Oh Mine Pappa!

June 18, 2006 at 6:49 pm 10 comments

GREAT post by Gazateer about his dad.

my day was spent remembering a story to tell my dad that i could thank him for. i didn’t want the family drama, just a short conversation where i could let him know i appreciate some of the good stuff he brought to my life.

when i was in about grade seven there was a neighbourhood meeting because someone up the road was buying a home they wanted to turn into a half-way house. my parents were the only ones who supported it. mom and dad sat us down, explained things, different views, their views, and invited us to come if we wanted. i tagged along and watched dad speak up and all the neighbours get upset that someone was supporting this. the memory sure stuck with me.

after relating this to dad he told me i had just ‘made’ his father’s day. but then as a parent who’s not been perfect i hope someday my daughter might be able to do the same for me one day. she’s 23 and loves her dad to bits.

anyways, despite my father’s limitations as a dad, that’s just one story of good things he brought to my life.

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10 Comments

  • 1. Gazetteer  |  June 18, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    What I’m learning is that it’s amazing the stuff your kids remember about you, and how they remember it.

    Having my oldest, who is now 13, remember me sticking up for something when the going was tough sometime down the road would put me on the top of the world which is what you did for your Dad.

    Thanks scout for the comment over at my place.

    It’s stuff like this that I really enjoy most about the bloggodome.

    .

  • 2. Scout  |  June 19, 2006 at 12:20 am

    hey, thanks to you for opening my heart today! my dad would far rather have had me tell him my story then receiving a card or present (which i wouldn’t do anyways, i’m allergic to mail).

    13. sheesh. i remember our girl at that age…..she was monosyllabic so never would have told me anything i did for her!!! ;you’re lucky to have a kid that would say something cool like that. at 23 her hormones are no longer going zig-zag and she’s turned out to be a delightful young woman.

    being new to blogging, yours is the first story i’ve encountered with that heartfelt warmth we all need a dose of ….every day actually! glad to hear it takes place in bloggersville where we wear our crying hearts behind our anger and humour πŸ™‚

  • 3. cheezwhiz  |  June 19, 2006 at 6:15 am

    Scout, Just that one story about your Dad is telling re: the formation of your own social conscience.

    When my Dad had a stroke 8 yearws ago and was first in hospital, two similar events brought home to us the example he had been for us – yes, despite his flaws. Dad had been a social worker with the city in th social services department for over 30 years until his retirement at 65. On two separate occasions, nurses came to Dad’s room to say to him that years before, when each had been single Mom’s struggling to get ahead, Dad had “bent the rules” for them to receive assistance to attend nursing school. They had never forgotten his help then, and wanted him to know that they were fine, their kids were fine, and they were now on duty to help him. It was really moving. Dad died last April and my brother related these events in his eulogy, because they seemed to sum up what Dad valued, and the values he managed to pass on to us – not by preaching, but by unconscious (?) example.

    On another front, my biological grandfather (I am an adoptee) was Anishna’abe, and served on the front lines in WW2 (I understand it was common for Aboriginal soldiers to find themselves at the very front)- leaving when my birth mother was an infant not to return until she was 3. For years after his return, his wife says, she would wake to find him curled in the fetal position under their bed, apparently experiencing flash-backs. He never discussed his experiences, though, even with her. When the returning vets received compensation in form of land, etc. after the war, my grandfather received nothing – because he was an Indian. When my birth mother, at 20, discovered she was pregnant, her parents met with my birth father’s parents to hash out how “it” would be handled. My paternal grandmother looked my maternal grandfather in the eye and said “there’s no way our son is marrying into an Indian family”. Sadly, this man died in 1991 before I had the chance to meet him. These stories about his quiet dignity, and ability to retain his composure in the face of overt racism break my heart, and at the same time they make me want to do something in my lifetime that will make a difference. Adoptees, like many immigrants in diaspora, tend to feel out of place, to varying degrees, in both their biological and adoptive cultural worlds. Sometimes it takes us a little longer to figure out our ‘place’.

    It’s why, in my early 40’s and with four kids, I gave up my career as a highschool teacher to pursue a doctorate degree so I could work from a more direct forum. It remains to be seen to what degree I’ll be successful, but i certainly have some good models, and i’m thankful for that. At least I’m trying. If nothing else,I suppose, I’ll be passing on to our four kids some of the values these two good men on to me. Of course, the stories of all the good women are there, too πŸ™‚

    Thanks for giving me pause for thought about al of this.

  • 4. Scout  |  June 19, 2006 at 11:10 am

    nice words whiz, your style reaches the heart. hey blame it all on gazeteer, his post on his dad is what inspired me!!!!

    it’s great to know so many bloggers of all races are people who understand aboriginal issues and speak out about them and take action.

    indians were never supposed to be drafted, according to law. a lot were, many volunteered. many reserves had more land stolen from them by the govt. while so many of the men were away .
    the horrors of war are one things, but to volunteer or be illegally drafted then receive no compensation or have your land stolen is beyond compreshension. any minority usually gets put on the frontlines….blacks , hispanics, indians and ‘white trash’ in the u.s..

    you can email me at scout_vagabond@yahoo.ca

    keep setting your own example !!!!!!!!!!!!! yay!!!!

  • 5. cheezwhiz  |  June 19, 2006 at 11:44 am

    the letters to the editor here are so discouraging re: Caledonia. I hope they don’t represnet the majority, since only the disgruntled generally take the time to write…they are all very negative toward the 6Ns people – it’s disgusting and shameful that we are as a general pop;ulation so freaking ignorant of the past and how we got to ‘here’. Sent you an e-mail. YOu’re right on about the corporate media, BTW, I believe. I can’t get anywhere agitating for better coverage but will keep trying. why else are we here if not to evolve????????????? Nice to know there are people out there in blogville, at least, who have a bigger/better picture in mind (that circle…)

  • 6. Annamarie  |  June 19, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    Scout, you wrote a heartwarming tribute to your Dad. Because of him, you have such deep humanistic values and sense of fairness, justice, equality. As we know, parents — biological or adoptive — are the main role models for children, and as such, play a crucial role in shaping and instilling our core values. Your Dad obviously did very well with you that regard, as did Cheezwhiz’s Dad.

    I read Gazetteer’s tribute linked here too. He also was lucky enough to have a father with a social conscience. I did too.

    My Papa (coming from Europe, most of us called our fathers ‘Papa’) died almost three years ago. He died suddenly, tragically, from an accident (fell down the narrow spiral staircase leading down to his home office), hitting his head on the spot where he had a piece of brain tissue removed years before due to meningitis which left a vulnerable soft spot). Papa was rushed to hospital in a comatose state, from which he never recovered. This tragedy still causes me so much pain that I find it very difficult to write these words… I flew to Germany that summer almost 3 years ago, in a state of shock and utter despair. He was a humanitarian and environmentalist, with a very big social conscience. At his funeral, I met many people who told me of the numerous ways he helped make his corner of the world a better place… Even though I was separated from my Papa for much of my growing-up and adult life, the important things he instilled in me when I was a little girl were always with me… And now that he is gone, I still ‘talk’ to him regularly in my solitary times, and ask what he would do…. Often, the answers come…

    I agree with what Cheezwhiz says about the Caledonia events and the local/mainstream media’s incorrect reporting and spin…. It makes my heart so heavy to hear so much hatred, which I read on some other sites, in letters, etc. I had naively thought that Canada was beyond such bigotry and ignorance. Sadly, I was very wrong…

    Sorry, I can’t write any more just now, as my eyes are burning with unshed tears and my heart is heavy….

    “Oh mine Papa, to me he was so wonderful, oh mine Papa, I miss him oh so much….”

    (Could you imagine how different all of us may have turned out had our Dads been bigoted, self-rightous Harpie types? )

  • 7. Scout  |  June 19, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    gee annamarie, that’s so sad about your papa. i hope the pain has subsided over the last few days.

    don’t know about parents and all that……there’s lots of people who somehow innatley kept their hearts and developed their conscience despite bigoted or harpy type parents.

    hmmm, i’ll try to make a keyboard kleenex for you:

    { }

  • 8. Scout  |  June 19, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    gee annamarie, that’s so sad about your papa. i hope the pain has subsided over the last few days.

    don’t know about parents and all that……there’s lots of people who somehow innatley kept their hearts and developed their conscience despite bigoted or harpy type parents.

    hmmm, i’ll try to make a keyboard kleenex for you:

    { }

  • 9. cheezwhiz  |  June 20, 2006 at 10:04 am

    annamarie, here is my kleenex, too: [] . Gee, and we all wonder if we’ll have any effect on our own kids’ lives/ if they “hear” us at all, etc…sounds to me that it is a given. πŸ™‚

  • 10. Annamarie  |  June 21, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks, both of you for the kleenex. Believe it or not, it has helped…. (And sorry for getting so emotional back there…)

    Yes, some kids turn out good in spite of their harpy-type (hh, as in hippo-hippo πŸ™‚ parents. I guess it’s because of the in spite of …. they see what not to be…


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