Saturday, July 5, 2008

Missin' My Dad

James Weldon Donohue - My Dad
May 21st, 1944 - July 6th, 2002

Six years ago tomorrow (Sunday), my Dad died. I'm an only child. I love my Mother dearly, she's a Mom and a friend and she knows how important she is to me. I was also Daddy's Girl, and was until the day he died.

One of the boys asked me the other day if "Grampy wished he'd had a boy." Damn, I hope not, cause he got me :-)

He seemed to make the best of it though, cause I can remember many an hour spent with him at a ballgame, curling rink, bowling alley lol. I was bat kid, cheerleader, or simply off playing with the other kids who were there with their Dads, and out from under their Mom's feet for awhile ;-)

I miss my Dad.

Life has gone on. I've lived in the same community, worked for the same company, made the 'big' decisions without calling for his opinion first, became a single Mom, continued to raise my kids, took vacations, celebrated birthdays and milestones, paid bills, made friends, lost friends ... life goes on.

I still miss my Dad though. And there's still a big part of me that is angry that my boys are missing out on having an awesome grandfather who adored them. He had his BOYS!!! LOL He completely doted on Alec for the first four years. But with Adam, it was bittersweet because he knew from almost the beginning that he didn't have much time with him. Adam was two when he died. He doesn't remember him. That makes me sad.

Alec was 6. He remembers him. Remembers how much he loved him. Remembers the things they did together on their frequent visits LOL. That makes me sad too.

Shortly after his death, I added a special page for him on our personal website. I thought I'd share some of it here with you tonight.


Let me just start out by saying that no matter what I write or include on this page, it will never begin to describe how I viewed my father as a "dad", husband, man, or individual. Geeze, the man was a HUGE influence on my life, still is! There's no way I could capture everything on a website. It's simply a few highlights I wanted to share and will continue to add to.

Thanksgiving weekend 2000 my life changed with a phone call.

Dad had been admitted to the hospital for pains in his stomach and mom was calling with the test results... "It's cancer".

For almost two years I watched my dad fight a horrible disease and not once (after the initial shock) did he ever let me see it get him down.

The weekend before he died, I was home with them and he was still making plans for weeks, months and even yrs in advance. Knowing full well that he was fighting a losing battle, but always going along as if he wasn't.

Honest, strong, stubborn, proud, caring, giving, respected, funny, protective of his family, firm/stern at times, but loving, and always a gentleman. That was my dad to those who knew him best.

He was the youngest in a family of 6. Three boys and three girls, and lived in Blackville, NB. It's been said that as a child, dad's feet never touched the ground because there was always a sibling carrying him somewhere like a little doll :-)

The doll grew up to first become a teacher, who was know for having the best disciplined class in the school. (Yup... I can see that) but who would also have those same boys at his desk before class discussing the previous night's hockey game, either one he had watched or participated in.

Then he moved to Bathurst, changed careers and worked as a lab technician at the Beldune Smelter for 30some years. It was there (in Bathurst) that he met my mom at a dance, at the Vista Bay. THE hotspot in Bathurst in the 60's. I guess mom gave poor dad a hard time that night. For some reason she thought he was married so when he started hitting on her, she pretty much told him to get lost. Obviously they cleared up that misunderstanding, started dating, got married and had me.

Sometime in the early 80's

See that wooden key holder on the wall in the background? I made that in 'shop class' in middle school, and god love him, he hung it on the wall and that's where it stayed for years to come LOL

My Dad had his favourites. He loved the HABS, Jays and Alpine :-) Shortly after I found out Dad was sick, I started to plan his Christmas surprise. I got it in my head I was giving him a phone call from his all time hockey hero ... Guy LaFleur.
Yeah. That didn't go over so well.

Read all about it ... HERE.

Dad and the boys

If Heaven has an expression ... I think THIS is it ...
Alec was brand new home from the hospital

Dad & Alec 1996

Dad & Adam 2001

Thanks to my mom, a piece of my dad will always be with me. The ring on my middle finger is dad's wedding band. It's significance for me? He wore it for over 30yrs, every day. 30 yrs of marriage is one thing ... 30yrs of marriage to someone you still thought of as your best friend, is another thing entirely!

Granted nothing is perfect, but if I can do that AND give my kids the proverbial "normal" childhood, like I consider myself lucky enough to have had, than perfect or not, I'll take it.

If you're a believer in "whatever", you'll understand that it's comforting to know how something that was so much a part of him, for so long, is now with me and when I look at it, I can actually hear him in my head... although I'm not always sure that's a good thing ;-)

Mom & Dad were married on Sept 26th, 1970
and celebrated 32 yrs together.


I'd like to leave you with one more thing tonight. It's a song that reminds me of my Dad. It's by a new artist called Crystal Shawanda. I heard it for the first time a few months ago on the drive home from work. It's a very dangerous song to drive to if you're a Daddy's Girl, who's lived every verse in the song, and is still missin' her Dad.

Nite all. And this one's for you Daddy :-)


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