If you build it. . .

It has been 365 days since I last saw my dad in person. There have been moments over the past year where I think every member of my family has thought that they were finally feeling better and moving on, and just as many moments where they found themselves back at the same place they were at the moment he died. The most bittersweet aspect of the greiving process has been the stories of my dad. Generally very funny and touching, they are at the same time a great comfort – reminding us who he was – and a crushing reminder of what we lost.
Dad was a builder and over the years, built us many things. Our house, our bikes, a table for parties downstairs, a plastic rocking horse (whose springs used to pinch our chubby legs when we got too big), a tree stand for our Christmas tree (although that was after many years of jerry rigging it with string and nails), shelves for all our rooms, walls for new rooms when we got older and needed our own space, a desk for my mum, a bathroom in the basement, a dog area for my dogs (although he postured that he didn’t like them), a deck for my house, a deck for Ann, and his greenhouse (oh, lord, the greenhouse. What an eyesore!) I liked to watch him work. He was a man of few words, and if you wanted to learn, you learned by watching. You could ask him questions, but I found it worked best when I found a quiet place to sit out of the way and just watched. Watched him snap a chalk line, or put up drywall, or re-wire a socket. It never in a million years occured to me that not everyone’s dad could do those things. Those were Dad things – done with Dad tools. And I was surprised when I found out that not everyone’s Dad had been able to build a bathroom without any plans. Over this past year, we’ve slowly been learning how much we depended on him, for even the simplest task – hang a picture, hang a gate, fix a shelf – all things that we saw him do a million times.

Dad-ism of the day: My mum once said it would be nice when they got older to move into a bungalow. Then they wouldn’t have to go up and down so many stairs. My dad looked at her and asked a very familar dad question: “Who are you? The Queen of England?”


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2 comments on “

  1. Heidi Schempp Fournier

    Sniff! I love this post. I think our dad’s have a lot in common. Wonderful post.

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