You ever come up with the worst thought in your mind and hope and pray that it never happens, or at least when it does you have enough time to properly prepare for it. At least give yourself the chance to physche up for it.
Well....yesterday my worst fears came true. Lemme set the table for a bit. My parents, god bless em, headed of to the city of St. Catharines for a family celebration of my uncles 40th birthday. It was a splendid gathering of 250 friends and family from all over. My parents love social events. Anyway, they ate and drink and listened to music long into the night, they sat around the bonfire until 5am, until bed called. My father fell asleep on the couch in my aunts livingroom (as per his norm). Well the following Sunday my mom headed out for the local Tim Hortons for coffee and bagels. Upon her arrival back to my aunts place she called me at home here in Mississauga to inform us that my dad had just gotten up and they would be coming home within the hour. I was left at home with my brother and sister for that Saturday night.
Well, my dad went into the washroom to get washed up....and...never came out. He was in the room for a long period of time. Everyone was outside cleaning up the backyard and when he didn't come out, my mom was perplexed. She went to the bathroom, knocked on the door "Jim....Jim are you Ok?' she could hear the water running but no response. My mom open the unlocked door to find my 47 year old father of 3 that I revered more then anyone on the face of this earth, face down, not breathing. She tried to give him mouth to mouth to induce breathing but it was too late. The amublance was called but...it was too late. My father died on September 7, 2003 at 12:30PM of what appears to be a massive heart failure or brain aneurysm (sp?).
One hour away in Mississauga, i was at a company BBQ, enjoying out of office time with my co-workers...but I knew something was not right. I had left my cell phone in my Aurora (which I never do). For some reason I was compelled to go get my phone...7 voicemails, 3 of them from my distraught mother. I rushed home to the bad news.
My life as I knew it changed forever.
Let me tell you abit about my dad, he was the absolute picture of what a man should be. Successful, smart, heart of pure gold, loved his wife, was devoted to his kids, loved cars, sports, golf, swimming in his pool, vacations, his job everything. Everything that I am today I owe all of it to my dad. I had every intention of having him with me through all the major parts of my life. Its a damn cruel shame that he will not be able to see his children grow up, get married, have kids of their own....everything that he ever wanted, he'll never see.
The out pouring of grief from from family, friends, coworkers, neighbours has been unreal...never has one man been such an influence on so many lives. At least in my eyes.
Upon my arrival at home last night, I stood out alone in the dark and looked up and had a chat with him....I wanted to give him a hard time for what he has done to us, but also thank him for helping me become the person that I am, and will continue to be. Ironically he got me back for that. I dreamt last night that he was sitting on his beloved piano bench (man, that daddio of mine could play the piano..wow) but the bench was in the kitchen of my old house. He looked back at me and smilied. I said "Dad...what have you done to us?? why?" He used his trademark coy grin and said..." I did what I had to do, it was my time son, but I can see into your future now...and things are going to be fine for you" I asked him to tell me what he saw. Of course my dad was the kind of man who never said no. As he spoke I couldn't hear what he was saying and I was slowly waking up.....when I came to I laid there and smiled...Of course he couldn't tell me the future, the future is mine to discover. He set the table for me, now I have to run with it.
It was his final gift to his son.
He blessed me witht the legacy of his name, and his fathers name now its my intention that my son bears his name, so that we never forget what an amazing person he really was.
One of the great things about him, is that we never held any grudges, we never fought, never had any demons against each other. My dad left me and there was no issues left unresolved. So, I implore all of you. Never hold anything against your family, no matter what, nothing is to trivial...ever. Its ok to be angry with each other over stupid minor things, but just remember...one day it may all end, your world may come crashing down when a parent suddenly leaves you to fend for yourself....
I miss you dad...
Rest In Peace
Michael James Wallace II
April 19th 1956 - September 7 2003
One more thing, see that dash there. Each and everyone of us has that dash, we have a start date and a dash....that dash there is your life, what you do within that dash tells the world what kind of person you are, were and will be. That last date is an unknown, so make your dash count. Because we all come to an end at some point, and the dates become trivial...what people remember is what you did in the dash..
This picture (despite the grainy image...thank you mr webcam
) captures the essence of the relationship that he and I had. The pic was taken back in 1985, I was six, he was 29
Thanks for reading BC....I appreciate it