I loved him most…

I have been absent from blogging…I just haven’t felt inspired to write. On July 9th the early morning call came to me, “Darlene, I just received a call from the home, your Dad isn’t doing well”, it was my step mom. I had received this call a couple of times before but something told me this one was different. As I got off the phone, all I could think was ‘Dad please just wait for me’. Within the hour I was walking in to his room. I immediately knew, he was going to be going ‘home’ very soon. I sat beside him and took his hand, and all I could do is weep. Oh Dad, I don’t want you to suffer, but Dad I am not ready to lose you yet. Although alzheimers took him from me a couple years prior, I still yearn for his touch, to watch him breathe, to stroke his hair, to watch his mannerisms. I made the call to my husband that it did not look well, as well to my two kids. I asked them if they wanted to see Grampa, knowing that it would be hard for them to see him and say good-bye. My son could not do it, which I understand why, he has loved his Grampa for 27 years and wants to remember Grampa the way he was. My daughter came and sat with us that day, along with my aunt and step mom. I told Dad, your girls are here, it’s ok to go home. There were sweet words shared that morning, ones that I will never forget. As I kissed him and told him that I loved him, Dad went home to heaven.

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It doesn’t feel right that life keeps going on. I miss him so much, although I have missed him for a long time. Dad was my greatest teacher in life, my biggest cheer leader,  has loved me the longest, loved me absolutely unconditionally and honestly the best person I have ever known. I cry when no one is around, I want to feel him, I want to look at his hands, just touch him. I just wanted to curl up in the bed with him that day, as I still do now.

My Dad set amazing examples to his children and grand children. He was the most Christian person one would ever meet, he walked the walk. I mentioned in my tribute, I have learned many life lessons from him, the greatest one he taught me was the power of forgiveness. I honestly wouldn’t have some people in my life if I had not forgiven them, always reflecting on a talk he gave me about it. At 16 years old I had to forgive people who had affected mine and my son’s life as a young teen mom. I still and will never forget, it still hurts me badly their choices, and affects the relationship today, but I had to forgive so I would not be consumed with that negativity in my life.

I should have told him more how much I loved him. I should have paid more attention to his stories. I should have visited him more. I should have….Please, tell the ones you love how much you love them. Embrace the ones who love you. I loved him the most and with my whole heart. I will miss you forever Dad, I will keep your memory alive. I don’t think these tears will dry, but I know that you are with me. I will keep talking to you like you are here, and loving my family like you loved me.

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The More things Change, the More they stay the Same….

The more things change, the more they stay the same is what came to me today. It is a beautiful Sunday with no plans, so hubby and I decided to hop in the car and go for a drive. With not knowing where to go, we tossed around some ideas and decided to visit the close by Fort Langley. We took a side route down some roads that triggered childhood memories for me. My husband pointed out an old fish farm as we passed it. Immediately I remembered that it was the fish farm my grandfather took me too, 35+ years ago where I caught my first fish. If I had not seen this abandoned fish farm, I would not have recalled that childhood experience….gosh it took me right back to the day I was fishing with Gongo (my grandfather). Gongo you ask, what kind of a name is that! Gongo was Grampa and Gogi was Gramma, quite original,  thanks to my one cousin who could not pronounce Grandma and Grandpa.

Fort Langley has always had a special place in my heart. It is a very small village, which is now quite the favourite destination for locals to visit and live. It is kind of like stepping back in time. There are coffee shops, antique shops, a cemetery in the middle of town, and some gift types of stores. Growing up, this town was where my father worked for 30+ years, in what was the Cedar Mill. My father LOVED his job! He worked the green chain, as well as the chop saw line. Dad was dedicated, passionate, loyal and hard working. It was not an easy job, but it was a job that took care of our family. He would bring me to tour the mill throughout my childhood, bring home the cedar chips for my hamster cages, build wishing wells, planters and bird houses with the scraps of wood he would bring home. To this day, when I smell cedar, it takes me to Dad coming home from work, it is one of my favourite smells. The more things change, the more they stay the same….

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When the mill closed down in 2003, it was heartbreaking to watch sad mourn the loss of the mill. He went on to work odd jobs until retirement, and than once the dementia was putting up to many barriers, work was not in the cards anymore. Walking and talking today on the grounds where my father gave all his years of work, we think it had a small part in the early onset of dementia for him. He had stresses in his life, like we all do, but this was truly heartbreaking for him.

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Now where the mill once was, is a large housing development, with condos and houses. Although physically it is very different, and has changed in so many ways, I still felt the same feeling there. My dad is here still in body, but I could feel him there, it took me back to our times there, and his love. The more things change, the more they stay the same….

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Right here is where Dad parked his car, on the other side of the tracks….

To this day I still have Dad’s thermos he took with him to work full of coffee, and if you look at this old thermos that has travelled many many miles….the more things change, the more they stay the same….

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Going to Fort Langley was what I was needing today. Although many of the places in this small town are still there, and there has been some development, it made me realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same….

Dad is with us physically, but the love for him and the love in his heart he has for us, has never changed, it’s remained the same.