I’ve mentioned my Dad a few times since I’ve been writing my blog. But in honour of Father’s Day, I thought it was high time to share just a bit more about him. (And just because I used the word ‘ode’ in the title does NOT mean that poetry is forthcoming!)
So today is going to be all about my Dad.
1. He’s a jack of all trades. Actually, he’s an accountant. He started out working for City Hall, and then at a local college. Back in the 80s, he started his own business and has never looked back. He’s technically retired now, but still did nearly 150 tax returns this year. In addition, however, he’s a plumber, a carpenter, an electrician – and a talented singer! He belongs to 3 choirs, and tells all the jokes when one of those choirs sings at seniors homes. Unfortunately, none of those skills have rubbed off on me (except that I do like to sing!)
2. He’s humble. He never brags about himself or the things he’s done. He doesn’t ‘put on airs’ as they used to say. Over the years, he’s been recognized for his accomplishments in his professional life, as well as for many of his volunteer activities. But he’d never go out of his way to tell you about it. You’ll have to ask. (And he will probably be embarrassed with all the attention this post is giving him!)
3. He’s tech-savvy. When he started his accounting practice, he bought one of the earliest computers available commercially (along with the old standby dot-matrix printer!), and has kept pretty current with technology ever since. He uses email daily. He’s on Facebook. And while he doesn’t tweet (that I’m aware of, at least), he has a smartphone that uses with ease and not a little bit of eagerness.
4. He’s generous. With both time and money. The money, of course, is no one’s business but his own. But I can attest to the amount of time he’s invested in helping other people – whether it’s driving them to and/or from a dinner or concert, putting in a bit extra to help after an event, volunteering on a board or committee, or just doing whatever is required in the background to make sure things get done. And it’s all done without complaint because…
5. He’s patient. He sat in a lot of malls waiting for Mom to take her time shopping. I cannot remember him ever losing his temper. He’s reliably even-keeled. I suppose it’s partly connected to the generosity with time, never feeling put upon when simply providing a helping hand.
6. He’s a role model. Obviously, all of the things above are solid qualities worth emulating. Dad is also very ethical. Without going into detail, he has in the past made professional decisions that were undoubtedly difficult to make, but he did so because of his values and sense of integrity. And all my life I have respected that, and hope to live by those same principles.
7. He’s well-known! Whenever I’m home for a visit, we head out for dinner or to some event or another…and everyone seems to know him! He gets hugs from waitresses at restaurants. I was once at a concert where the entire audience (of about 400) sang him happy birthday!
8. He’s 100% supportive. Hand-in-hand with my Mom, Dad attended every band concert, theatre production, graduation, choir concert…you name it. I may have taken it for granted at times, but experience has taught me that commitment like that should never go unappreciated. Indeed, through some of the more challenging stages of my life, he has been stalwart and unwavering in his expressions of love and support – I knew he was always on my side.
In the past 2 years, since we lost Mom, Dad and I have had more opportunity to get to know each other again. I think we’ve talked and communicated more since 2013 than in the previous 40 years combined. And it’s hard to express how grateful I am for that time, especially since we live in different provinces and time zones.
Most relevant to this blog, Dad has constantly encouraged me in my pursuit of running. In 2013, for the first time, he saw me complete a race (Scotiabank Half). Last year, he was in town for the Ambleside Mile. And with the embarrassing self-consciousness and secret satisfaction of an only child, I know and kind of love that he brags about me from time to time.
This is a shout out to my Dad, because he’s awesome. And to the dads who are there for their families. And to the father figures (including moms) who stepped in when a dad couldn’t, or didn’t. Thank you.