Dad, Isaac Dyck, was born in Saskatchewan in 1940 and grew up on a farm with his parents, brothers and sisters. [pause] This isn’t that kind of talk. I could tell you what Dad did, but never touch on who he was. Plus I missed a lot of his history from before he was born [pause] and I don’t know the answers to some basic questions like how a man who isn’t fond of doctors and dislikes hospitals came to have and enjoy a lengthy career at a hospital.
Here are two quick remembrances of mine. I hope others will provide more later to help flesh out who my father was.
I’ve spoken before of Dad’s successes, but there are failures too. He had two sons, but neither of us are Roughrider fans. He spent some long hours outside with me as a child trying to teach me to catch a baseball, but I was always scared of even his underhand throws.
Once, I waited in terror for him to come home from work. I have no idea what my crime was, but it made Mom mad enough that she proclaimed that I would have to wait for Dad to come home to “deal with me”. But when the time came for the, surely deserved, spanking, I hid on the other side of our round kitchen table and darted from side to side as Dad tried to maneuvre his chair around either side.
Of course, in a similar situation several years later Dad was tasked with catching a mouse the cat had brought in and succeeded using a broom and dustpan. I guess the mouse wasn’t told about hiding behind a table.
Still, I’d say failures were rare. Certainly I saw more successes. I always admired the way he provided leadership at the hospital. I was a frequent lurker around the office as a child. Dad was calm and always dealt with his coworkers with respect. He didn’t complain about them when he came home from the office either. Without being a martinet or pointy-haired boss, it seemed to me that he instead earned everyone’s respect and friendship. He did that by caring honestly for the people around them, for respecting what they brought to the job and for taking interest in them and their families outside the office.
Every Christmas, the whole family would head down to the hospital and accompany Dad as he went on a visit through the nursing home and the auxiliary hospital. He’d stop by many rooms. In some we would just say Merry Christmas. Some we would stop and chat for a while. Some we’d share a cookie and a glass of wine.
I could say more about Dad’s care for his family. For his gentle and ready sense of humour. About points I’ve made before like his general competence, patience, determination and enjoyment of each day…
I could go on forever about all the aspects I will miss.