What follows is what I wrote for the euology of my father who passed away on November 20 of this year after a battle with cancer. It isn’t precisely what I said when I got up there as I had to more or less wing it, but I got a lot of it out.
I’d like to, first of all, thank those of you who were able to join us today and those who are joining us virtually in this troubled time. I know that Dad would have appreciated it a great deal. I know that his sudden passing has come as a shock to many of you, but the outpouring of love and support that you’ve shown to Linda and the rest of us is appreciated.
My father was many things. Driven, hard working, dedicated to his faith, and loving. He showed that love through his actions more than anything else. Not that he never said it… he did say it, and often, but actions were his primary way of expressing his love. As I grew up, he worked long hours to provide his family with the things that he, himself, didn’t have access to as a child. Yet whenever I was in the hospital, and that was quite a lot, he’d still make time after working often ten hour days to come and sit with me late into the evening.
My sister and I were never spoiled growing up, but we also never wanted for anything. That was how Dad showed his love.
His career was vitally important to him, as well, and I have always taken pride in what he accomplished, rising from the lowest ranks of the accounting department at MT&T to retire as president and CEO of Island Tel, after helping to shepherd in the merger that became Aliant.
Dad also dedicated his time and talent to some very good causes, serving on the boards of organizations such as the CNIB, IWK Children’s Hospital and Christian Blind mission as well as helping with the accounting of the churches he has attended. It has never been lost on me how many of those groups related to me, either. That was also how he showed me how much he loved me.
While he loved to travel, and was fortunate to see quite a lot of the world, his favourite place on earth was the cottage at Bass River, a place he’d been visiting since he was a teenager himself. The cottage was built the year I was born, and while it has changed and even been moved, it has always served as a permanent anchor for him, and for me. When I picture my father in my mind, I picture him there, puttering around in his beloved vegetable garden or, more recently, relaxing on the screened in porch. Bass River is where his heart really lived. It’s where mine lives, too. A part of him is always going to be there.
Dad has left behind family who loved him, and are left shocked and baffled at his passing. His loving wife Linda, his daughters, his grandchildren and step-grandchildren and his sister. It’s hard for me to really wrap my mind around life without him, I’ve already caught myself a few times thinking that I’m late for our weekly phone call. Dad never did like it if I went more than that without talking to him on the phone, and neither did I.
I am blessed to have enjoyed a close relationship with my father, and am an unashamed Daddy’s Girl. I have so many, many memories of him that sharing them all would be impossible. From being carried on his shoulders across the rocky beach at the cottage to riding Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney World to trailing after him as he went down to fish to his pride in my becoming a Massage Therapist. I will treasure those memories for the rest of my life, and because I have them, I haven’t really lost him.
I’m going to end this with what I said to him at the end of our last conversation. Words that he repeated back to me. I love you, Dad. I always have, and I always will.