My Dad has been gone for 16 years last month and when I saw that roll of toilet paper on the dash I immediately thought of him. Dad would never go anywhere without a roll of toilet paper especially the field in case of emergency. One time he ran out and came back from combining with only one sock so he made sure he never ran out! I think back to do the days on the farm where we lived as a family until Grade Five and they are such happy memories! Like the time a mouse ate poison and crawled into the oven to die. No one was brave enough to get the mouse out from beside the scalloped potatoes so Mom turned off the oven and we drove to town for supper.
When I picture my Dad on the farm I think of flannel plaid shirts and farmer jeans he bought on our big shopping trip to Promislows in Regina where all the cool farmers bought clothes, gopher poison, suppositories for cattle all under one roof! He wore a baseball cap with the name of some weed killer prominently displayed on the front and the beak had no curve (which if you ask my 12 year old son is so cool! you don't bend the beak or take the size sticker off apparently which is something I learned the hard way). We would take long and bumpy rides into the field with our Blue Healer "Patches" running along the truck beside us trying to bite the truck tires ( I think that dog suffered some Doggy ADHD or obsessive compulsive disorder). We didn't have Wii, Ipod touch, Laptop, Satellite TV, Guitar Hero for Playstation, PSP, DS or a DVD player in the van and somehow we managed to keep ourselves entertained for hours with just a giant rock my Dad dragged in from the field
When my Dad passed away all I really wanted of his was a dirty old work shirt he had worn on the farm. My younger brother took his Hiltop ring and I am sure my older brother would have taken his wedding ring or Saskatchewan Roughrider Championship ring if Dad hadn't lost them in a Goose hunting blind. I was only 20 when I lost my Dad and my little brother was only 17 and besides photographs all we really have to share with his Grandchildren are some amazing, funny and outrageous stories. That brown shirt is worn and tattered full of grease stains and means more to me than any possession could. I think of all the amazing times we had on the farm as a family. I know if my Dad was here he would be throwing a football with Levi, doing Olivia's hair (yes my Dad was the one who did my hair!) and teaching Carson and Kelsey to drive the old farm truck ( cause Kelsey obviously needs a lesson on driving. Come on Ricky Bobby you don't put a van in neutral and then jump out the side door!) and for sure he would be rocking Ellie to sleep on his chest and sucking on her ear (because for some reason that is what all the Shaw men do to babies is suck their ears!?!?!? and the kids love it!)
I know I missed my Dad walking me down the aisle even when my older brother took his place and he is the least mushy person in the world I reached to take his hand and felt something there. I thought he was holding something because his hands were sweaty but I looked down and it was my Dad's Saskatachewan Roughrider Card. There are so many reasons I miss my Dad. So please do me a favor and the next time you are stressed because the markets are down or a few of your bills are behind or that the laundry is piling up and your haven't washed the floor in weeks. Just remember in the end all your kids will have is the memories you make with them, so put down the vacuum and go play catch with your kids. Someday all they may have to remember you is a worn out old brown work shirt they can put on and give themselves a hug.
Ok I am sitting here crying over a roll of toilet paper can you say postpartum?
Have a great Day !