Busy being a mother and a wife and taking on the biggest challenge yet, a permanent move across the world. Read here my random thoughts, feelings and stories about my life that is about to be turned upside down (literally).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A life story, a story of love.

I have a story to share, about the man who was my father. On the 2nd anniversary of his passing he is still in my thoughts every day, he is every where I go, I see him in shadows in the night, I hear his voice, a whisper saying hello, I see his reflection through the window, just a glimpse but he is there, and I am glad.

Born in 1946, in the town of Subotica, in the former Yugoslavia. He was born to parents he never knew, adopted by Maria and Marco, Hungarians living in Subotica. He was joined 7 years later by his brother Joso.

His days were spent playing barefoot in the streets, kicking soccer balls and running with the Gypsy's. His nights were spent in a one room apartment, for they had very little money. He was happy, so very happy with nothing, he didn't even know the things he didn't have. For he had love, and that is all that mattered.

He was clever and mischievous, he was bored in school and was much happier attending the school of life, on the streets, stowing away on the trains and riding until he was in a foreign land. He's be gone for days but his parents always knew he'd be back, charming his way into homes for food, and hitching a ride back to them.
Then one day he spotted my mother leaning against a railing in the city center market, she was young and naive, and had never had a boyfriend. He charmed her, wooed her, promised to marry her and then left for his military duty. She was smitten, and of course she would wait for him.

2 years he spent in the Army, traveling, learning new languages, meeting new people but waiting until the day he could get back to the woman he promised to marry. Marry they did, running away from her strict parents, hoping on a train to Germany and eloping with their best friends. They had their whole lives ahead of them, the world was their oyster, they wanted great things for themselves.

They chose to start their new life in Canada.

They landed with $50 to their name, and only speaking a few phrases of English, but they were happy, for they had love, and love would see them succeed.

He worked hard, he wanted to provide for his family and his 2 little girls that quickly became the love of his life. He took long job postings as an electrician in the mines of Baffin Island, leaving my Mom to raise 2 girls on her own for extended periods of time. We'd all wait, anxiously for Daddy to get home. He'd tell us about fighting polar bears and sharing whale meat with Eskimos, he'd bring us beautiful sparkling rocks, telling us they were full of diamonds. He'd tickle us until we almost peed, and stroke our foreheads at night to lull us to sleep.

He'd read books on Aristotle and Chomsky, he'd smoke cigarettes and drink vodka, he was mysterious and would divulge strange ideas to us when he'd had too much to drink. He'd recount his theory's on aliens and UFO's, government conspiracy and the afterlife.

He'd teach us Latin and German, and scold us for watching soap operas and reading Archie comics. He described all corners of the world with his stories and took us to some of his favourite parts of the world in real life. In France we spent days seeing every historical monument there was, in Hungary we spent Christmas day in a Hari Krishna temple. In Yugoslavia we went to the mountains and the sea and saw everything in between.

He taught us to be ourselves, and told us to be open with him, we talked about sex and drugs, and could always count on him to be fair and honest.
He made us laugh, he had a dry sense of humour that terrified our boyfriends but made us giggle all day, he was quick and witty and was king of the pull my finger joke.

He struggled with insecurity, and was disappointed easily by unkind people. He was a recluse, liking time on his own to think, for he was a great thinker. He taught us how to be good thinkers, to see the logic in things and to open our minds to more than what is just there in front of us.

His ultimate goal in life was for us to be happy, if we were happy, he was happy, all our accomplishments big and small made him proud, little did he know that he made us proud too.

He did all the things a great dad should do, he taught us to be kind, thoughtful, forgiving, appreciative and to Love, for Love above all was his specialty.

Here is a poem that i wrote for my Dad when I was 20, one I didn't share with him until after I found out he was sick.

I’ll Fly Away

The sound of silence, unnoticed by my ears.
Yet I unsuccessfully block out the whispers.
“Spread your wings” they call, “don’t hold back, just fly away.”
My first reaction is to obey,
to follow the whispers to a sea of independence.
Yet instead, I grasp on to what is more definite,
something stronger and wiser, than I’ll ever be.
Someone who’s arms can forever wrap around me
and protect me from a world so seemingly large and scary.
He who stands so tall is my father.
A bright moon and I his star, glowing brightly under his rays.
I’d like to fly away and soar in the sky,
but only dear father if I know you’ll be there to catch me when I fall.

May 1992


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your father...I have no other words. Hugs to you on the anniversary of his passing. xo

  2. Thinking of you. Must be so difficult :(

    I sometimes see your Tweets and see how similar our lives seem to be. Both have boys around the same age, dad was born in Macedonia, have dairy/wheat/egg intolerance, etc. Funny.

    Anyhow - beautifully written.


  3. Tina you have a lot in common with your dad. He inspires you, I can see. Much love to you today. Hugs. xoxoxox

  4. So beautifully written Tina. You've honoured you dad very much through your words. Understanding that missing him is painful, it's clear to me he has left with you a wealth of memories that you can hold in your heart or share as you did today.

    Many hugs to you my friend.

  5. What a fascinating story and what a wonderful dad to have had in your life - so lucky :) His life was so full and interesting you will always carry his legacy inside of you - that you are moving on to another country and a new life like him is testiment to his sense of adventure and living life to it's fullest. You are your father's daughter :)

  6. This was so beautiful Tina - both your story of your father and the poem. I can't imagine loosing my parents. I am having a hard enough time dealing with the loss of my grandparents two years ago. One of the hardest things about having a baby was realizing that there was now a new generation, and my parents were quickly becoming the oldest generation in our family. I know we can never fully know when life will end, but I hate to think about how close death can really be.

  7. Beautiful. He sounds like such a wonderful and interesting Dad. I really got a sense of who he was - and what a love story! Such an interesting life, an adventurer and thinker. You must miss him so much. He would be cheering you on as you and your own beautiful family embark on your next adventure.
    Michelle x

  8. How interesting was your dad? Amazing! I loved this. What a tribute to him. Beautifully written. xo

  9. Tina, thank you for letting me glimpse into the life of such a wonderful man, a man with spirit & integrity. The love & respect you had for your Dad is obvious through every word you wrote, you are a credit to him, he couldn't have been more proud of you I'm sure.
    Lisa xx