Some Reasons… (Happy 65th Birthday, Dad!)

I've been on a real kick of reading anything to do with father and son relationships since Pace was born – from sentimental stuff like Tim Russert's “Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons” (which collects a bunch of responses his bestseller about his own dad, “Big Russ and Me” received) to more cutting edge stuff like David Sheff's “Beautiful Boy” which details his son's descent into crystal meth addiction (and is somewhat unique in that the son has also written a book on these events from his own perspective, titled “Tweak” which was released around the same time and which I've also read.) 

Today my dad has a birthday (as does Ryan Meili apparently – there – the real truth is out about why I'm a Meili supporter!) although dad's just a bit older. 

We had a surprise supper for my dad last week so for a gift – since I've never been a meth addict myself – I thought I'd go the safe route and buy him a copy of “Wisdom of Our Fathers.”  I'd read it in hardcover but the paperback version the bookstore had in stock had an added chapter where readers had submitted lists of the reasons they loved their dads. 

I thought this might help make the gift extra special, especially for such an important milestone birthday, so decided to write the same type of list for my dad.  I wrote up the first few things that came into my head (it's not an exhaustive list by any stretch) then tucked it into the back of the book – not sure if he'd see it or not. 

It turns out he didn't find it until later, after the party had ended and we'd come back to Regina.  That's probably just as well as the Hammond men tend to get pretty sentimental at the best of times (you could add “I love you because you get emotional when you sell a car” to the list of reasons I love my dad that I've posted below – although to be fair, I show the same characteristic – except it wasn't cars but taking a bunch of old computers, going back to 1997, to Sarcan to be recycled today that got me all choked up.  Yep, I'm a true nerd!) 

The list below is probably more suited for the private journal rather than the public blog so if public displays of affection make you uncomfortable (or nauseous), you'll probably want to skip today's entry and come back tomorrow.  

Oh, and like the paperback version of the Russert book, I took the liberty of adding a few extra items that weren't on the original list and clarifying a couple others. 

Some reasons…

  • I love you because you and mom took us on trips to Florida and Hawaii and BC and La Ronge and many other places when we were growing up which has given me a love of travel, a love of learning and a love of risk and adventure.  
  • I love you because you took me out to walk the property lines at the farm so I'd know where our land began and ended and also so I'd know a bit more about our family history. [Small explanatory note: Our land is along the top of a valley that runs sort of NW to SE so our property lines aren't a nice square like the farms in most other parts of the province.] 
  • I love you because you'd play “double or nothing” cards with me as a kid until I won.
  • I love you because you came to pick me up at the gas station in Fort Qu'Appelle when I ran out of gas at 5am coming home from Yorkton one night as a teenager.  As you topped up my tank from your gerry can, you told me a story about how your dad had to do the exact same thing for you once.
  • I love you because you came to all of my hockey games when I was a kid and usually drove the other kids when we had out-of-town games.
  • I love you because you bought one of the kids who didn't have a lot of money a hamburger, fries and drink after one game.  You probably don't realise how big of an impression that made on me. 
  • I love you because of your “toe truck” joke.  [“What do you do if your big toe falls off?”  “Call a toe truck.”]
  • I love you because you always say “And what else?” when the conversation lags.
  • I love you because you always say “I wonder what the poor people are doing?” whenever you're having a particularly good time. 
  • I love you because you know one trick that's guaranteed to always make kids laugh.
  • I love you because you never pressured me to be a farmer and supported me whatever my choices were.
  • I love you because you came to pick me up at the airport after I made a very expensive mistake at a time when I could least afford it.  When I said I was worried what people would say, you said, “who cares what they say?  That's their problem.  Plus where have they gone and what have they tried in their lives?”
  • I love you because you always help maintain and/or fix my vehicles.
  • I love you because you always help maintain and/or fix my house.  
  • I love you because you used to leave work five minutes early when I
    got out of school at 11:50am and walked to the dealership where you
    were working so I could get a ride home with you for lunch. 
  • I love you because you chose to live in a small town which means I got all the advantages of growing up in a small town.
  • I love you because you chose to farm which means I got all the advantages of having grown up in a farming family even if I was never going to be a farmer myself.
  • I love you because you did a wild & crazy trip with a bunch of your friends when you were young and only when I was older did I realise that there probably wasn't much that I got up to that you didn't at least have some clue about.
  • I love you because you used to let me abuse your garage doors while playing basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, etc. etc.
  • I love you because your story about your dad always giving you the last dollar out of his wallet.  I know that's how you live your life and that's how I try to live mine too.
  • I love you because you got to be my best man at my wedding in Mexico.
  • I love you because you married mom instead of somebody else who wouldn't have complemented you so well.
  • I love you because you and mom walked that awkward tightrope of being an “adult”  and being “cool” with my friends in high school better than anybody else's parents did.
  • I love you because of how you play with Pace and how he lights up when he sees “Poppa!” coming up to the house.  
  • I love you because you're one of the friendliest, most giving people I know.
  • I love you because you're my dad. 

 Happy 65th Birthday!!!  Love from Jason

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 2

  1. From Head Tale - “Some Reasons” Redux… (aka Happy Father’s Day To My Dad!) on 15 Jun 2014 at 10:11 pm

    […] It was probably the most personal thing I’ve ever posted to this blog.  And since dad turned 70 this year, I thought Father’s Day would be a great time to re-visit that list. […]

  2. From Head Tale - Some Reasons… (For My Mom) on 09 May 2016 at 12:13 am

    […] So a few years back, soon after Pace was born, I was thinking a lot about father-son relationships.  Because of that, I decided to post a list of some of the (many) reasons I loved my dad. […]

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