Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Shadow

Every year, around this time I think of my Father.
He died May 30, 1973.  An intoxicated pilot drove their helicopter into an ice field in the NWT.
I was 10.
I think of him almost everyday, but this time of the year I get very nostalgic for this man.


My 36 year old mother now had six children to raise, all under the age of 13.
Yes indeed folks, I could write a book.

It was a hot May.  I remember the day my Mom gathered us all together and told us the news.
I have seen my Mom cry all of two or three times in my lifetime, and that day was one of them.

the summer before he died

For days, and for years, I remember the sympathetic looks I received.  The other kids would look at me as that poor little kid who's father just died.  Adults approaching me and offering me their condolences, and at the age of 10 I did not even know what the word meant. 

  One warm afternoon, a few days after learning the news of my Dad, I was sitting outside, a clergyman was to visit our home that day.  I knew he was coming, but he was really coming to visit Mom.
As he was approaching our house, he paused long enough to say to me,
"God is with you child and he will always watch over you"
As an adult now, I understand what his words meant, but as a child, these words frightened me.
I thought, if God took my father, will he take my mother as well?
Armed with this new thought, I stayed very close to my mother.
He had my Dad, there was not a chance he was taking her as well.

 So I stayed vigilantly close to her.  Day and night.
While she cooked meals, I sat at the kitchen table.....I did nothing, just sat there.
Walked with her to the store.  Stayed beside her as she did her grocery shopping.
Stood beside her while she was on the phone.  I remember even walking to work with her and then walking back home again by myself (we lived close to her work).
I even went with her to the Lawyers office to discuss my Dad's estate.  She however, did not let me sit in with that, so I waited patiently in the front lobby.
I followed her everywhere she went, I was her shadow.

When I look back now I do believe she understood what I was going through.
Bless her heart, not once did she say a word to me about it.
I was her shadow and she let me tag along with her.  Simple as that.

a few years ago

About a week later, the same preacher man came to our door with a box full of food.
My Mom, full of pride, bravely told him she did not take charity.
There I was beside her.  All the while not saying a word, keeping my eyes lowered, staring at clergyman's buttons on his black coat.
When he said to her, that it was not charity, but the parishioners in the Church felt so bad about what was happening to our family, they needed to do something. 
At that point, I got it.  I understood that need.
I looked up at Mom and she looked down at her little shadow and said she would be glad to take it.
I finally found some peace.
Maybe God was watching over us after all, but in a good way.

It's funny what you remember.  Long after clergyman left, as we were going through that box, there was a turkey.
I said to Mom, I thought it funny to have a turkey when it wasn't even Christmas or Thanksgiving.
She and I just laughed, but agreed that we both like turkey and couldn't wait to cook it up!

To this day, for whatever reason, I still need to know exactly what is going on in my Mother's life.
I guess I will always be her shadow.

My son, myself and Mom.  My son looks like his Grandfatherl

I never know whether I should post these kinds of memories.
But I have always looked at my Blog as my own personal journal.

Such a useless death.  For 40 years I have been deprived of him.
I have never wanted my Father to have died in vein, so I will gladly share my stories of him with whomever wishes to read it.
Whether it is one person or 30,000.
But believe this, things do happen for a reason.  Maybe someone indeed is watching out for us.
Whether it is our Heavenly Father, angels amongst us or simply the people in our neighbourhood.




  1. How brave your mum must have been.
    Losing your father - what a terrible loss. Your post is beautiful and I'm glad you wrote it.

  2. Diane, I am so glad you posted this story. You have me in tears for the little 10 year old shadow you were and for your momma with six children. Your pictures are wonderful your writing so engaging. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. What a beautiful post Diane. I'm so sorry about the loss of your father at such a young age (for him and for you and your siblings) and how your mother had to raise you on her own. I think she did a great job and your dad would be very proud of the woman you are today. I believe God is watching over us all and we just have to talk to him and reach out to him and He will help us with everything we need. Blessings to you.

  4. Beautiful post...Hugs May x x x

  5. An absolutely gorgeous, brave and heart felt entry. I will bookmark it and save it. Thank you for sharing a beautiful childhood memory, and a reminder that no matter how old we are, our moms are always in our hearts.

  6. Thank you for sharing your special memories with us!

  7. Wonderful story.
    glad you shared and I was able to read it.

    I'm sure it will bless many, as it has me,today.


  8. Thank you for posting this and sharing your story. It made me tear up. I'm glad to know that you and your mom are close! And your story reminds me of my dad, he lost his father when he was's always so sad for children to lose a parent. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thank you for being so open and honest in this post. Your heart came through your words.

    Blessings on you and your family

    The Howell Blessings

  10. Diane,
    I am thankful you did share your story. My Father fought in WWII-he lived a full life, but I grew up with stories of the War and the sacrifice that had been made by our country's finest and bravest. Your Dad and Mom are heros and this touched my heart.

  11. I so enjoyed reading this and the way you wrote it was so pretty and child like. I agree with what others have said, your Mom was such an amazing lady to keep going with six children and to keep up such strength. No wonder you are still so close to her, she sounds awe inspiring!

  12. Sending hugs to you as you remember your Father. I was 20 when my Father passed away and I feel he is still with me everyday as I know your Father is with you too. Our Mothers were very strong ladies to carry on without their life partners at such an early age. Thank you for sharing your family memories with us.
    Take care...

  13. What an amazing Mom you have! Your post made think again about when I lost my Dad - the year before my son was born. We never seem to have enough time with our Dads - those so important men in our lives, do we?

  14. Heartwarming story. You must miss you Dad especially at this time of year. had a very wise preacher.

  15. This is a lovely post Diane. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry for your loss but your memories are priceless. Sharing them helps keep him alive in your heart. J