My favourite person is someone who has been there since the day I was born. He used to sing ‘Zip-pa-dee-do-da’ when travelling in the car. He would flex his muscle while I happily swung from his arm. His Donald Duck impersonation had me in hysterics. On secluded, open roads, he’d swerve the car back and forth to allow the feeling of an amusement ride as I giggled happily.
He took me to my interview at Ryerson when I applied for the Radio and Television Arts program. At the end of my first year, he drove to Toronto, moved me out of residence and took me to a Blue Jays game. We left in the 7th inning when the Jays were losing by 7 runs. They ended up coming back and winning. We’ve never left another ball game early.
During my 10 years in Toronto, as I became a young professional and tried to figure life out, he was there for support, advice, financial help, moving help (how many times did I move during that decade?), always on the other end of the phone or an email or driving to the city with my mom for a visit.
At 25 I decided to do a short term mission trip to Romania. When he heard about it, he said he’d like to do it too. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had with him and I still cherish that we did that together.
The year he turned 60 and I turned 30, we travelled to Boston so he could finally go to Fenway Park, the home of his beloved Red Sox. It was a trip that is etched on my heart and remains one of my favourite vacations.
He was there in times of crisis. The night I was on the phone with him, expressing that I just didn’t want to live anymore and he said ‘We’re on our way’. It was 2am. They were at my door before sunrise. The time I lost my job and he said ‘Come home’. The door to his house was immediately open. And for several months he walked with me as I not only dealt with the loss of my job, but also a loss of myself, the wounds of a betrayal, and a struggle to figure out what my purpose was.
He never pushed too hard or made demands. He let me take things at my own pace, while constantly assuring me that I had a purpose and too much potential to waste.
When everything fell apart again, his door was once again open. He was even willing to renovate the basement to create an apartment for me if it came to the point where I couldn’t work again.
He took the time to research my disease, to ask questions, to seek out professionals, so he knew exactly how to help me. He admitted he didn’t understand, but he knew my struggle was real and would do anything necessary to help me be healthy.
Why did he do all these things?
Because he’s my dad.
Over the years, as I’ve grown up, he’s become so much more than my dad.
He’s my confidante.
My baseball watching buddy.
And most importantly, my friend.
And he is my favourite person in this world.
He makes me laugh more than anyone – probably because we have the same odd sense of humour. He challenges me and keeps me on my toes. He knows when to offer advice and when to hold his tongue.
His generosity knows no limits.
I have always thought that if I could end up being half as good as him, that would be a successful life.
My father. My friend. My favourite guy.
Happy Father’s Day.
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