A Trip Down Memory Lane

June 1, 2015 § 3 Comments

Desk 1I’ve been thinking about this topic for a few weeks, but the timing is best now.

Tuesday would have been my father’s 93rd birthday. He’s been gone for 26 years but a surprise reminder occurred when my older brother, Bob Jr., delivered our dad’s rolltop desk from Canmore, Alberta, recently.

The old piece of furniture has endured a tough life. When I first grew up, it remained at the old farmhouse where my father was raised in North Rolla, B.C. It was moved into Dawson Creek, thankfully, before vandals burned down all the buildings at the farm.

Once at our house, the desk, probably more than 100 years old, proved to be a landing spot for my father’s paperwork. I think I inherited my lack of filing prowess from him.

My father willed the desk to Bob and I snapped up the opportunity to take it when my brother began downsizing.

I remember always being fascinated with the desk – its many cubby holes, the deep drawers, the handiwork behind the rolltop, and the solid oak structure.

The arrival of the desk was an opportunity to connect with Bob, my sister-in-law, Louise, and their son, Logan. I hadn’t seen my nephew in a few years and memories of my dad rushed back into my head.

I’ve been without my father almost as long as I had him – I was 28 when he passed away.

The desk is a reminder of my father, beyond its physical presence. It is strong. It has character. Its dark stain makes it appear stoic. My father had an enduring quality, though he passed away much too young at age 66.

Although it needs some tender loving care, the desk is reminiscent of my dad’s relentless drive to excel as a highways foreman, a position in which he rarely missed a day’s work, even when seriously ill.

Dad might have been called a workaholic though that term wasn’t used widely in his generation.

I believe we share a lot of the same qualities – caring, compassion, generosity, a sense of fairness and justice, and a wry sense of humour. He was shy until he got to know people. I am the same, though my career choice has found me coming to grips with public speaking and schmoozing upon occasion.

He preferred talking one-on-one to people, often workmates about a project. Through practice, I have learned to be comfortable in crowds, though I like smaller groups, talking about shared interests like sports or music.

I gained my work ethic from Dad but also learned the value of playing hard, something he was just figuring out how to do when he passed away.

Ironically, he died on the way home after watching his first NHL hockey game in person. I have been to many professional sporting events live along with going to numerous concerts, another love of mine.

Dad’s idea of going on vacation was to get from points A to B as fast as possible. I enjoy compiling hordes of information and then plotting out a general plan, with room to be spontaneous.

I’m thrilled the arrival of the desk provided a new opportunity to think about my father.

Happy Birthday, Dad. We’ll take good care of your desk and continue thinking of you often.

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§ 3 Responses to A Trip Down Memory Lane

  • Angie says:

    Having lost my father last month (grandfather, but he earned the father tittle many times over) I spent weeks going through and collecting photos of him to put together his memorial video. Each photo told a story, many of the stories I was not part of however it was fascinating to learn about his life. I was amazed how different life was for him, growing up in the great depression. It truly makes me appreciate how privileged we are to live the life of comfort we have today. I can see where I got some of my strongest traits too like my ambition, stubbornness and humor. I am privileged to have know him so well, to have so many memories of him that I will always cherish. His slow decline in health caused me to think of things that I may have never thought of such as what I would regret on my death bed. I recently decided that I want have children because I will regret never trying. Even after his death, he has kept on giving me questions to ponder like how I should live now to get the fine age of 87 like him without regrets… I will greatly miss this wonderful man. Thanks for sharing David, it’s important to always remember and cherish memories of loved ones.

    ~Angie

  • It’s a day of memories for me as well. My grandmother’s birthday was today too. I miss her quiet laugh (and cinnamon buns). For a sweet old lady, she was quite a card shark too. When I’d be away from home working overseas each and come back in the summers, she’d always remember what we talked about the summer before.

    Gramma made me feel as important in her life as she was in mine. Today, I will wear her bracelet to keep her close. It’s the one thing I asked for when she passed away (and I wasn’t here).

    Love you always, G.

  • Karry says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your father, he would be very proud of you. I
    enjoy your stories they make me smile, or laugh out loud.

    Keep them coming.

    Karry.

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