Happy Birthday Dad

Dad - 1974 - with coffee and crossword

We used to say that all Quebec celebrated my father's birthday because he was born on June 24, Jean Baptiste Day.

My mother shared her birthday, August 4, with the Queen Mother - but that wasn't such a big deal in Canada.

I have many happy memories of my dad. He had a quietly wicked sense of humour. You'd think he wasn't paying attention and then zing you.

He also didn't pay attention a lot of the time. His nose could often be found in a book or the paper. He particularly enjoyed doing the daily crossword puzzle. It drove my mother around the bend sometimes. I really appreciated how hard it must have been for her, raising two children and not getting much feedback. I felt the same sometimes, as a single mother of two living with Dad after Mum died.

Being half deaf, I think I also understood Dad more. He didn't admit it for years, but he was hearing impaired from the time he was in the Navy. Where I retreated into a world of storytelling, Dad retreated into the paper. Instead of being annoyed, I started taking a perverse delight in capturing him in the act.

On vacation.

At family gatherings.

And while entertaining his grandson.