penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.

Thanks Dad.

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His entire life, my dad has always had to try everything. 

My dad went back to school when I was a toddler so he could have a better job. Then he had two jobs. Finally he settled into a long career at a telephone company.  When he worked nights, he would cook dinner – he spent a several years learning the secret of stir frying in a wok (Wok with Yan was his favourite show then).  He was always restless, so when the company sent him out in a van to work at various depots, he was more than happy travelling back country roads. Retirement was initially too dull, so he drove school buses for a couple of years – combining his love of driving with his delight in the antics of kindergarten children.  

My dad has constantly tried out new hobbies and learned new skills.  When he was younger he water skied and swam the entire length of the lake at the cottage. He read science fiction. He did judo. He ran 10 miles with his friend a couple of times a week – until he barely had skin on his feet.  He cross-country skied. He kept exotic fish in a 100 gallon coffin of a tank. He disassembled his ultralight motors on the kitchen table during winter. He learned to scuba dive. When he was older, he took up tap dancing. He sang and danced his way through a role in the musical Damn Yankees. He did kung fu. He played golf. 

My dad has given back to the community as a volunteer. He helped out at our school as a class room monitor and went on field trips. At church, he read and sang in the choir, he was an usher and a Eucharistic Minister.  He and his friends sang in another choir at local seniors’ residences.  He spent hundreds of hours packing food and clothing to send to Third World countries – he could easily lift a 100 pound bag of rice and pile it into a container. 

Currently my dad is a grandfather, ultralight pilot, Elvis impersonator, Knight of Columbus, friend and helper to many.  He has a social and volunteer schedule I couldn’t manage without the help of a small army.

My dad is bigger than life. He has a personality and sense of humour that roars. He stands up for what he believes in – expressing his opinion forcefully and never backing down.  He loves fiercely.

Not once, not ever, has my dad been boring. 

But above all, my dad is a kind hearted person, always holding out a willing hand, always giving help to those that need it.  From the homeless person he brought to live with us one day, to the person who needs a lift back from a play practice, to belting out tunes to entertain the ladies in the senior residence.

He has always been the biggest cheerleader for my brothers and me – and now for his grandchildren.  He and my mom put all three of us through university and college – a gift I can never repay.  I can’t count the number of school auditoriums, dance studios, hockey arenas, swimming pools and soccer fields he has had to endure for practices, games, recitals, plays and graduations.  Many times he was on the road at 5 am driving us to a pool or hockey rink in the middle of nowhere. 

So this Father’s Day I want to say thanks to my Dad.  For being the guy who is never afraid to try something new. For living life a bit on the edge. For standing up for others. For being true to yourself and not backing down.  For always being there for us.

Happy Father’s Day Dad.  I love you.


Written by pennyinacastle

June 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Posted in Random thoughts

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