See you later Dad

My dad taught me to ride a bike, drive a car, play card games, fish, shoot a gun, and change a tire among many other things. He also taught me to be humble, help others, be independent, work for what you have, never give up and girls are just as capable as boys. Thank you Dad.

The first man in my life left on July 12th at the age of 86 and a half. He enjoyed his life and doing things his way right until the end. He never gave up.  He wasn’t perfect; he had many flaws. But his legacy is all of the friends and people he has left behind who are happy to have known him and gained from his life experiences.

He was born in Saskatchewan and grew up on a farm during the Depression.  Hard times. His father was away for four years as he served our country. Dad had to become the man of the house at an early age. He bought his own farm complete with horses and worked the land. Then he came to Red Lake at the age of 19 to try the gold mining industry. He never returned to the prairies, except to sell his farm. He loved the trees, rocks and lakes of Northern Ontario.

During his life here, he tried mining, prospecting, commercial fishing, and trapping. He had ski-doos, quads, dirt bikes, boats, two airplanes (crashing one of them into a frozen lake). I think what he enjoyed most, were his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved babies and bouncing them on a knee. He was never afraid to babysit a child or a pet.

My mother was the love of his life and they had 64 years together, raised four children, loved seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She misses him.

On June 25th, I took him to the Optometrist because strange things were happening to his eye and he had lost vision and was seeing things. We were referred to a medical doctor. We never made it to see a doctor. On the 27th he was admitted to hospital with suspected stroke. During the next week my mom and I visited and brought food and helped him to eat. Then he had a second stroke and it became apparent that he would not leave the hospital. Still, I hoped. My dad had nine lives, I thought, and must still have one left. It was not to be. He passed away on July 12th. Family came and we took turns staying with him and caring for him during that last week and the immediate family were all there with him, when his spirit left his body and went to the Spirit World. That night, my cousin brought over a canoe and we put food and tobacco in the canoe with a candle, wrote messages to him, lit it and sent it off on the lake. See you later, Dad.

We all gathered at the trap line cabin and had a wiener roast and a lot of good laughs.

Now it is for us to figure out how to go on without him. He was the caregiver of mom, who has dementia. What will happen to her now? Yes, there will be more changes ahead.

With Ryan and Ian

With Ryan and Ian

With William

With William

Ben, Will and Andy

Ben, Will and Andy

Commercial Fishing Days

Commercial Fishing Days

At Parker Lake with Flash

At Parker Lake with Flash

Journey canoe

Journey canoe

Into the night, See you later

Into the night, See you later

At Parker Lake

At Parker Lake

july2015 074

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “See you later Dad

  1. Beautifully said Kathy! Whenever I saw him he ALWAYS had a smile to share and a friendly wave. He was so kind-hearted. Thinking of you and your family ❤️

  2. My dad passed away at 75 back in ;99. My mum is now 92, has some health issues and is becoming forgetful. I lived part-time with her and part-time with her older sister until my Aunty passed away in April at the age of 95. She had dementia and was a challenge at times, so I’m aware of some of your own challenges now. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. ~ Linne

  3. I understand how you feel, we don’t always want our dads to pass away they still do. Your dad left you with such awesome memories. I’m sorry for your loss and I hope those memories would give you joy in times to come…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s