Beautiful is the man who leaves a legacy that of shared love and life.
It is he who transfers meaning, assigns significance and conveys in his loving touch,
the fine art and gentle shaping of a life. This man shall be called, Father.
I have so many wonderful memories of dad, and I know I was blessed to have him near for so many years, especially compared to others who lost their dad as young children. I was talking with a friend recently and she was telling me how hard it is for her young children, when making Father's Day cards in school - they can't decide who to give the card to and when looking for verses to write inside the card, they all are clearly written especially for dad's, and not so much for someone who is like a dad. I told her, she should encourage them to write from the heart, then they'll have words that convey exactly how they feel. But I guess, that is not always easy for children. She went on to explain, that they always end up giving one card to her, since she is both mom and dad, and one to their grandpa, who plays a special role in their life.
While planting petunias on Dad's grave this morning, I remembered how he always encouraged us to have some kind of hobby, be it crafts or collections. Once we were involved, he always found ways to nurture the interest. One day, when I was teenager, he came home from Winnipeg with a bag of wool for me. He must have overheard me say, that I'd love to have aunt Susie, master of many crafts, teach me to crochet an afghan, but don't have any wool. I'm still amazed today, how well the colours complimented each other. Who knew he had an eye for matching colours? Or perhaps there was some helpful sales lady there to assist him. One was my favourite colour, grass green and the other two were bright yellow and dark brown.
Thus, Aunt Susie had herself a student as she patiently passed on the skill of crocheting. But, to this day she claims I'm holding the hook wrong, like there's any point in reminding me of that. So, I always respond, "It doesn't seem to matter; it gets done just the same." Still, I'm sure aunt Susie is right, because I don't know of anybody else who holds the hook like I do. I should write a crochet book, and be sure to include both ways one can hold a hook, thus, ending the 'wrong way, right way' debate, once and for all.
For my afghan, I chose a common and fairly easy zigzag pattern, but it took me many weeks to finish. I admit, sometimes for days on end, I'd stay away from my new hobby, but dad kept asking how far the afghan was. Eventually it did get finished and once that day arrived, dad was as proud of it as I was. Looking back today, I understand why, more than I ever could back then: I was learning a useful craft, and spending some quality time at my grandparent's house, while aunt Susie taught me the art of crochet. I kept the afghan for many years, and when I no longer used it, mom was right there to unravel all my hard work. Like a mama on a mission, she gave the wool a new purpose - keeping many toes warm, as slippers.
In recent years, I've come to realize how much Dad impacted other past times I enjoy. Like Dad, I love to read and tell stories! While Dad told his stories, visiting with family and friends, I share mine in books, my blog and newspaper articles.
Thank you, Dad, for the timeless gift of story - it is yet another way to be close to you in spirit.