My Dad died when I was small.
I don't really have much that belonged to him. Mostly my memories.
The one thing I did inherit (besides his wonderful eyes) was a piece of property. His mother had left a share of the land to him, and because of his premature death, his share became the share that my siblings and I now own.
It's funny, but this one-fourth that I own connects me to the two people I miss daily: my father and my grandmother.It's this tiny thread that keeps me linked to the sunny days of when they were here on earth.
This piece of land is my most favourite place on earth.
Ninety percent of the memories that I hold of my father are at our camp.
When I swim in the water, I can hear him saying, "Kids, let's swim the 'English Channel'."
Whenever I open the door, I remember the special way he use to jimmy the handle to get it open.
When I walk the paths and pick up the fallen birch twigs, I feel that I could look over at any moment and see him lazily throwing a twig at me.
When I sit at the end of the dock, I remember the times he would race me and my siblings to the end of the dock to see who would get in first.
I hear his voice when I am there.
I remember his face clearest when I am there.
And I remember the one day I treasure the most out of all my memories within my childhood.
It was a hot summer day, and my Dad took my younger sister and brother and I to the camp. My older sister was out with friends and my Mom desperately needed a day without kids.
My Dad taught me to canoe that day. He held the paddle and showed me how to stroke. He taught my siblings and I voyageur songs and had us paddle all around the lake shouting out commands of "Starboard", "Allie, on the rudder" and "watch out for the rocks." I am not sure why that day stands out more than the others, but that day for me brings such a strong memory of being so loved by my father. I felt as though just being with him that day was the same as being hugged by him all day long.
And it happened at the camp.
The camp-the dainty thread that connects me to my past, my most cherished childhood memories and to the moment that has forever embedded itself into my heart. The moment where I became unexplicably aware of how much my father loved me.