My parents divorced when I was just a baby. I lived with my mother full time, and saw my dad every other weekend.
He travelled for work and spent lots of time on the road. But on Fridays, when it was my weekend with him, I remember sitting on the back of the couch staring out the window, waiting for him to come pick me up. I’d get into the car, and it was usually Q107, classic rock, on the radio. A song would come on, and he’d ask me, “Do you know who sings this song?” I rarely knew unless it was Kim Mitchell. I think this is where my affinity for good music came from.
On the weekends we would go fishing, go for bike rides, do our routine Saturday morning grocery shop, along other things. My dad taught me how to bait a hook, how to cast, how to gut and fillet a fish, how to do laundry, how to cook, how to sew – yep, even sew.
My dad would take me on our yearly summer, and sometimes winter, trip to Agnew Lake Lodge where we would spend a week on the boat and in the water. Some of my greatest memories came from this place, with my dad.
My dad is a soft spoken man, never yelled, and was rarely angry. Every opportunity was one for learning, and he was a wealth of knowledge.
In my wreckless teen years, my dad intervened after I dropped out of school and took me from my mother’s custody. I went from directionless to enrolled back in high school in a matter of two days. I became an honor roll student, and even dropped my lunch period to take on as many classes as I could to get caught back up.
My dad gave me the direction I needed; the solid foundation I needed to stand on to get ahead. He instilled a work ethic in me and drive to be better; to do better.
My dad walked me down the aisle last year, and I was never more honoured to share a moment with such a man. He quietly coached me to put one foot in front of the other, and to just breathe. He had a father/daughter dance with me and talked me through my tears. He gave a speech to honour the marriage and talk about me as a daughter, and how I lacked commitment to the sport of skiing – but surely had commitment to avoiding it ever again.
Today on Father’s Day, I reflect on my own dad and how he shaped me to be the woman/wife/mother I am today. He taught me the importance of family and traditions. He taught me patience, and important life skills. No matter what, he’s been there. If something happens, I can call him and he’s there. If I’m stuck on the side of the highway at 4am, he comes to rescue me. If I need someone to get the kids from school, he’s there. If we are sick and need to borrow a humidifier, he shows up with two brand new ones for us.
My dad has been my rock. It’s cliche, I know. But I mean it. And I’m so, so thankful for him.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad, and all the other dads who have made a impact on your life today.