Dad was born on the 19 July 1926 (Beth correct me if I’m wrong) as the 2nd of three boys. Dad was the boy who you’d find standing in the middle of the road pretending to be a cop and directing the traffic. He was the one you’d find in the crowded down-town area looking at the sky then when everyone else looked up he’d “melt” into the crowd. He was the one who tricked his dad into buying him a German Shepherd puppy when dad had said “No” to an Alsatian!
Dad was always the optimist. The cup was always half full. If it was cold and wet it was a good time to stoke up the fire and make the room so hot the rest of us had to leave the room. We’d try and sneak the door open, but he’d always notice and tell us to shut the door as it was too drafty! So we’d dutifully shut it and either leave or cook! Dad would never buy a house that didn’t have a fire in it with a wet back so we could save on our winter water heating bill.
Dad was always up for an adventure. Every year we’d go for our Christmas holiday, usually 2 weeks away. These were my favourite time of the year. We got to have Dad 24/7 and he was always up for a game. One year he bought a runabout with a small outboard motor on the back especially for the holiday. We’d go out in the boat fishing or just exploring all day.
I remember waiting till Dad got off the phone (he worked for the church – long story that I’ll not go into here) usually around 9pm for him to come outside and play hide and seek with me! He didn’t seem to care that it was late and the neighbours may be sleeping, he’d still yell, “Arrrrggggghhh!” as he ran for home after I found him. He was usually easy to find because he’d be wearing his white shirt and sometimes his tie as well!
Dad was never too busy or too sick to help somebody else. Even if he had spent all day in bed with a cold/flu if he got a call to lead worship or preach that night he’d get up, get dressed and go! It did bug me a bit though as I’d have been begging him all day to play with me and he’d have said he was too sick!
Another memory I have is when he had to go into hospital for a hernia operation. Because of his belief system that he could not get so sick he needed treatment, he didn’t tell us (or me anyway) why he was going in! A day after his op when we went to pick him up, the nurses had given him what they called “Fairy Mixture” which not only relieved his pain but put him on a high! He did not need a wheelchair to get out to the car and he certainly did not need anyone to carry his bags! He did pay for it though for the next few days when he was so sore he kept telling me to stop making him laugh!!
In his latter years, after waiting most of his life, he got the opportunity to go overseas to work as a missionary! He’d wanted to go to Japan when I was about 4 years old but the church we were part of at the time did not want him to do that. He even bought a book called “Japanese in 30 days” so he could have a basic understanding of the language. He never did go to Japan, instead he and mum went to PNG where Dad taught at a Bible School.
My wedding – August 1995 (6 weeks after mum had passed away)
Mum passed away in 1995 and Dad remarried in March the following year. A little earlier he was diagnosed with cancer. He went through Chemo which slowed it down a bit but made him sick. When I was in hospital in Nov 1996 waiting for our first child to be born, Dad was in another hospital across town. He’d ring me from his hospital bed and we’d compare the food menu, his was always better than mine! He got out of hospital in time to come visit me and meet his granddaughter.
I was with him in December 1998 when he was told how long he had before cancer took over. I asked him how he felt about it, he replied, “Me feel?”
He was in hospital on New Years Day, he told every nurse that came into his room, “This year I’m going to Glory!” He was not afraid to die, he was confident he knew where he was going.
A few days before he died, he called us all into his room as he wanted to celebrate communion for the last time on earth. He hadn’t talked much for a day or two as he slipped in and out of consciousness, but after communion he started to sing in his normal LOUD voice! I’d love to be able to remember the song he sung so if any family remember please leave a comment for me.
He also talked to each of us children (actually we were adults!) individually as he wanted to make sure there was nothing between us and him before he died.
That was just over 15 years ago … while pregnant with Jessica who is very much like her grandpa!
Miss you DAD!
Dad and I on a Christmas holiday in 1969