Archive for December, 2014
I’ve been enjoying playing with my head this Christmas; allow me to present my White Christmas inspired do!
For many of us Christmas is a time of love and joy; a time to bring family together and celebrate over food and gift-giving. For others, its a time of pain, struggle and a reminder of loss and loneliness. Sometimes its even a combination of both.
Today I think of my dad; after just coming from a visit at his house, where we were both reminded of a Christmas some time ago. Seems like a foggy forever ago and all at once like yesterday…
See, the long and the short of it is – my dad’s health is not well – tho it hasn’t necessarily been well in years, these days in particular are trying and challenging because his health has indeed taken a turn for the worse. The future is clear and yet vague.
When I was a little boy, we’re talking ages 7-11, I was incredibly interested in Archie comics: the colorful drawings, the stories. My dad, back in those days – would pick me up from McIsaac school for my weekend with him, and as a way to support my interest in comics (or just spoil me), would make a routine stop at The Candy Bar or the comic shop that used to be located by Bud’s Books (for the life of me I can’t remember who owned it or what it was called – can anyone help me?). To my delight he would allow me 1-2 comics, for which I would pour over for the remainder of the weekend. I would study them, admire them and then sketch and draw my own imaginations. Dad actually still has these drawings (my warped versions of slasher horror movies like Friday the 13th), tho they are faded and time-stained by years of dust and cigarette smoke.
I truly love those memories. I have many. I can’t even begin to share them all but I will say that dad was always my #1 support in terms of entertaining this artistic interest. In fact, many of you may recall how within the comics there were advertisements for special comics and collectors cards and toys. I wanted them ALL – and it was my dad I could share these wishes to. I’d circle the items I wanted, and I would share them with dad in hinted hopes he’d order them. In retrospect – that had to cost a lot of money to ship things from the United States to Flin Flon, Manitoba.
Dad heard me loud and clear: and when I was 9 years old (1988 to be exact) I recall being over-joyed at Christmas because unbeknownst to me, dad did in fact, order me the membership to the Archie Fan Club, as well as two plush Archie and Reggie dolls, bendable figurines, and if that wasn’t enough I also got collectors cards to boot!
My memory is foggy but I know I loved those gifts and to this day I still have them all in my possession, along with the hundreds of comics and knick knacks I would have continued to collect over the next 5 years or so.
Year after year has passed and so many things have changed, but it wasn’t until a week ago when we talked and the subject came up about the Archies.
“Curt, you remember when I got you those Archie cards and dolls?” asked dad.
“Of course dad! I still have them! ALL of them!”
“Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” he said in total surprise. “I spent a lot of money on those things and her I just thought you would have gotten rid of them years ago!”
Needless to say I love surprising my dad – so I marched home and collected my Archie stash in one little tin box, and I waited for the right time to present them to him so that he could know without a doubt just what they mean to me.
Today was that day; I stopped at dad’s house after doing some errands for him and watched him open that tin to reveal the treasures I’ve held onto for years. He was baffled – “Oh!” he exclaimed. I sat back and watched him, perhaps as he might have watched me initially tear through the wrapping when I first received them that 1988 Christmas.
Together we sifted through the personal letter I got from the Veronica Lodge (she even signed it!) which welcomed me to the club (and encouraged me to purchase her new comic “Veronica Goes to Paris”), my membership card, button, pen and pad…. we perused the collectors cards and special comics I had safely tucked into plastic wrap.
Its very difficult for me not to feel sentimental today; a reminder of how fast time can slip away from us all and how truly rich life is because of him.
Times obviously have to change – but I love you dad, and I am forever grateful for the efforts you made to love me and the the memories I will always cherish.