My Dad and Mum emigrated from Scotland in 1949 and 1950 respectively. My Father was a product of his time and origin. His Father died early and his Mother opened a boarding house in order to provide for him and his brother. British folks don’t express their feelings easily. He was a 1950’s Dad. He recommended that my sister and I become plumbers because this is a trade that is always needed. Not sure if he was joking…. Here’s my letter to my Dad.
Well this has been a long time coming but I’m ready to write this letter to you now that you’ve been gone for six years and I’ve had time to reflect.
For a long time after Mum died, I thought I was more like her because I saw your tough guy attitude as being distasteful and that her softer side was more desirable. In a 15 year old’s mind, I thought you could have stopped my Mother from drinking herself to death. Instead you were off playing tennis and curling and bringing home the bacon. A long time ago I realized that no one can make someone stop drinking. Support is important but at the end of the day, it is a choice. You were just doing your best. Support for addiction in 1970 was virtually non-existent.
What I have learned is I am much like you. You taught me how to be a business “man”. You instilled in me a self confidence that if I was prepared to work hard enough for something, likelihood I would be successful. This is no small thing.
What I’ve realized since you died is that you were there for me. When I was a teenager and you trusted me to do the right thing, when you fought to ensure I get my place on the Quebec badminton team that I had earned, when you made sure we had an opportunity to buy your house and you let us live there for free for a year, when I got divorced and you came up to see if I had what I needed to take care of the boys and when you paid off my car.
I am much more liberal than you and we did not share political views. You believed that you ate what you kill. I have said that if we weren’t Father and Daughter, we probably wouldn’t have been friends. But we weren’t friends; you were my parent. I had a much easier upbringing and you gave me that and I am grateful.
You taught me not to spend money I don’t have, I’ve always kept to that rule. It has served me well. We always had a good home to live in, nice vacations, happy Christmas’s, and everything we needed and most of what we wanted.
You were not a perfect parent and neither am I. My children are much more appreciative than I was. I am thankful that I was wanted and loved. You were always so proud of our accomplishments and how I parented my boys.
So let me thank you for all you did for me and for those who think it’s too late to acknowledge their parents, it’s never too late.
I am still Daddy’s girl and proud of it.