Milestones make you think. November 25th marks a year that we have spent without Dad by our sides.
On my father’s birthday I shared some of his writing on this blog. It garnered a lot of positive feedback. I thought I should share another couple of entries from his book – “A Father’s Legacy” (It is a notebook of questions we gave to him for Father’s Day in 1992 that he completed and it came back to me after he died last year).
The Question: Describe your childhood home. What was your favourite room?
Bob George: “My childhood home was a small house with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a porch. It had one stove called a Victory. It was a wood stove with a high oven on top. There was no electricity at all, only kerosene lamps. There was no running water. We had to bring our water in buckets from the wells. We had a water barrel to keep the water in. I had no favourite room as all enjoyment was in the kitchen. The floors were bare boards with hook mats to walk on. My mother used to spin wool with a spinning wheel to knit socks and sweaters for us, and she also hooked mats for the floors.”
Question: What was the best Christmas gift you ever received?
Bob George: “The best Christmas present I ever received was when my daughter Helen was born on Christmas Eve night, December 24th 1953.”
Question: How old were you when you met Mom? What attracted you to her?
Bob George: “When I met your mom I was 33 years old. I did have a couple of girlfriends before I met her. My first attraction to her was she was young (17) and beautiful and I was some overjoyed when I had my first date with her and I loved her from my first sight of her. Now after 48 years I still love her very much. She has been my love and joy all my married life.” [They eventually they shared almost 60 years together].
These thoughts are just a few from Dad whose wisdom, love, good humour, and joy of storytelling are all missed very much. He lived to be 93 and we have so very much to give thanks for. It is hard to imagine that a year has gone by really since we said farewell. In many ways it feels like yesterday. While we do not have Dad with us in the physical sense, it is fair to say that he is never far from those who knew him best. In the words of Pericles, “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” His love of family and dedication to hard work has impacted all of us. In the words that he wrote in the book are echoes of love for his wife, his parents, his children, his friends, his, work and his church. He has left page after page of memories that are rooted in relationships, not in status or stuff. More than having an impact Dad’s selflessness is woven into our lives, our hearts and our minds as we remember how important he was to all of us. I miss Dad, but I am so glad to know that he is such a special part of me as he is a large part of James, Helen, Elaine, Lloyd, Robert, and Darryl and all of their families.
Enjoy these videos of Dad. In this one he is cutting Cod’s heads! – It is classic!
This one was taken in May 2008. It was his tour of his yard after we put up a new flag. He proudly tells Catherinanne about the crafts he had made. Note in this video that he shows off a model he made of the house he was born in – the one he describes in the words of his book. Sadly the flagpole featured in this video sheered off recently in the wind. He was proud that he had cut and prepared that flagpole himself.
HERE SHE COMES – Henry Van Dyke
“I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts
for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says;
“There, she is gone!”
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, “There, she is gone!”
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad
“Here she comes!”
And that is dying.”