Thursday, 24 July 2008
Henri Joseph Fernand Ste. Marie
Henri (Harry) Joseph Fernand Ste. Marie
The very first man I ever loved.
Named for a dead brother and two fathers. My grandmother Nana (Renee) and my grandfather Pungpung (Camille) named their first son (my father) after Nana’s dead brother (Henri), Pungpung’s father (Joseph), and Nana’s father (Fernand).
I think my father is going to die soon. He sleeps all the time and has no appetite or energy. When Angelique was over there painting the outdoor furniture for my Mom, he was only up for about 10 minutes in an 8 hour period. I went in to see him a few times and he was out like a light and he looked like he was wasting away.
But could death really take this man. I don’t want it too.
Even though I know it is not fair that he has had a long life, and many of my friends have not been so lucky. I still don’t want him to die.
All of us who love him need to spend more time with him now. I don’t think there will be a later. Anytime he is alone is wasted time.
My father is the man with the big laugh, the big personality, and the big spender. The man who couldn’t be prouder that he has 13 children (that he knows of), the man who never squelched on taking care of us and the man with the biggest heart.
Although I started working when I was 14 years old, my father still gave me money for material to get a dress made one year. I loved that dress and I loved that my Dad gave me the money because he was so proud that I never asked him for anything.
I don’t know who else argues/debates with Dad as much as I do, but I know I enjoy it and I think he does too. Except for the time that we were talking about the Bible and I said it was a history book. He kept getting upset and Wahid kept telling me “Dearest, stop it already.” I wouldn’t stop I don’t know why.
My Dad would always say to me ‘I don’t understand why you woman don’t want to be put on a pedestal?’ And I would reply that if we wanted to be on a pedestal we would put ourselves on it.
My Dad has always cracked me up. He always has the best stories and sometimes he has the best jokes.
A few years ago I asked my Dad about his experience in World War II and he told me that he decided to join the military because he had gone to see the movie “Captain of the Clouds” and the theme song was “We’re Off to the Big Show” and that movie made him want to join the Air Force. He joined the RCAF which stood for Royal Canadian Air Force, but of course my Dad added that it stood for Really Caught and Fucked. My Dad became a gunner in the planes and held the rank of Leading Air Craftsman.
Of course the best things that came out of the war for my Dad was the wee lass he married in Scotland and his first born son, my brother Harry.
When I was first diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, it was my Dad who gave me a piece of advice that I don’t know what I would do with out. He said ‘When the what-ifs come knocking, tell them to fuck off.’ And I did, and I do.
My Dad would drive over and bring flowers. One time it was yellow roses, another time it was an assorted bouquet of spring flowers. We would sit on the couch and talk about dying. He once said if he dies before me, that I shouldn’t be too upset. I said Dad, I won’t be you should die before me. Those were very nice days.
My Dad is a computer genius and can make his computer talk. My Dad has many friends on the computer and when I was over there visiting the other day he showed me an msn conversation between himself, his friend John, and his friend Caroline. His friends were asking how he was feeling and if he had gone to the doctors and I could tell that the tone of the conversation was a caring one among friends. I especially liked when Caroline (thank you) said to my Dad “I guess I just have to enjoy my sweet friend for as long as this moment in time lasts.”
You are so right Caroline, and you made me wonder if my Dad is getting more support from his friends than he is getting from his family. And I also realized that I just have to enjoy my sweet Dad for as long as this moment in time lasts.
When I left the house with Angelique last week, I felt like my stomach dropped and said to Angelique I think Grandpa is dying. Angelique said “I just wish that it could all stay the same that the people I love would always be here.” ‘Me too’ I said.
Better than a Timex, he keeps on ticking. He has been told he should be dead now (that first started 30 years ago). ‘You should be dead now’ they would say. ‘You won’t survive this’ they would say. But he isn’t and he has.
Last week I thought he would not last the week. Yesterday, I felt that he has many weeks and months ahead of him and that he isn’t going anywhere yet. I told him I had thought he was dying and that I was going to write that in my blog. My Dad said that would be fine but to also let everyone know that he doesn’t think he will be going for another 30 years at least.
My Dad has helped the sun to shine brighter for me and I will always love him for that.
You are wonderful Dad and wherever you go or whenever you go and best of all if you just stay here where I can see you, I want you to remember that you are well loved by me, your favourite 52-year old.