Friday, February 3, 2023
I want to pour out my heart in remembrance of Dad, but where do I begin? There is so much to share.
It’s hard to talk about Dad without talking about “Mom and Dad.” I’ve often remarked to myself and others how very fortunate I have been to have the parents I do. The stability, grounding, and support of my upbringing laid the foundation on which I would build a life of meaning. Their relationship of mutual love and respect set the standard for what I would accept in my own.
The values I hold dear are rooted in what I was taught as a child … compassion, responsibility, respect, integrity, honesty, commitment, service. Dad and Mom each modeled behaviour reflecting these values, and they have profoundly shaped my life.
When I reflect on Dad, I have so many childhood memories … sitting on his lap while he helped me learn to tell time … discussing investment principles with him when I was 8 … flying with him to Fernie for a special ski trip at 14 … his patience in chauffering me to university each morning on his way to work … his driving from Saskatoon to Calgary after I’d graduated to deliver Amma’s antique sewing machine (only to later find puncture holes in his leather seats from the metal feet of its legs!)
And of course, there are myriad memories from my adult life, including many revolving around a shared passion of golf. But perhaps the most important involve how he responded to the other two most important men in my life.
My first husband, Ron (yes, you read this right … his name was also Ron, as is the husband of my sister … in fact, at one point, all the Klombies women were married to “Ron”) … so in 1986 Ron came with me from Calgary to meet his future in-laws.
As a 44-year-old man, about to meet the parents of his 25-year-old fiancé, he was naturally nervous … particularly about Dad. Raised in the US, Ron had visions of a hunting rifle being pulled out and waved menacingly in his direction ….
But from the moment the front door opened, both Dad and Mom were welcoming and gracious. Very quickly, Ron fell in love with them … as they did with him, and a beautiful, lasting friendship was born. In fact, I have no doubt Ron was there to greet Dad when Dad left this world.
The other love of my life, Greg, also made the introductory trek years later, this time from Vancouver Island. He’d had a different family experience in his upbringing and wasn’t quite sure why I, at 48, felt it important he meet my parents. Until he did … and experienced their warm and welcoming embrace into the family. He too has fallen in love with them, and cherishes the friendship that’s blossomed.
So, now I’m 62, and throughout all these years, the feeling has never left me of wanting to make Dad proud in all I did. Although he was not raised to easily express emotion, I was never in doubt that I had … and that he loved me with all his heart. As I do him.
Forever your daughter …. Karen