I know my blog is supposed to be focussed on my journey with ovarian cancer and for the most part I try to do that. But today, I cannot help thinking about Dad. It's getting pretty close to Remembrance Day and so I wanted to honour him in some little way.
If I have to make a connection to Dad and ovarian cancer, I can. I recall the morning of my surgery in London. I wanted desperately to see him before I went under the knife, so Gilles, my sweet hubby, took me to Dad's home which was maybe just over a kilometre from the hospital. It was early in the morning - 6:30 - so I wondered if he would even be up. I was so sad when after many tries at the doorbell and knocking, no one answered. I would go to the hospital anyway. I had to. But I was sadly lacking a final hug from my poppa bear.
When we arrived at the hospital, imagine my surprise when we entered the waiting room, there was Dad. All 82 years of him, seated on his motorized scooter, wearing his British tweed jacket and fedora. I wept like a baby as he hugged me and said he wanted to see me before I had surgery. I will never forget Dad's act of selflessness that morning. He had left home in the dark on his scooter just so he could be with 'his Dinny,' so he said...I love my dad...
The Royal Marines
more than just a green beret, it's a state of mind!
Another snappy slogan that anyone who knows Dad well has heard a million times:
'Once a Marine, Always, a Marine!'
It's true, too. The sticker on Dad's scooter says so. But not only does the sticker say so, so do the pictures on Dad's wall.
Dad, though, does not decorate his walls simply with pictures of yesteryear. They are stories; representations of a life lived according to the military - both good and challenging. Ask Dad about any of the black and white photographs on the wall. Each one will spark a memory; an experience and a story. For anyone who is interested and who would take the time to listen, he will use a plethora of words and his years of experience to relay the story in each one.
One day with a little help from my daughter who is good in the photography department, we can put a book together for our family. We can remember through Dad's eyes, the events that made him into who he is today. I am proud of my poppa. He has been through a lot. He lost his mother when he was only two years old. He enlisted when he was just over 16 years of age. Shortly after that, his father died. So he hasn't had an easy life.
This week as I don my poppy I will think of Dad and all the other brave men and women who fought, and battled so that generations to come could taste freedom. I will thank God for the gift of life. I will bow my head in prayer for all that I have as a result of many sacrifices of the courageous men and women who lived and fought through the war. I will try to remember to never take anything for granted and I will count Dad in as one of the most treasured blessings in my life.