Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Loving Memory of My Dad

My Dad passed away peacefully on August 18th, at the age of 87. He was just so very tired and needed to rest. Surrounded by his family, I know he felt our love and our presence, both physically and spiritually. I miss him so much.
My Dad immigrated to Canada in 1951 with my Mom and my older brother and sister. A huge under-taking, he wanted a better life for his family, to start fresh in the "land of plenty". They endured many hardships, it wasn't easy to leave family and friends and create a whole new existence. He loved to tell about the time he walked twenty miles to apply for a job after arriving in Canada. He was hired, even though there wasn't really a position. The foreman thought he was very persistent and deserved a chance.
My Dad taught me so very much, things that I sometimes take for granted. He instilled in me his love of music, nature, books. He taught me to work with my hands. To create things from simple materials. To never waste anything, as we were "priviliged to live such a good life".
I can still smell the fresh-cut sawdust and apples baking over the wood-stove, as we built doll furniture together in his workshop when I was a child. Later in life, the wonderful blackberry wine that we created from fresh-picked berries, fragrant and sweet. Sockeye salmon, home-smoked, with just a hint of bay leaf. The thick, golden honey from his bee-hives.
I'll never forget these things.
And he loved his family. Especially all of the little ones that gave him so much joy. He would hold them in his arms and just stare down into their faces, in total awe of their innocence and sweetness.
I will always keep that picture in my mind.
And my Dad was a brave man.
He fought courageously with the Danish Resistance Movement during World War II. He never spoke of it until recently, but it must have left many scars, all of the horrible things he experienced, the suffering he saw. He hid those scars well.
My Dad was my hero.
He could do anything and he could fix anything.
He made me feel safe.
I'll miss you so much, Dad.
Thank you for everything.
Until we meet again.....

"Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there."

-Isla Paschal Richardson

15 comments:

Dolores said...

My deepest condolences.

Lynda said...

I'm so very sorry you've lost your Dad, Mary Ann - these quiet, strong, brave men helped make our world so wonderful.

Quiltnbee said...

Dear, sweet Mary Ann...you know my heart is with you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. A beautiful tribute to a fine man...the picture says all about his love, his strength, and his spirit. Take care, dear friend, D.

Rosa Robichaud said...

Oh Mary Ann.... I am soooo very sorry, yet sooooo very happy that you were blessed with such a wonderful father - and that you got to know him and his "wonderfulness". *s*

He is still with you, in your heart and mind and in all the things you do... I KNOW he taught you well. *s*

Rosa

Stina said...

Sorry to hear about your loss.... glad that you have so wonderful and strong memories about your dad.. he seemed to have been a wonderful person... sending hugs to you and your family!

lappenleintje said...

My deepest condolences with your lost; though you know that once you have to say goodbye, it hurts and hurts. I lost my mother 3 years ago, she was 67, and it never stops, but you learn to deal with it. I'll think of you

Els Lunenberg said...

Dear Mary Ann,
I Know you loved your dad very much.
And there all those good memories to charish. Keep them all in your head and heart, and your dad will be with you.
Hugs from Els.

Terri said...

Mary Ann - I know how much your Dad meant to you and how much you must miss him. He sounds like a wonderful man. What a beautiful picture of him. My dad used to look the same way each time he held a new grandchild. You know all my love is with you now.
Remember to take care of yourself.
Love -
Terri

Hanne said...

I am so sorry for your loss Mary Ann! Hugs

Stephanie said...

So sorry for your loss. What a heartwarming tribute to your father.

Leanne said...

What a beautiful post your dad was a wonderful person I am sure he will be missed. Hugs

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling so sorry for your loss! I wish, I had a Dad like your's! It's so sad to say goodbye but you still have you memories and the love he gave you will be in you heart forever!

Take care!

Kati

Bath said...

Very nice posting. Thanks.
Bathmate

Claudia said...

I just found your loving words and am very touched -what a nice family you must have :)! And so sad to loose a loved-one.
I like your postings very much - a very nice blog !
Greetings from Berlin Claudia

Valentina said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I hope to meet him someday, too.
In greek we say: 'May his memory be eternal' and I can see that he already has that blessing through the legacy he has left you.
Thank you sharing his inspiring story with me.