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