For all our fathers

On Sunday, we’ll gather together at our home; I plan to bake a ham and make lemon pasta. My son and daughter, her fiancé, my mother-in-law and assorted other family members will arrive for lunch and we’ll have a Fathers’ Day feast.

We have a lot to celebrate – because Jorge is a great dad. And he’s not only that way towards his kids. A whole college full of students – past and present, friends’ children, and family members have benefited from his generosity, wise advice and good nature.

When my children were small, I used to ask them, “Didn’t I find you the best daddy?” They’d chorus Yes-s-s-s-s! and run to hug Jorge. But once, a serious little voice asked me, “How did you know he’d be such a good dad?”

I don’t remember what I answered (when I met Jorge I wasn’t projecting into the future and imagining the kind of father he’d be… more immediate matters filled my mind!) However, some little piece of my brain must have realized that Jorge possessed many of my own father’s character traits and I wanted a man like him for my little brood.

Everyone called my dad Johnny. Born in California, he moved with his family to Canada in the mid 1920s. His boyhood in Alberta, the Depression of the 30s, six years of combat through WW II, his post-war years working along the British Columbia coast as a cook on every kind of boat that floated… none of those experiences seemed like the training ground for being a dad but he certainly picked up the skill somewhere along the way. I was the first born of his eight children.

He and my grandfather built the North Vancouver house where we all grew up. I associate many happy memories with those years and much of the credit of course goes to Dad. He’d start each day at 5 am, making our porridge… this way it had time to cool to the temperature we preferred. On Sundays after Mass, he cooked a big breakfast with bacon!                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

He made up games and played with us and certainly wasn’t one to keep his fatherly advice to himself. He approached fatherhood in the same way he did everything else – with gusto! Yet he could also be very introspective…

Dad used to like reciting snippets of poetry. He said the verses made him feel peaceful when life was going crazy …

Last year, I reprinted my dad’s favorite poem. Today, in memory of him, for Jorge, and for all the other dads out there… With love, I give you:

The Daffodils

By: William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


PHOTOS: Jorge and Carlos 1982 ; Jorge and Maggie 2008; Dad and Me 1955 ;

Dad, brother Peter and Me 1957 ; The Daffodils: Google Images



Filed under Family and Friends

12 responses to “For all our fathers

  1. Nancy

    That was a lovely post and beautiful pictures of your family.

  2. Great photos, and poem, Joanna. I was unfamiliar with the poem, but it certainly is now a favorite–it so captures the intimacy between nature and solitude.

    After a couple of days, I must say the photo that stirs me the most is Jorge and Maggie. So very loving, and lovely.

  3. Juanita

    I miss my dad too…also a wonderful father…rest peacefully, Sid.

  4. Lou Tapp

    Happy Fathers Day to Jorge – yes you picked a good one Joany! And i still remember painting the kitchen cupboards (or, at least, we were trying to help your dad i think:-) one year. The house is still standing too! A testament to the hard work and great skills of your father and grandfather. We can only hope that it holds the same kind of love that yours did — how well i remember those days! as do a few others i’m sure. loved the photos here as I don’t quite remember your dad that young – lolol,,, he was always such a gentleman and fun, always made sure everyone got home safely, even if he had to drive and always waited until they got into the house before he left.
    love to you and Jorge!

    • Thank you Marilou… yes you are one of the few who remembers my dad that young. The pictures on the blog were taken about 4 years before you met him…. we do go back a l-o-n-g time, don’t we? My love to Gary (another GREAT dad!) I can’t wait to see you in December.

  5. Lovely Joanna! Thanks again for the poem, I love it every time I read it!

    Such good memories you always share! You are an inspiration.

    abrazos fuertes
    saludos a don Jorge!


  6. Thanks for this post and for sharing the poem. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in your family!

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