My father died in 1988, at the age of 65, on his 65th birthday actually. His birthday and Father’s Day are always paired in my mind. Some years they fall on the same day, others they are just days apart. I can’t think of one without thinking of the other.
We’d had his birthday party the night before, and on his birthday he had breakfast, did the crossword puzzle and left for the Tennis Club for his scheduled game. He was playing doubles when he collapsed on the court.
The end result, he had a massive heart attack and they couldn’t save him.
At the time, I had just moved back to the city. For months, I had been looking for work after a lay-off, and the position in
seemed the best bet. Toronto
I remember spending the weekend at my parents after a Friday interview. I had been offered the position and was to let the facility know first of the week if I wanted the job. The Director of Nursing had been especially understanding of how difficult my decision was, to move my kids from a small town to the city.
But all weekend it was status quo. My parents never mentioned the job, the move or the DECISION, the big decision that I had to make by Monday. There were so many things to consider, where to live, schools, babysitters.
I remember I kind of lost my patience. Weren’t they curious? Didn’t they want to know what I was going to do? What the hell was wrong with them?
My Dad, with a quiet and patient calm said, “It’s not our decision. What do you need?”
I need to find a place to live, I told them. Mom grabbed the paper and we started the search, spent a day answering ads, and found a duplex a few blocks from where she and Dad lived. Good neighbourhood, close to schools, playgrounds and the library. First problem solved.
That week, my Mom went to the two local schools for information and met a neighbour. Her daughter and my daughter had made friends when we were in the city visiting, and she was at the school to put her name in, as a babysitter. Second problem solved, I had my babysitter.
I’m a great believer that things happen for a reason. This move was one of those things. My house in the small town sold immediately, the duplex was empty and ready to move in, and my kids had a good school, and a babysitter whose family they knew and liked.
Everything worked out so I could take that job, and move closer to my parents.
Here’s something a little…out there. I had seen a psychic who lived in our town shortly before the move. He talked about my relationship with my mother, and asked about my Dad. I told him we had a great relationship. He gave me a speculative look and said, “Isn’t that funny, I don’t see him.”
That psychic’s comment went over my head and I never thought about it until years later when talking to a friend, relating psychic readings we’d had. It hit me hard to realize the psychic had most likely seen my father’s death and I’d never understood the meaning of what he’d said. Would it have changed anything? I don’t know.
What I do know, and truly believe, is that I was meant to be living those few blocks away when my father went to play tennis that morning. I was not meant to be 100 miles away.
So, on this the 27th Father’s Day without my father, I’m thinking of him, remembering those old times, the good times.
I love you Dad, and miss you as much as ever.