What My Dad Has Taught Me

My Dad is a pretty cool guy.

He’s one of the youngest-at-heart people I know. We have a running joke in our family – when talking about Dad’s age (71), we say he’s “Older than Dirt”. He thinks it’s hilarious. I think it’s ironic. Dad may be in his 70’s, but he sure doesn’t act like it. He’s in better shape than I am, and spends many of his retired days fixing, building, mowing, climbing ladders, pressure washing, and any other physically demanding domestic chore you can imagine. He also spends much of his time with his grandsons on the floor wrestling, play fighting and horsing around just like he did with us when we were kids. When he’s not doing that, he’s traveling around the world with Mom.

My Dad enjoys life. He doesn’t act old because he doesn’t FEEL old. He doesn’t FEEL old because he doesn’t let himself have that attitude. Whether he’s pressure washing the driveway, traveling the world with my Mom or hugging his grandkids, every moment is treasured.

My Dad is a pretty accomplished guy.

Dad was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for 36 years. As any of you who are Base Brats like me will know, this means that basically your life as a kid was dictated by your Dad’s job. We moved 5 times, I went to 3 different elementary schools and 2 different high schools, in all corners of the country.

Dad was really really good at his job. So good, in fact, that in 1985 he became a Member of the Order of Military Merit, which is like the military equivalent of the Order of Canada.

My Dad worked hard through his entire career. He accomplished many great things, and made positive change in the environments he was in. He was a good leader – his colleagues looked up to him. He set the example and was rewarded for it. He never tried too hard – he simply knew what needed to be done and then proceeded to do it better than most. He never did anything FOR recognition. He did it because he cared about people and about his country.

My Dad is a pretty devoted guy.

My parents will be happily married 48 years this coming September. That’s quite an accomplishment in itself! Due to the nature of his job, Dad was away quite a bit – sometimes for 6 months at a time. He was in a pretty remote location, so we had limited contact – once in a while via HAM radio, but mostly we communicated by sending audio cassette tapes back and forth in the mail. Even though his job was very busy and very important, without fail, Dad would send us tapes, once a week or so. Much of the time he’d just be talking about us, what we were doing in school, how baseball and swimming lessons were going, that sort of thing. But it was something we knew we could rely on.

My Dad, even though he is always busy with lots and lots of important things, ALWAYS, 100% of the time, has time for his family. Family is the most important thing. Hands down. When he was home, he was entirely focused on us. The most fun was always the day Dad came home.

Thank you Dad, for teaching me three very important lessons; to appreciate every moment of life, to not be afraid to work hard for the greater good, and that family is central to everything.

Happy Father’s Day!
Love, Suze (xoxo)

(PS My Dad is the one who gave me the nickname “Suze”…just so ya know) 🙂

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  • June 21, 2009 at 11:02 am

    thank you for this!!! touching how through the distance and the moving your dad kept you and his family front and center in his heart and let ya’ll know it! smiles
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  • June 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I would simply add that he is also a damn good friend – all ya gots to do is let him know there’s a problem or a need – and before ya knows it – problem solved. And I should know – I was there when my best friend married JLT – loved him then – love him now even more than that day in September all those years ago.

    Give your dear old dad a big sloppy kiss from me….

    Love Sandy

  • June 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Simply lovely. Happy Father’s Day to your entire family.

  • June 22, 2009 at 5:53 am


    Very cool. What was your dad’s response when he read this?

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