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.