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The Glory of Life is not that it endures forever, but that, for a time, it includes so much that is beautiful.
It is a tree to those that grasp it, and happy are all who retain it.
Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peaceful.
We do not demand that the flower shall never die, nor that the song shall never end.
Nor would we be angry with life because one day its beauty will be dust, its music silent, and all its laughter and tears forgotten.
Life, the reality, is ours; we would shape it as nobly as we can.
We will not linger, like timid sailors in port, but will live dangerously, devoting ourselves with vigour to what seems to us good, beautiful and true.
The glory of Life is Love. Unending.

– Author Unknown


Dad in Mike and Heather’s backyard

THE FATHER/DAUGHTER relationship is an important one. Dad was the first man to love me. He taught me, through his actions, how I should expect to be treated and respected by men.

As the story goes, Dad wanted his first child to be a girl. Maybe because he had a brother growing up, maybe he just thought it would be neat. I don’t know. But he got his wish when I was born.

As a little girl, I cherished our relationship. I grew to fully trust dad, whether he was bandaging me up, letting me dance on his feet, assuring me when I was afraid, or coming to my rescue when I was in trouble.

He was a simple man. Not that he wasn’t smart because he was. He had a street-smart wisdom and intuition, a horse-sense so to speak, and at least with me, he managed to do or say the exact right thing when I most needed it.

Dad was simple in the sense that he was practical, in the sense that he took care of the family’s needs. A roof over our heads. Food in our stomachs. Mixing in a little joy and belly laughter along the way.

A man of few words, Dad didn’t often say I love you or I’m sorry. Instead his actions spoke for him. A pat on the hand. A hand on a shoulder. A ‘there, there don’t cry.’ If he felt bad about an incident, he’d gesture with a tilt of his head toward the car, and off we went to Duncan Donuts.

Dad and Mom had an interesting love. A love that might cause some to wonder. But none the less, they loved each other. Like any couple, there were difficult times and often humour carried them through.

Like when Dad asked if she still loved him and she would reply that she never did. Or when she said, “Heinz, you’re an idiot,” and he responded with “Shut up Margot, I kill you!”

Dad was never big on saying goodbye either. He didn’t linger at the airport when dropping people off or flying out. He’d say see ya soon and before you could turn around he was gone.

The last two years were hard on Dad. Chronic back pain and other ailments had pretty much reduced him to life on the couch. Mom painstakingly cared for him, her own heart breaking as she witnessed his pain – a pain that took one thing after another away from him.

I visited Dad with my family on November 6th in the hospital. He’d been hospitalized on October 28. He had pneumonia and had suffered a stroke. According to Mom and Mike, his health had deteriorated and it wasn’t looking good. On that Friday, he seemed to have turned a corner for the better. We left in the afternoon with hope and concrete plans for speech and physical therapy. He fell asleep, so we left a note that said “It was so good to see you today Dad, see you tomorrow.”

That night we received a call to come to the hospital. Dad quietly and peacefully passed away minutes before we got there.

It’s ok, I get it. You were never really big on goodbyes. Rest in peace Dad. No more pain.