|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.
At family gatherings.
And while entertaining his grandson.