I’m so happy to be making you a Father’s Day cake today—it’s the first time in many, many years I have you close by enough to do this, and what a pleasure it is. I know you had put down deep, deep roots after over twenty years in B.C, and that leaving there broke your heart. I know that moving is an enormous stress, even for the very young. I know too that you did it for others, for Mom, for us, so we could all be a little closer geographically now. Thank you.
Mom told me a couple of weeks ago that when she was in the dark crucible of intense pain with her sciatica and it seemed nobody had any relief for her, you’d simply look at her face, see her pain, and be heart-broken for her. Your love for her has always been an immense and beautiful gift to us.
So welcome to Alberta; it’s so nice to have you close by, to get to see you laugh often, as you were the other day with your sister sitting at your kitchen table in her robe, tickling your funny bone like nobody else does. And it’s so nice to be able to see you nesting in your office, with your dear books, and your stash of tools in the closet, and the bigger one yet in the storage room downstairs. It’s so nice to see those shelves you’re building, to be able to check in easily to say hi, to hear more of the everyday stories that are the fabric of our lives.
Like the one Mom told me the other day, about how you had the cheque for the floor installer sitting by the phone with the phone number neatly attached, ready as always to clear it up the moment you’d transferred the money into your chequing account. I told you once that I didn’t quite inherit your tendency to get the job done efficiently and quickly, but I’ve decided that’s not true; I think I actually do tend to take things by the horns much like you do, and it’s a trait that has served me well, so thank you.
I know you’ll miss many things about your old home and community, but I’m certain you’ll put down roots again here too. Some of the familiar threads will help—that 60-year-old wooden ladder that made the moving cuts, and the 60-year-old world map too large to fit on any wall, but present in the basement, and of course your books and tools. And then there’s the fact of those sweeter-than-life great-grandkids close by, and their infectious joy. And your sisters. And us, some of the kids and the grandkids. The rest will fall into place too, and you’ll soon find a new church home, and be buddies with some kindred spirits next door, perhaps not the pool-playing ones, but maybe others who like the workshop, or who have bicycles tucked into their garage space. It’s a pretty cool 83-year-old who moves his bike to Alberta by the way, though you might want to try it out soon, before the snows come again.
The cake’s cooling now; can’t wait to share it with you. Happy Father’s Day.