I would like to take a moment to honour the Fathers …
Today is the Day!
I am awake, I am alive, and today … is the day.
Today is Session #1 of my 3-part Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training program, this time being offered to many of the hardworking men and women working behind the scenes at Confederation College.
Today, I share truths. Today, I share perspectives. Today, I encourage critical thinking. Today, I invoke thought and self-reflection. Today, I do my part because someone else did their’s 106 years ago today.
I didn’t know them, the parents who created my father, but I give thanks to them today and every day for creating the man who would eventually create me.
His road was not easy (sound familiar?).
He would lose his parents as a child.
He would be raised in numerous homes until as a young teen, he set out on his own.
But he was the eternal optimist (sound familiar?).
He would travel from job to job, moving from town to town, fascinated and interested in the people he would get to meet (again, sound familiar?).
Eventually, much later in life (he was 51 when I was born and 54 when my youngest brother came into the world), he met my Mom. In her eyes, he did not see “Indian” like so many others did. He did not see “less than” or “uneducated”. He saw the love of his life. He saw the “most beautiful woman he had ever seen”. He saw his partner. He saw his heaven.
Together they created our family, fueled by Dad’s laughter, his French accent (the tird star is … lol), and his never-ending love of life (again?). Dad worked hard, with a contagious smile and a grateful heart and as a result, he was loved by all who knew him, from politician to town drunk, from store keeper to mill worker, and everyone in between. But no one loved him more than his last little girl.
On this day, I stop and give thanks for the man who was my world for the cherished 17 years I was blessed to walk with him. He left us on July 6, 1981 but his memory lives on in his children and most definitely in me.
Today, people will laugh at my words and they will owe that joy to my father. Today, people will benefit from my hard work and they will owe that to my father as well because this woman owes her every breath, in part, to that amazing man.
Happy birthday Daddy! Thank you for showing me, through example, that skin tone does not determine friendship potential, how everyone enjoys a great laugh, and how everyone is beautiful in the eyes of someone open to seeing it.
You are beautiful my friend.
I see you and I love you!
Leo Ernest Boucher
June 11, 1913 – July 6, 1981