Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Back From Ottawa

Inspiring and perspiring; my entwined memories of hanging out in our hot nation's capital during the first real summer vacation I've gotten in the last ten years.
The real purpose behind the visit was to see my ailing father one more time, to give thanks for him having been the dad he's been to us, while I could still deliver such appreciation in person.

Long before his eventual retirement, we used to visit Ottawa on rare father-and-son Saturday trips by train from nearby Quebec. An unplanned ritual emerged: starting with his repeating the workings of the Rideau Canal for the slow-to-learn child who walked at his side, followed by coaching on the function of the majestic buildings greeting us on Parliament Hill, inevitably ending up with being treated to a book at the War Museum gift shop before taking the train back home.
A patient teacher, a thoughtful guide, a proud immigrant, he made each visit a stirring occasion for his oldest son.
These are now my memories more than his, it seems, our private talks revealing that such details have largely faded in the sunset of age and illness. Now it's become my turn to be patient, to be thoughtful...
And to be proud.

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