked after me as a newborn for the first  four to six months until my mother was better.



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.


We end up in Saskatoon on the Canadian prairies and lived there for ten years.  Dad was a Police officer.    Yes, winters were that cold!


 In the late 1960's, after tight tough times and long cold winters, life turned a corner again and they decided to give New Zealand a try.

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.


 Here he is after officially donating his 100th pint of blood for the Red Cross in the 1980's. He was very service minded but in a more official capacity.


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....




7 comments:

Margaret Bernstein said...

Hugs

weavewright.com said...

This is lovely, Susan. Such a tender reminiscence on the life of a good man and uncommonly good father. How fortunate you were and are!!
I hope one day we'll meet, as we live not overly far apart. (I'm on Whidbey Island, south of you.) Your weaving has for years been an inspiration to me.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Lovely!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful tribute! Your dad sounds like a fabulous dad and an all-around good person. I'm sorry to hear that you lost him.

Cindie said...

So beautifully said Susan........

Danielle Fink said...

Lovely Susan. What a wonderful gift you were to each other :)

Peg Cherre said...

A beautiful post, Susan, for a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing.