So my therapy is to blog. And I thought I'd look for a photo; Pops was a rather dashing young man in the 1950s. Very Rock Hudson. Striking features. Chiseled jaw. It took all of 2 minutes. The first box I grabbed, the first manila envelope, there it was. My dad as a boy with his mom, dad and sister. Although not the image in my mind, clearly this was the photo they wanted...
And with it was a photocopy of a letter my grandmother wrote not long before she passed.
...my hopes & prayers for you all is that you will seek, find, accept & live a new life in His Holy Spirit and we will all meet again in His Kingdom ...this is the greatest of all gifts for ever & ever - just for the accepting ... dearest love to my beloved children, always Mary - I'll be watching & waiting for each of you.As my father was nearing the light this past couple of weeks, I sent him, and asked my children to do so as well, prayers telling him not to be afraid. I knew he was afraid. I wished him peace and freedom from physical & emotional pain. In my prayers I talked about how cool it would be for him to see his mom & dad again. And the extended clan. K-boy had grown up one of a dozen cousins of a dozen siblings. A rather gregarious and multi-talented bunch. I loved hearing my dad's stories. What fun they had.
Pops was quite the character himself. Uber creative. A musical colleague of his once said "your dad has more talent in his big toe than most have in their entire body". How true. My earliest memories include him perched at the upright piano, wearing Roy Orbison glasses, writing music using an old style fountain pen to record his creations. He'd play a few bars, hum along, jot it down, repeat. Everything from ballads and marches to jingles and pop. An avid hockey fan, Dad won a contest for writing the theme song for the Vancouver Blazers when they re-appeared as a WHL team in 1973.
Dad wrote an incredible amount of music. It truly was his passion. That and writing vigilante-type letters to various levels of government. My brother and I are quite sure our surname is red-flagged in Ottawa...
His most notable success was a magnificent song Follow the Birds about my hometown Victoria.
Charismatic and well-spoken my father loved to tell stories. He could relay doing the simplest activity and have an audience captivated and laughing in no time. One of many favourites is when he was tasked with taking the family cat to the vet.
Vet lady Cat's name?
Vet lady Muffin what?
Pops Umm, Muffin Cat.
Vet lady Is your last name Cat sir?
Pops No. It's Garland.
Vet lady Alright then. Muffin Garland.
I happened to be at the SPCA today finalizing my cat adoption when I received the news that Pops had passed a few hours earlier. My daughter and I continued our errands which included a stop at the Rockhound Shop where I picked up a few crystals for the grid I'll build shortly bidding my father adieu...
We next walked the Breakwater - part of my city's charm. A beautiful afternoon, the November sun warming us, the sea was calm. I watched a seagull lift off from a patch of kelp gliding, riding the wind. It buzzed my head before joining a few others. Follow the Birds...
I breathed in the sea air of the west coast my dad so truly loved, feeling peaceful and connected to all there is.
See ya Pops ... just like Grandma I know you have returned to His Kingdom - in my world referred to as Source - and you too will be watching and waiting for the time when Big Jude, Tojo & Nooky return to the clan.