Things I learned from my father
Recently my father has left the earth. I was with him the day before he passed on and he was still putting on a show for my youngest, giving high fives and hiding the fact that he was in so much pain. Now here we are a week later and I have come up with some things I'd like to share.
I have forgiven him for things done to us as children because forgiveness is not for the person you are forgiving, it is for yourself. To allow yourself to move on. He was Papa to my children and they knew quite a different person to the man I knew growing up. My children loved their Papa and I loved my dad. I choose to remember the following about the man who raised me;
Number 1, be kind and helpful. There was never been a person who asked my Dad for help
who didn’t receive it. In fact, there are lots of people who didn’t ask for his help, but he
gave it anyway because he knew they were in need. I have taken this into my life and shared it into my teachings for my children.
Number 2, make people feel special. Young or old, people were drawn to my Dad; because he had the ability to make even the fussiest baby smile and showed the deepest respect to his elders. My dad lost his mother at an early age but he had many mother like figures who ‘adopted’ him – because he took time to talk to them, listen to them and make them laugh. He would often give advice, or encouragement, as needed. When I look into my child's eyes, I ensure they know I'm adoring them. They know for a fact that they are loved.
Number 3, create memories to look back on. My sister was mentioning that on the weekends, our Dad would often say “let’s go for a drive” and this would be the beginning of a magical mystery tour. We wouldn’t know where we’d end up – could it be Niagara Falls? A friend’s house who had kids to play
with, or a trip to Stoney Creek Dairy for ice cream? Who knew?! But it was always fun trying to figure out our destination. I do this with my children on a monthly basis. The excitement on their faces when we hit the highway delights me. I pack everything ahead of time and ensure that their favourite snacks are onboard. I definitely get this trait from him.
An honourable mention would be the fact that he worked hard for his family. I had everything I wanted. I didn't realize that he would work double shifts, just so that we could have the extras in life like an annual vacation or a brand new bike. I can't tell you how many times I drove my bike in the driveway and he'd run it over, not knowing I parked it there; but I always remember having a bike. You were hard on us because that was all you knew and I forgive you for it.
I love you Dad, thank you for everything you taught us. Rest in Peace.