Father’s Day, 2009

My childhood memories of my dad center around his masculinity.  Dad puttering in the garden, building a stone BBQ, trimming a tree, building a swing set.  Dad renovating our home, rebuilding a kitchen, creating a patio, finishing the basement, building a mud room.  He wore Old Spice aftershave.  Always had his pocketknife ready to fix something quickly.  Held our hands in the ocean to ensure we weren’t knocked over by the waves or pulled in by the undertow.  Jumping into bed with him and Mum on weekend mornings — 4 little girls all vying for a place between my soft Mum and my hairy-chested Dad.

At 78, he is still very active, slowed down only by an ankle that has betrayed him for 10 years.  He still fixes, builds, putters, wears Old Spice, and the pocketknife still hangs from his belt.  I live in Los Angeles, California, as do three of my sisters and my Mum.  The fourth daughter lives in Vancouver.  He lives in Montreal.  And while he winters every year in LA, for about the past 5 years, he has spent Father’s Day without any of his kids near him.  I talk to my dad every day by phone and I’m heading to Montreal, with my daughter,  for a week at the end of the summer…but to be a Dad for 50 years…you’d think it would be easier for us all to be together.   So we send cards and call, but it isn’t the same as making him breakfast in bed.  Or getting HIM to get up and make his famous pancakes for US on his Father’s Day. 

He won’t be alone this year…he’ll have his new Great Dane puppy as his pancake companion.  And without a doubt, technology has helped ease the challenges of being with each other on special days.  If we can’t have an in person Father’s Day, we’ll have a virtual Father’s Day.  Connect on Skype, choose the video signal and it will ALMOST be a visit.  We’ll throw virtual kisses.  Not the same as being together, but only just a hug away.

To all my reader’s who are fathers, Happy Father’s Day.

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