22 Jul 2010


Today is my dad's 60th birthday!

Despite his supposed desire to limit the attention he gets over such things, we're making a bit of a big deal of him. Patrick and I flew out to Alberta and my sister came down from Edmonton. We're going to goof around the mountains today, which might involve a bit of hiking. Despite getting him a Flip camcorder and painting a picture of him (no, I am not 4), this outing is really my ultimate gift to him. In case you didn't know it from my circumference and the small moon that orbits me, exercising is not my favourite thing in the world to do and exercising in public is THE DEVIL. I can barely muster the will to chase an ice cream truck around the corner. So, climbing and scrambling up hills and little cliffs with no ice cream at the end? Unheard of. But since a certain newly-minted senior citizen likes that sort of thing, off we'll go.

We're lucky to have my dad. He is funny and smart and loving. He's just as quick to quote Monty Python as he is Shakespeare. Despite always turning the music up way too loud, he has made my mom happy for nearly 35 years. My dad has always been there for my sister and I, and I think you'll all agree that at least one of us turned out pretty awesome. He's also dealt with the roller coaster ride that is cancer (a ride that isn't over, so please give!) with a humour, grace and humility that puts all our tantrums about everyday nothings to shame. I not only love my dad, but I like him quite a bit too - something that not all daughters experience with their fathers - so I feel very lucky to be able to celebrate the person he is with him today.

So, happy birthday, dad! We love you lots.

I'd love to end this post on that note, but I sadly can't. Today has also been exactly two weeks since my husband's father unexpectedly passed away. That day and the days immediately following Paul's death are undoubtedly among the worst of Patrick's and my life.

Paul's sudden death of a massive cardiac arrest at the age of 55 was incredibly unfair. Unfair to him, as he had a lot of living to do, unfair to us as we've been left without him. Despite my claims of being a writer, I cannot find the right words to best describe my husband's father and what this loss feels like, so I suggest you read the work of someone who was able to do this in the most eloquent and perfect way. Paul Toffanello, Paul's best friend, did the eulogy at the service, and it really is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.

While my dad and Patrick's dad aren't the same person, at their core they are both people who love their families, have a joy for life and have made huge, lasting impressions on those around them. They are the kind of men that I hope other dads strive to be like.

We love you both.


Anonymous,  1:07 pm, July 22, 2010  

This is really nice, Jen.

Foxy Renard 1:23 pm, July 22, 2010  

Oh man. This was a tear-inducer. (And you know what a rare thing that is for me.) I don't have any good words either, but this is me sending my love to you two.

Colleen 2:00 pm, July 22, 2010  

So very lovely. Happy birthday, Joe Price. Nice work with that Jen kid, she really is incredible.
Jen, you and P.Byckie are in my thoughts constantly and I hope you are doing okay, despite the exercise. xo.

LK,  11:03 am, July 23, 2010  

My condolences on the loss of your FIL. That really is unfair. Your post was beautiful.

Nessa24,  1:12 pm, July 23, 2010  

We lost my MIL unexpectedly in the same way, at the age of 58. So I can, in some small way, relate to the things you are likely going through. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through, so I can hardly imagine what it was like for my husband. Take care of yourselves.

Susan J Barker 9:55 am, July 24, 2010  

sorry to read about your loss -- it has been 14 years since my father died and I think of him everyday...

Treasure the moments with your own Pa and despite what the rest of the world says about excercise, I am not a believer in it!

Jen 3:36 pm, August 03, 2010  

Thank you for the comments and condolences, everyone. :)

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Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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