Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Full-Bodied Travel


I returned from a meeting with parties involved in Dad's funeral. I opted for a back-roads route from London to Waterloo through the farmlands near Thorndale.

The morning's heavy rain had yielded to a variegated sky with clouds and sunshine throwing their passing procession on the rolling green and gold fields below.

I suddenly remembered a trip which I took with Dad while still a pre-teen to Thorndale Abattoir to pick up a large quantity of pork from that butcher.

Throughout the trip Dad was pointing to familiar country roads which he had traveled as a sales rep for Dominion Rubber. "Look Doug on that wire fence...a meadowlark. Listen, behind us at four o'clock, the saucy call of a red-wing. Down that road a farmer who had had such a difficult time getting his herd started. Those clouds tell me Son, that we're in for some pretty heavy rain in the next couple of hours."

That was the way it was with Dad. Keenly alert. Loving the road. Great sense of nature. Simple pleasures galore.

Upon arrival I noted how easily the man warmed up to Dad. Took time to explain the business. Commented on some of the cuts which were in our purchase. Took us out back to see the moose which he had served up from a recent personal hunting trip in the North. Dad was a keen listener with a few humorous comments which the other man enjoyed. That too was my Father. Easy at conversation. Quick with a tasteful humorous tale or anecdote. Teachable. Compassionate.

All of these attributes proved immensely helpful when he took over his uncle's sporting goods business with a partner in downtown London.

At the end his sight was gone. His frame was stooped and weak. His speech was affected by the seizure and medication associated with the brain tumour. The downturn and crisis took only a couple of weeks.

Quickly and mercifully gathered. Age eighty-eight. Married sixty-three years to that delightful Danish nurse. May God be with Mom and others next Monday at the funeral.

Earlier in the day, I had listened in the car to a delightful Gospel song by Steve Curtis Chapman which included the following lyrics:

"When Love takes you home
And says you belong here.
Loneliness ends,
And a new life begins.
When Love takes you in.
It takes you in for good."

Dad has been taken...He is in...For Good.

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