A (Late) Father's Day Tribute

I'm pretty lucky when it comes to the people in my life. It wasn't always this way, and I've had to deal with the fallout of making some pretty awful decisions about who to trust, who to call a friend and learning (usually the hard way) those people who only pretended to be friends, and those who really are.

But through it all, I have had some pretty stand-up guys guiding me down better paths. It has occasionally come with a hard dose of tough love, arguments and tears but in the end I have shared so much love with these men that without them I don't think I'd be half the person I am today because of them.

First of all, there is my father.

Oh, Daddy. I have always been and always will be you're "little girl." I don't think that's something a daughter will ever grow out of. Maybe in your heart you'll always see me as the small little girl who danced on your toes in the kitchen, who played "Barber" with you as you read the newspaper after supper, and who held your hand for no reason at all. And maybe it is this way because, as you're daughter, I never stop seeing you as the man who chased away the June bug who found it's way in to my bed at night, who read bedtime stories, and tucked me in bed so tight at night that we both ended up laughing and smiling before you kissed the top of my head and said "Good night, little girl. See you in the morning." You're the man who cut my toast in little squares for breakfast, who gave me shit about smoking when I was old enough to better but to stupid and headstrong to really care, and you're the man who has met every challenge of raising a teenage daughter with quiet grace and hoped that one day she'd learn how to stand on her own two feet and make choices that wouldn't end catastrophically. I'd like to say that this change happened earlier than it did, but it has happened. Through every of my life, you've brought a smile to my face and made me laugh somehow. And while seeing you once or twice isn't nearly enough, I carry you with me always.

I love you, Daddy.

Of course, next to father's any girl is always blessed when she has brothers. I'm doubly blessed (maybe even thrice blessed) because I have two of them. Being the youngest child and only daughter in the family does have it's perks. My oldest brother is more like me than I'd like to admit sometimes. But it's true. I remember being little and going in to his room when he wasn't around and looking at the books on his shelf looking for something to read and finding mostly Hardy Boys novels. I did this for years and watched his taste in books change and finally, there came a point when his books just didn't really do it for my little ten year old self. Given the choice between The Hardy Boys and The Babysitter's Club, TBC won every time. He also influenced my taste in music like no else did. When he was 17 or so every Sunday we would go for a drive in our old purple, two door Cavalier that for some reason my mother had decided to put decals on the side of. I don't know what possessed her to do this, but it was the 90s. I thought it looked cool as hell. Anyway, I can still remember cruising down through Crocker's Cove, Freshwater and Victoria with the likes of The Tea Party, R.E.M, The Smashing Pumpkins, Collective Soul, Counting Crows, Dishwalla, Dave Matthews Band and Tragically Hip. And I'm also certain that there was Tenacious D. To this day I still write Ernacious T (his middle name is Trevor) on every single one of his cards. Two years ago (or is it almost 3) we stood in his kitchen and argued over who was going to drive across the Island to get to the ferry. He and his partner (whom I affectionately call Sis) helped me move to Ontario and have helped me more than anyone I know - excluding my own partner. Anyway, we argued over who was driving. And then, at the end of the shouting match he looks at me, puts his hands on my shoulders, his eyes a little damp and says "You need to stop being so stubborn." All the fight went out of me as I looked at him. "I'm gonna miss you," he said. And then the bastard made me cry and we hugged it out. We ended up having the best trip, driving across the Island, taking a ferry and shopping around in Halifax before they went home and Dev and I drove for another three days in to the wilds of Northern Ontario.

He's Godfather to our youngest nephew Adam, which is a pretty sweet gig if you ask me - that kid has no idea how lucky he is.

And then there's my other brother. He's kind of like the big brother every sister wants. I know for a fact that I annoyed the hell out of him. I'd consider myself a failure as a little sister if it were otherwise. We went to the same high school for a few years and every time I passed him in the hall way I'd stick my hand right up in his face, wave and say "HI!!!!" much too loudly for him, I'm sure. I remember him being taller back then. And because he was older and all his classes were on the second floor of school, I just thought he was SO COOL (!!!) His demigod appeal was pretty much solidified when I was in junior high and I found out that this girl wanted to beat me up. I have no idea what I had done to her, or why she was hell bent on kicking the crap out of me, but I went to my big brother. He found her one day and said "Anything you got to say to my sister, you can say to me first." She never bothered me again after that. Matt also kinda really taught me how to play baseball. Well, at least I'm assuming it was him. We had the perfect backyard for playing baseball and football in, and our driveway doubled as hockey rink and basketball court. So, there was me, my two big brothers and a crowd of neighborhood kids who all congregated in our backyard to play. Now, my brother is passionate about his sports - baseball in particular - and if there was a call made that didn't sit right with him, it could get debated about, usually very heatedly, for a good ten minutes or so. My brother also has a penchant for arguing so perhaps it came as no surprise that he'd debate whenever possible. Anyway, I remember this one day our friend from just up the hill brought some guy with him to play a game of  baseball, or "ball" as well called it. Now, unbeknownst to me (it actually took me YEARS to figure it out) but when the boys played in the backyard, with HUGE water bottles in attendance the game was always a little rowdier and a little sillier, than it usually was. It was revealed to me later that really, they were either full of beer or vodka and orange juice. In my youth and innocence, I was shocked ... and in a little awe. Anyway, one day this new guy shows up, and was a few drinks in. Gameplay commences. A call is made and therefore debated. New guy gets all riled up and angry, and since my big brother has never really been one to back down from a fight, he got his feathers a little ruffled. Well, my indignation as a little sister was totally offended at this d-bag. There was no way in hell I was letting a fight break out in my yard, during our game of ball. So, what do I do but march right up between these two guys - bear in mind I was maybe only 13 or 14 at the time, at best - puffed up my chest, looked New Guy in the face and told him to get out. I don't know if I swore at him, but I will never forget firmly planting myself between my brother and this guy. I told my brother to chill out and back off and fixed D-Bag with the coldest, iciest stare I could muster and didn't back down until he left. Gameplay continued as if nothing happened. Now, this same brother is the father of 4 beautiful kids. He tells me the craziest things about them, and the things they say. And when times are tough he isn't afraid to call or text me and spill his guts. Sure, we give each other shit sometimes but show me siblings who don't.

At the end of the day, he's my brother and I love him.

There are a couple of other noteworthy men I could talk about, but I have to dash. The contractor is back - again - to inspect the toilet in our bathroom. The adventure continues.


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