This was tough to write…
Dad was a bear of a man, him, Uncle Hay and Uncle Lindo all were. Possibly uncle Herven and Lawrence too, but they lived away for most of my memory. (Well St. John’s is not so far away in Uncle Lawrence’s case, but what I mean was I never saw them in their Random Island living days). By bear I mean they were strong as bears, I remember stories told to me by third parties of feats of strength by both Uncle Hay and Dad. I’m sure they probably got exaggerated over the years, but I know from my own memory they were strong as hell.
But they grew up in a time of manual labour, working in the lumber woods, cutting cords of wood a day with a bucksaw. Living away for months in rough camps to earn a living. And then coming back to work the land and sea for their own food, as well as maintain their own houses. Everyone was a plumber, a carpenter, an electrician.
But as strong as Dad was, he was a gentle soul, with a huge soft spot. I remember when squirrels were new to Newfoundland, Dad had found one injured and brought it home to care for it. He was also the devil incarnate at times, mischievous as all get out, and quick with a quip. He taught us pride and humility, respect, and most of all love and joy.
Dad was taken in 1998, and while I can’t claim to be very religious, I do feel him, hear him, and most of all see him in the eyes and love of my little niece. He would have doted on her just like he doted on my sister. She’d be Poppy’s girl for sure. Of course I can’t say I’m immune to that doting either. And there is no jealousy in what I say of my sister, I doted on her too, and still do.
Dad was loved by many, known by more than seems possible, and missed terribly by us. The memories are great ones, and will cherish them. Miss you Dad, I see you now in my minds eye in by Fox Pond when I towed you in there on the ATV. We spoke then that it was likely your last time, and last trip, gout having made getting around difficult. We had many good times before and after that, but that was a special day to me, we shared a quiet time, words weren’t necessary.
Happy Father’s Day everyone.
Raised in outport Newfoundland in a town of 65 people, I pursued a post secondary diploma in Information Technology right out of High School.
I’ve always been a geek at heart, but yet I love the rural life I grew up with. Fishing, hunting, camping and the great outdoors are still loves of mine, even if I don’t pursue them as often as I once did. Sports were always a big part of our lives, and I played many (badly) and loved them all.