21 June 2015

Father's Day - 2015


Donald E. Perry, Ontario, Canada 
I made a mad dash out of town last week and landed in the midst of my family's reunion in Dunnville, Ontario. My father has Alzheimer's disease and I had no expectation that he would recognize me but his eyes sparked and he said, "It's our Joan" and almost broke my heart.

He doesn't talk much now but seemed to enjoy the happy chaos and grandchildren's activity. We owe a daily debt of gratitude to his wife Dianne Perry who cares for him lovingly. Seven of his eight children gathered with partners and families and it was a treat to be together.

Some years ago during a visit to Charleston, I asked my friend Dan Conover to interview my father. I jotted down questions that would lead to interesting parts of his life and left it in his hands.  Dan and videographer Don Lewis set up cameras and interviewed him in my livingroom. I am so happy to have this dvd in my father's voice telling the story of his life.

At the end of the interview Dan said, "I will ask you what I ask anyone who has reached your age, what is important?"

My father thought for a moment and said, "People. People are what is important" He continued on to say that perhaps he had spent too much time in his life working and paying attention to work and not enough on the people in his life.

At this time of terrible sorrow after the massacre in Charleston that is what we need to remember. People are what is important. Love and take care of the people in your life. Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and those who have served that role for all the children in the world.

Perry Family Reunion, 2015

13 comments:

  1. Beautiful tribute Joan,
    so glad we got to share a little loving
    Shirley

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    1. I am soooooo glad you were able to come!

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  2. Wow! That's a BIG family reunion!

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    1. So many more who couldn't make it. We now have a large group of young family members on the West coast and of course my youngest brother and his gang in India.

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  3. Terrific and honest tribute, Joan. You are a special daughter.

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    1. I always tried to tell him that...heheh....that I was special.

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  4. Great post, Joan - so glad your dad remembered you! Looks like the reunion refilled your good vibes tank for a long time to come - yay!

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    1. It was perfect! And the right time of year to visit Canada.

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  5. I see you also come from a very big extended family!

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  6. What a beautiful post Joan! Your words come straight from the heart, it's what makes you so good!
    I'm glad your dad recognized you. Alzheimer's is a tough issue for all...
    Your family reunion photo is a treasure!
    barbara

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    1. Thanks Barbara. It is hard to right blog posts right now with so much sorrow in Charleston. I find it hard to continue on as usual.

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