Tuesday, July 31, 2007


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.


Amy said...

Beautiful Holly.
It saddens me that your father is no longer on earth, but warms my heart knowing that you are able to cherish so many wonderful memories. Sounds as though your father was a wonderful man full of life and love.
Also made me think of the vast love our heavenly father has for us....and how many times I hear him saying "amy...watch out for the rocks" as he teaches me to "canoe" this life.
Thank you for allowing us into this part of your life.

LL said...

I love this tribute to your father - it inspires me! Beautifully done....

Anonymous said...

Holly, reading your post takes me back home to camp as well. That camp was a magical place for this city brat and it's never too far from my heart.

For me it harks back to those innocent summer days when we swam in the cold waters of the lake until our fingers and toes shrivelled up like prunes, until we could stand it no longer; I loved the fact that there were no keys to the cabin and the only way that one could get in was with a screwdriver (was that ever fixed?); Roasting hotdogs, marshmallows and whatever else we could think of to roast, in the sauna oven; running and jumping off the end of that dock; skinny dipping in the moonlight; that smell, oh that quintessential smell of the camp that is indelibly marked into my memory every time I smell a wood fire...

I miss it dearly, but most of all I miss those wonderful, carefree summer afternoons spent with the Repo family, you, Amy, Edie, Grandma Repo, and yes, I can even recall a time or two spent with your dad there before he passed.

Let's make a pact to go back there one day, together, and make new memories at camp.

Love you,


redeemed diva said...

It's a deal.