My Dad was the most unselfish man I’ve ever know. He cared for and loved his family with every fiber in his being. He always put his family first. We were his world and he was ours.
My Mom and Dad set the bar high for what a marriage is supposed to be like and with it an amazing example to us all.
My Dad taught me many things and many lessons in life. He taught me practical things every girl needs to know like – roofing, how to put siding on a house, landscaping ,how to drive a boat and a car...the list goes on and on.
One lesson that I learned from him has always stayed with me. I was about 12 or 13 and I drove my boat to my friend Tut’s house which was about 5 miles down the lake from our home. It was a small 10 ft aluminum boat with a little 10 HP motor that you steered from the back. After spending the day at her place it was time to go back home. I called my parents to let them know I was coming home – a rule they insisted on if I was to have the privilege of using that little boat.
They told me that the big part of the lake was rough and to make sure I had my life jacket on. The bay that sheltered Tut’s house didn’t look too wavy at all so I didn’t think too much of it – after all Lake Nosbonsing was never that rough – one of the great things about small lakes. So I threw my life jacket on and started home. Well when I headed out of that bay and onto the big part of the lake – I saw what they meant. I had never seen waves that big before on the lake. The waves started coming up over, and into the boat. I grabbed my bailing can and started bailing the water out while steering with the other hand. Being a pretty good swimmer – more like a water rat at that age - I’m not afraid to admit – I was terrified. I thought about turning around and going back to my friend’s house but I remembered what my Dad had taught me – how to ride with the waves, so I carried on towards home. I was drenched and having a hard time seeing through the water that was covering me every time I went down into another wave when all of a sudden I saw my Dad in his boat coming to meet me. When he reached me he helped me into his boat and tied my little one behind to tow it home. We had just started going again when he stopped his boat, told me to get back into mine and he would follow beside me. I remember thinking What? Why would he do that to me when I was safe in his boat and terrified to go back into the little one. He simply said “If you’re going to be out on the lake by yourself, you need to learn how to handle the rough waters as well as the calm waters”.
Dad was right and I made it home safely with him beside me.
Many times throughout rough waters in my life, my Dad and Mom have always been beside me seeing me safely through – no matter what. And when things get bad and I think I can’t handle the situation in front of me, I remember his words.
I think I speak for all of our family that June 20th was the hardest day of our lives. This past week has been full of rough waters but I know with God’s Love and our family and friends beside us that we will find calm waters again.
You will be in our hearts and memories forever Daddy.