On the anniversary of the passing of my Father…
Dad liked doing things in a big way.
When he started his farming career at an early age with his brothers, they were collecting tadpoles. They ended up with over one hundred frogs. We haven’t yet heard if he or the brothers tried eating any of them.
Dad also enjoyed many types of music. He often talked about how he would sing “I Walk the Line” while walking a cranky baby. I was one of those cranky babies. Maybe I still am.
Another of his favorite songs was Red Sovine’s “Daddy’s Girl” which I’m sure my sisters will listen to a bit differently now.
Dad liked traveling and family trips could happen very spontaneously. One of the family highlights was a two-week trip to B.C. His excellent driving skills came into play when we were driving through the mountains without brakes playing Christmas music all the way.
He really enjoyed taking his wife and family along on semi trips as well.
Much of his time in the semi or working on other things but he was always ready for a good game of crokonole. Or…to organize a game of Prisoners Base at a family gathering.
Dad also liked long walks. So much so that we were nervous whenever he would ask if anyone wanted to go for a walk. We had fun with it though. One especially memorable walk was a family trek through the forest that included a bonfire and porcupine sightings.
Family was really important to Dad. He welcomed every new member of the family with open arms. When his grandson came along, he was absolutely thrilled! Myles was his pride and joy. Dad was very much looking forward to the arrival of another grandchild.
Dad used to say “life is too short, you’ve gotta make the best of it.”
He was very passionate about the things he believed in. This included his beloved farm. He could get very frustrated with it…but he refused to give it up. He applied this same determination in the other areas of his life. Many was the time that he shoveled his semi up an Ontario hill during a blizzard.
But as I’m sure we all know, the area of life Dad was most passionate about was his faith and the sharing of his faith. It wasn’t a faith based on a long list of traditions or rules. It was a simple faith that could best be summed up in the phrase. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
One of the many ways he shared this faith was by teaching boys in his Sunday School Class for the past 30 years. His teaching wasn’t stranded in the classroom either…he loved to have his class out on the farm to butcher a cow and then they would deliver the meat to Union Gospel Mission and spend some time working there.
Dad was always eager to help; whether shingling, washing dishes or helping out the package handlers at Fed Ex.
This past summer he was able to take drive a bus down to an Orphanage in Mexico where he also spent some time working. This was a highlight of the year for him.
Dad often acknowledged God’s presence and protection during all of his travels. About a week before Dad’s passing, he was about to head out a trip when he was locked up in the shed where his semi was parked. It was a very strange incident. Dad remarked after that that if he hadn’t been locked in the shed he would’ve ended up in a 16-truck pile up. Why God didn’t lock him up somewhere again we don’t know. We may never know. We don’t need to. Dad’s last words were “I’m okay, I’m okay, worry about the other driver, he’s hurt bad.” And…based on the faith he had, we know that Dad really is okay. He’s in a better place now…and I’m sure he’d like nothing better than to meet us all there someday.