This will certainly be a very special Father’s Day celebration for me, who as a 69-year-old son, will get to spend some precious time with my still quite spry 94-year-old dad and stepmom in Victoria, B.C. Together we will likely share some good old-fashioned fish and chips, play a few ancient board games, reminisce, and browse through family pictures, while both trying to remember some of the names and special events of the grand old days in and around Ponoka.
Just like all of you out there, I didn’t always get along or agree with my dad but when I finally grew up and tried to achieve the same lofty status and responsibilities, I realized I would never be able to thank him enough for somehow getting me and my brother through those carefree but quite often difficult years.
When I look back at so many wonderful memories and wild adventures, I enjoy trying to explain to our kids and grandchildren how we managed to survive, as well as stressing the importance of those life-long values and vital ongoing support of parents and family. Along the way, through the good times and the bad, our parents always tried their very best to be there for us, and whether we liked it or not, the decisions they made and the love that they shared has and always will help us to fashion our lives and successes.
As I grow older I can now really appreciate how our parents work so hard to lead us down the right path with what resources they have. Of course, as in any family, there was some ‘tough love,’ setbacks, and sadness through those glorious growing years, but when everyone pulls together it usually brings out the best in all of us.
I will always be thankful for the fact that my father quite firmly encouraged me to stay in school; to make lots of friends; to get up and go to school or stay in bed and be sick all day without treats; to go to church; to play sports for fun and go outside as much as possible; and to take part in chores and family outings, even though we didn’t always want to, but had better be prepared to face the consequences if we didn’t.
Above all he taught us to respect our mother and our elders; to try to look somewhat neat and be polite at meals and special occasions; to eat what was put in front of us or stay at the table until we did; to share; to try to listen first then ask after; and so much more.
Hopefully none of us will ever forgot those mostly exciting experiences, at least not until we have been able to share that same adventure with our own children. For those who have lost a parent, it is so important to cherish their memory and to forever appreciate the most vital part they have played in our lives.
Now let’s have a little fun with good old dad
• Father, pacing the floor with a wailing baby in his arms as his wife lies snug in bed. “No one ever asks me how I manage to combine marriage and a career.”
• When the father called home from a rare ‘date night’ with his wife, their six-year-old son whispered, “Don’t talk to loud dad, the babysitter fell asleep watching television with her boyfriend!”
• Son: “Here’s my report card dad, along with one of your old ones that I found in the attic.” Father: “Well, son, you’re right. This old report card of mine you found isn’t any better than yours. I guess the only fair thing to do is to give you the same punishment that my father gave me!”
• “Young man,” said the angry father from the head of the stairs. “Didn’t I hear the clock strike 4 a.m. when you brought my daughter in?”
“You did,” admitted the boyfriend. “It was going to strike 11, but I grabbed it and held the gong so that it wouldn’t disturb you.”
The father paused and muttered, “Doggone! Why didn’t I think of that in my courting days?”
• When the young lad asked his father to help him find the lowest common denominator in his math problem homework, he quickly replied, “Don’t tell me that still hasn’t been found….they were looking for it when I was a kid.”
• Once we have achieved grandpa status we are referred to by the younger generation as “old and wrinkled super dads.”
There is still lots of time to get a card or a neat gift for dad, who would likely prefer golf balls to flowers? Hopefully, most of your family will be able to get together to toast dad around the barbecue but if you can’t, please don’t forget to phone on Sunday, June 17 before 9 p.m.
Always remember that Adam was created first — to give him a little time to say something! Have a great week, all of you!