Superman’s Last Flight…

September 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Daddy-O, Family Ties, Toeses and Noses | 2 Comments
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DadI lost my Dad yesterday.

He had Metastatic Prostate Cancer which spread to his bones, and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

It was quite a shock, how quickly he left us.  It still seems surreal and I’m still numb.  Just a week ago I was with him and I was taking him for a walk around his new home – a long-term care facility – in his wheelchair.  He winced when we went over even the smallest bump in the pavement.  When we went from the sidewalk to the pavement, he groaned.  He stopped speaking.  He was so thin.

He never complained though.  It wasn’t his style.

Two weeks ago he would talk rather animatedly when my Brother and I came to visit.  He had many things to tell me.  I wish I stopped to listen.  At the time it seemed repetitive.  He would start a sentence and when he got to the end, he would begin again – very nearly saying the same exact thing over again.

I would love to hear his voice again.

Mom would pester him.  In their room she would wheel him beside her chair – she barely able to move him because she’s frail herself but she had to look after him – that was her job.  They were four weeks short of their 56th Wedding Anniversary, and he two months shy of his 92nd Birthday.  He died on my Birthday – nearly at the same hour at night that I was born.

He was my Superman.  Cancer was his Kryptonite.

us

L-R: My Brother Rob, My Mom, Me and my Dad circa 1968 at our old house on Langley Ave, Toronto

He loved his family.  He was an amazing Grandfather – when my girls were small they were a bit shy when my Parents came over because my Mom would squeal and try to smother them in kisses and hugs; my Dad was the patient one.  He would get down to their level, on one knee, smile at them and talk to them very softly.  He would always win them over and they would go to him, they were Poppy’s Pets.  They adored him.

My daughter Lexy has his smile.

He was a family man.  He couldn’t catch a break when my brother and I were young.  For many years he could only find occasional work – a typical story for a blue-collar immigrant with a grade school education.  On my second birthday he finally landed a full-time job making $1 an hour – a veritable fortune.

My parents didn’t have a lot of money when I was a child – though it never felt like we had to do without – my Dad made a lot of the furniture pieces they needed.  I’ve inherited some of them.  For years I’ve had a three-legged, kidney-shaped table in my living room that my Dad made – I always tell the girls to be careful with it because it is older than I am.  They were always skeptical, but someday they’ll understand.  I hope the piece survives long enough for one of them to take it when they get older.

My Brother Rob is sitting on the 3-legged table as my Dad was putting it together

My Brother Rob is sitting on the 3-legged table as my Dad was putting it together

He didn’t sweat the small stuff.  Somehow everything would work itself out.  He’d been through too much in his life to let many things bother him.

He was always proud of my accomplishments especially when he walked me down the aisle when I married Alex, though his feet hurt so much in his rented shoes that he wouldn’t dance with me.

He was funny.  He had a lot of corny jokes which we always laughed at.

He was proud of his Danish heritage.  He was one of the few people I know who could stomach Akvavit.  It’s hard thinking of him in the past tense.

I promised him that we would move him to a facility closer to where we live.  We had it planned so that the girls would be able to see my parents more – that we could visit a couple of times a week.  He really wanted that.  I knew he was sick, but I didn’t expect him to go so fast.

There are so many things left unsaid.

I love you, Dad.

Andy - November 2, 1923-September 8, 2015

Andy – November 2, 1923-September 8, 2015

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  1. […] times not to worry, we would look after Mom.  That was our job now.  He could rest in peace.  He passed away in early September, on an incredibly warm day – and on my […]

  2. […] lost him a year ago, on my last Birthday.  That’s why I’ve decided not to ‘celebrate’ my Birthday this year – […]


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