It was a year ago today I lost my father to cancer. He fought it for 8 years and always with a smile and optimism that we will not soon forget. None of us were surprised since he was a man of great character and always had a glass half full which rarely became half empty.
It’s still hard for me and I have my moments every now and then where I have a good solid cry. Those moment always end up with some fond memories of our times together and always end with a smile. I honestly can’t recall too many bad times with my dad, unless it was my fault and I needed to hear it. We were more than father/son were were friends.
My dad brought me to Expos games, Habs games and my own games. We shared many life altering conversations and moments that helped shape me into the man I am today. The lessons he taught me about respect, humility, charity, caring, compassion, loving and living life, didn’t just come by conversation. He showed me by example. He showed me how to balance work/family life. How to cherish your closest friends. Appreciate the small things. Giving back. How to love. How to look on the bright side. The list goes on and on.
I visit his grave often and still have conversations with him and share some of my successes and struggles. Despite not having a physical voice I can always hear him in my head and feel him in my heart. Those lessons are still in there and just going there helps me work through some things I would have leaned on him for advice on.
I have two pictures that always make me smile. One of them is of the family in Daytona Beach at one of mom and dad’s favourite spots. The other is of dad and both my kids. He loved his grand-kids so much and did things with them he would never to with anyone else like take silly selfies. The smile on his face has him wearing that love front and centre.
I think about him everyday and still imagine him sitting with me when I watch Habs games or Sunday and Monday night football. Dad was a huge Habs fan who, even on the day he died, asked how they did the night before. They lost to the Penguins and when I told him he just shook his head.
His legacy will live on. He contributed so much to not just me, Celine, Janie & Max, my mom and my brother,but to this community while he worked for the city and countless volunteer hours he put in after his retirement in 2001. I will never fill his shoes but what he taught me, the examples he set, have me striving to become not just a better husband and father but friend and community member.
I can never write enough words or say the right things to express how much he meant to me. This little piece barely represents 1% of my sense of loss and love for him.
I love you dad. Thank you again for everything. You will never be forgotten.
What I would give to share one more drink, watch one more Habs game, share one more conversation, even just see your face again….