10 Years Ago Today I Lost My Dad

My dad passed away 10 years ago today.

I’ve detailed the events of October 11, 2004 in a previous blog:  how we had just returned from the pumpkin patch in anticipation of Halloween. How I was preparing to meet Mom and Dad at my in-laws for Thanksgiving Dinner. How the doorbell rang and how surprised I was to see Father Smith at my door. How he sat me down and how I innocently thought that he was going to confess something to me! How loving, caring, and respectful he was as he shared the horrific news. How I sat in total shock, not believing what I had just heard. How I broke down in passing the news on to my brother over the phone. And how heartbroken I was to find my mom weeping in her living room…the cops had beaten me to the house by a mere two minutes.

I have mixed emotions as I sit down to write this.  Of course I am sad.  I miss him so much.  I’ve told the story of his death to a few people this week.  While the story gets easier to tell as the years go by, the hurt is still there.

My dad was an avid Canucks fan, and thus I think of him every time I watch a game, write a Canucks blog, or do a silly Canucks song.  I wish that he got a chance to meet Kayla.  He would have loved her (and vice-versa).  And he only knew Jacob for a year.

I see so much of Dad in Sean, Jake and Kayla. Sean has Dad’s athletic ability: when Jason and I were kids our friends would come over to see if my Dad was free to play with them…leaving Jason and me inside…haha. Jake has Dad’s charm and sense of humour: it’s hard to get mad at Jake just as it was hard to get upset with Dad (well…my mom might have something different to say about that). And Kayla has Dad’s playfulness and loyalty.

Dad with Sean as a newborn in August 2001
Dad with Sean as a newborn in August 2001

As more time passes, I guess it gets a bit easier.  And as I get older and evolve as a husband and father, I’m more able to instill a lot of the values that I learned from Dad and display many of his characteristics.  Certainly, Dad lives on in many ways.

I know that I have my Dad’s temper.  I rarely lose it (at least I’d like to think that’s the case), but I certainly see resemblance to my Dad when I’m angry.  In fact, Gail says that whenever I’m yelling at the kids or admonishing them, I sound exactly like Dad.  The tone of my voice is similar along with the words I use.  Albeit debatable, I think Jason and I turned out okay. :p

Both Sean and Jacob are junior members at Quilchena Golf and Country Club; in fact Sean is using some of my Dad’s old clubs.  My dad golfed every weekend and some of my fondest memories were going to the driving range with him or hitting wiffle balls in our back yard.  I get such a kick out of seeing the boys golf.  It’s neat hitting the range with them and playing on the course with them.  I know that Dad is smiling down at them from heaven.  Even when Jake misses a 3 foot putt.

Jake looks a lot like Dad
Jake looks a lot like Dad

Dad was also very humble – okay so we’re not completely alike…haha  –  and unselfish.  He always put his own needs behind those of others and he had an uncanny ability to make everyone around him feel important and special.  He used a lot of self-deprecating humour; not because he was unsure of himself, but because he was good at making those around him feel better about themselves.  I like to say that although I have a lot of serious responsibilities, I don’t take myself too seriously. I’m almost certain that I learned this from Dad.  And I’m grateful for it.

There are certainly some differences:  Dad liked to have a beer or two (or six) whereas I’ve never had one my entire life.  I know enough about computers and technology; Dad barely knew how to turn his cell phone on.  Dad loved to sing karaoke; I’m more of a piano guy.  And let’s just say that he never met a 4-letter word that he didn’t like.  :p

But these are all small things.  I’m glad we’re similar in the more important things.  Like loving and protecting the family.  Establishing solid friendships.  Sports.

Our family didn't win any awards for "Best Hair"
Our family didn’t win any awards for “Best Hair”

It’s almost fitting that Dad did pass away on Thanksgiving…as there is so much to him that I am thankful for.  Simply put, he was an amazing man who always put the needs of others ahead of his own.  He was an awesome Dad, loving husband, faithful son, and playful grandfather.  He was the undisputed leader of the Imoo family, and had a strength and courage about him that you couldn’t help but admire.

Thank you Dad for teaching me what it means to be a man.

Thank you Dad for showing me how to raise my children.

Physically, you may be gone.  But your spirit certainly lives on in the many lives that you touched while here on earth.

Thank you Dad for being my father, my friend, and my hero.  I love you.