Sunday, January 18, 2009

10 Years Ago Today...

10 years ago today (January 18, 1999) my dad, John James, passed away from heart complications at the age of 57 years old. He had been dealing with heart problems since the age of 34 (1975), when he suffered a massive heart attack. He found out in 1991 that he would need a heart transplant. I will be discussing that more in February, of which I will be dedicating some of my blogs to the Heart & Stroke Foundation during "Heart Month", a charity which is dear to me.

My dad had been a truck driver for most of his adult life. He always had lots of stories to tell about his adventures on the road. I'm not sure whether all of them were true or not as he tended to stretch the truth and embellish a bit if it was going to get a good laugh out of his audience. I guess perhaps that is where I inherited that from! He loved reading Western books and watching Western movies - he was partial to Clint Eastwood. He loved his grandchildren, car racing (he had been a stock car racer when he was younger) and playing cards, especially crib. He loved golf, playing it and watching it. He even enjoyed playing golf on Nintendo. (Kurtis still can't believe, when we watch home movies, that his Papa had a Nintendo system before he did!) He loved Easter Cream Eggs, and was known to put the whole thing in his mouth so he wouldn't have to share it, and he enjoyed his ripple chips and dill pickle dip. When my mom would give him heck about eating chips & dip he would reply "Why...what's it going to do? Wreck my heart?" That would be my dad's sense of humour. Again, I see some of that in me.

Through I don't even know how many heart-attacks, 3 pace-makers, 2 trips to London, Ontario, (tests and more tests in regards to heart transplant suitability) numerous trips to Edmonton, Alberta (as pace makers weren't done in Saskatchewan at the time) and too many trips to Saskatoon to count, visiting various heart specialists, my dad always seemed to be able to keep his sense of humour. I'm sure my mom saw more depression in him then he let my brother and I and friends see, but through it all, he was always ready with something to laugh about and he didn't stop doing what he wanted to do. He lifted Kurtis one day (he was still very little) and my mom reminded him he shouldn't lift anything. He replied, "If I can't hold my grandson then you better dig a hole and put me in now!"

Though it's been 10 years I still think of him often. It just happens to be with less tears as time has gone on, and more remembering the laughter.

I would like to share with you a poem that was read at my dad's funeral, that seemed to be written about him. The author was a man that lived not far from Rosetown.

He got away from them last night
This man who was my friend
He got away to ne'r return
He won out in the end.
He knew his time of life was spent
Well past three score and ten
But every time he slipped away
They brought him back again.
And every time they brought him back
He suffered more and more
The only life he wanted now
Was on the other shore.
He got away from them last night
Away from the shocking pain
And they again tried to bring him back
So he could die again
But Heaven's Angels took him home
Don't weep for him or sigh
His pain is gone, he rests in peace
In his other home on high.
~~~~ By the late Marshall Scott

Love you dad - still and always, your little girl.


Anonymous said...

Thank You Catherine for the tribute to your Dad. I am so thankful that I had 37 years of laughter and sometimes tears with him. And out of that love I had 2 beautiful children. You are truly an amazing child.....your Mom

Laurette said...

Very touching blog Catherine and a very special devotion.

Donna said...

10 years is too long but it is wonderful to see the humour and stubborness your dad had...I think you are alot like him. I just loved the poem that was read at his funeral..just love it....
blessings to you today Catherine!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father! That poem makes me teary as it also seems as if it could be written to be read in the future at my mother's funeral. I am so glad you can think of him with less tears now and more smiles and laughter!


Brandi said...

Very nice Tribute to your Dad. He sounds like a wonderful man and the stories you tell of him are funny and loving. Like the time when he went to the store 4 or 5 times for that is love!

Splendid Little Stars said...

a lovely tribute! makes me emotional along with you.
What a great sense of humor. a very special man.


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