From whom I draw my strength…Dad

I’ve known my Dad my whole life.

It’s true! And while I don’t remember him from when I was a baby or toddler, I think I am able to judge his character pretty well. I know that he studies everything and formulates an opinion only after thinking on it a while. I know that he is strict when he needs to be, and when it’s important. I know that he would do anything for me without even a blink of an eye. (Okay, maybe he’d make me work for it…)I know he can get through anything he’s faced with. I know all of this because I have spent years of my life living in wonder of how exactly he can be so tough.

I’d like to share with you, a little about my Popsicle…

When I was little, on my way home from gymnastics, I fell off of my bike. I landed chin first, splitting it open, then fell on my side hitting my head. All I really remember is wondering why my Dad’s bike was still rolling down the street with no one on it anymore… He had jumped off of his bike so quickly that it never even slowed down. He used his shirt to put pressure on my chin and carried me to the car to go to the hospital. He made me laugh afterwards (ouch!) by telling me that everyone in the whole hospital heard me scream when they numbed my chin for stitches.

He used to drag me along to some place in Petawawa with lots of computers and parts and stuff. It was super boring (although I’d later learn to appreciate my Dad’s super-sweet computer skills…). You know what would make it less boring? All the sugar cubes that my Dad would let me have. I still think about him when I see sugar cubes. Yummm…

Then there’s the drive thru on the day of my Grampy’s funeral. He had Mike, Hayley and I in the car and wanted to hit up the drive thru. The woman in front of us hauled out a list on a piece of paper so long you’d think she was Santa. If you ever want to go for a roller coaster ride without paying amusement park prices, just ask my Dad! I don’t think I have ever clocked that much mileage going backwards since…

In Ontario, my Dad was at work driving a vehicle and a metal hatch fell down and smoked him in the head. He ended up needing stitches on the back of his head and his cheek. I distinctly remember asking him how he felt and him saying, “Like there’s a hole in my head”.

My Dad used to make me mow the lawn. I hated every second of those gasoline-smelling, grass stain-causing, gross & sweaty afternoons. What was worse? He would judge the quality of my work. “Missed a clump there” or “Did you even mow this part?”. I thought I’d never ever have grass at all when I got my own place. I willed the grass to stop growing (which doesn’t work..in case you wanted to try). Then one day, I mowed the lawn, Dad came out to inspect it, and he said “good job”. He went back in the house to whatever he was doing.. I had never been more proud up to that point.

Dad + music = always a good time. His guitar playing is my favourite – “Tell Laura I Love Her” is his best hit. Even just his strumming really.. “They’re coming to take me away ha ha” gets me every time. The songs he sings that I don’t actually think are real songs until he pulls them up from some buried album from like 1837. Dancing in the kitchen with the radio on (like father like daughter!). Singing karaoke. Love it all!

Re-shingling the roof, Dad throws some shingles off of the roof the summer we moved to NB. One of the nails catches my leg and cuts er right open. I tell him that he got me with a nail. His response? – “Did it hurt?”

Me: “Ouch! I just [insert clumsy or blonde action here]”
Dad: “What’d ya do that for?”

The day my Dad told me how to break a wishbone so that you lose.

All the nicknames he comes up with! My parents used to be “Thumper and Bambi” for a while. We currently are a bear-family (Papa-bear, Mama-bear…). Dad calls Kevin “Boyo” and calls my cat Broccoli. I’ve gone from Boogers to Bo with pit stops at Pugsley…

His one-liners!
“You can trust a thief – you know he’s going to steal. Can’t trust a liar – no telling what they’ll do!”
“Always remember and never forget, wherever you go, there you are.”
“I bet you could suck a golf ball through a garden hose!”
“Close your mouth, I can see your tonsils and your supper!”
“You pushed when you should’ve pulled”
“Feeling strong? Pick that up” after he spits…
“Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder” & “double-barrel slingshot”
I could go on…

He bought me my first car and how he had a blast confusing me before explaining that yes – the new car is the same make&model as the old one – only it was mine…

When he came to boost my car a couple weeks ago and I cried because I felt so bad. He hugged me, told me it was okay and ‘that’s what dads are for’, and then offered me his truck. :)

Sometimes, he breaks out in these super sweet moments too. I read his status on Facebook at the beginning of this year – “Wishing my shoulder could be in Hfx so my wife could lean on it…” Buying flowers for Mom. Anything nice that he does for Mom really, gets me every time.

The way he jokes around with Kevin but loves him like the son he never had.

Any time he says “That’s what Dads are for!”.

There are things that I’ve experienced in life that show me the good in the world, the sad in the world, and the absolutely unfair in the world. My Dad shows by example how to deal with it all. I can ask him anything, tell him anything, and know that he’ll be there for me through anything. I know that when I ask him something I’m going to get a straight answer no matter what.

So tonight I asked him, “What does it feel like Dad?”. He said “What does what feel like?”. I replied “To have cancer. How do you feel knowing you have cancer?”.

“Same as I did before.”

And that’s why I love my father.

And that’s how I know it’s all going to be alright.

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