July 18, 2012

Happy birthday, dad!

My father turns 70 today!  Quite honestly, in my opinion, he doesn’t look his age.  There is hope for me yet.  If I look as good as he does at 70, then I’ll be happy.  Although dad does have a little mid-body spread, he still looks good for having had 6 kids, being married for 50 years, gone through heart surgery, and dealing with a bit of other aging problems.  I must admit, growing up, he and I may have had our differences.  I have discovered over my ADULT years though, that he really is a terrific guy.

And how could he not be?  He’s a Jacklin.  He was born in 1943, grew up in the country, was the baby boy in his family, the fourth child, married at 20, started a family shortly thereafter, and has a great family.  His father, my grandfather, passed away several years ago.  I only have vague recollections of my grandfather Jacklin.  I have many pictures of him, but that’s really about all.  His mother, Marie, passed away again, several years ago after a hip replacement surgery.  I don’t know if that was the cause of her passing, but for me, even though I’m not sure of the date or year of her passing, I do remember it was very sad for me.  I was one of the pallbearers at her funeral.

My aunt Florence (Flossy), dad’s oldest sister, passed away a couple of years ago, before I was able to go home for a vacation in September 2010.  I did write about my aunt Florence upon my hearing of her passing.  If you wish to read about that, search my blog entries for FLORENCE DELION.

In my opinion, and from what I have only gathered from observation over my life before moving to Taiwan, my father didn’t seem to enjoy working.  Then again, who really does?  I remember he told me one time, that you should not enjoy your work.  You should only do what is required, get your pay, and go home.  Something like that.  I on the other hand, do not subscribe to that ideology.

To me, a job (or career) is something you have to enjoy or be passionate about.  If you don’t have these feelings, you will never feel good about your life.  I enjoy my life.  I enjoy teaching.  For the most part, the jobs I’ve occupied over the years, I’ve always enjoyed.  When the job became a problem or no longer enjoyable, I sought other jobs.

This thinking may have worked for dad, and his being able to retire from Bell Canada at age 55, is proof that he did what he wanted.  I’ve never really had the chance to sit down and have a good heart-to-heart conversation with my father.  Sure, I can read some of his blog entries, but since he’s not as adamant about writing as I try to be, I can only guess at some of his life experience.

After 70 years, and not really being close to my father for a majority of those years, there’s many things I would like to know and ask.  What is his favourite sport?  What was his favourite subject in school?  If given the opportunity, what is one thing he would like to do that he isn’t able to now?  A lot of questions come to mind, but I think those need to be asked over a couple of pints (or fingers, as the saying goes)!

I’m hoping that my father does still have many more years available to him.  I’m also hoping that it is not too late to get to REALLY know my father, my dad better.

When I was 20, my father turned 40.  I was 1/2 his age.  Now he’s 70, and I’m 50.  I’m now 5/7 his age.  I figure another 1,000,000 years or so, and the difference between our ages will be negligible.  I must admit, I do feel like I’m not quite the person I could be, by not being close to my dad.  When I look around at people, especially here in Taiwan, and see the relationships they have with their fathers, I can’t help but think that I’m missing something.

Dad, I really do love you a lot.  Although growing up, I may have been a bit of rebel, going my own way, doing my own thing, not always agreeing with your views.  Now that I’m an adult, have lived a good life, and am enjoying what I do immensely, I do miss something I never had.  That is, getting to you as not only a person, but as my father.

In some ways, even though I have never had that ‘father-son’ relationship, or ‘chat’, you have influenced me in ways you don’t know.  I think I’ve got your sense of humour and basic outlook on life.  I may not prescribe to all your ideas or thinkings, but I do feel you and I are a lot alike in many ways.

The next time I’m back home for a visit, rest assured, you and I are going to have a father-son moment.  I want to get to know you more.  I know we can’t get back 50 years, but we can close that gap a little bit.

I love you lots, dad!  As the saying goes, you only one dad.  Anyone can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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