What I Remember Daddy Teaching Me

What I Remember Daddy Teaching Me

My Dad & Me…

I was 14 years old when I lost my Dad. A long-haul truck driver, he was away a lot and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him. When Mom knew he was coming home, she would make sure all 9 kids were cleaned up in our finest clothes. She’d do our hair and we’d wait expectantly for him to arrive. It was quite the special event, Daddy was coming home!

I Remember Many Things But Most of All How Dad Loved Life.

He was a happy-go-lucky guy who loved to tease & laugh. Mom was the serious one, (of course! She had 9 kids to take care everyday… by herself.) 

She worked hard to keep everything running smoothly, clean, cook and take care of us. She was ALWAYS taking care of something or someone. I remember how Dad used to tease her till she’d lighten up and laugh too. He had that effect on people.

When Dad Got Home, He’d Always Be Tired

After 4-5 days on the road, he needed sleep and would go straight to bed. Mom tried to keep us kids quiet and calm – I’m sure it wasn’t always easy. But once Dad got up, he’d make use of the short time he had with us and made it fun. At times, he’d gather us all around him, play the guitar and sing songs for us. Sitting at his feet, I learned a few Acadian French songs that still bring fond memories to my heart.

He Often Got Into Mischief 

One day Mom had him go up to the attic to get something. In our house, the only way you could go up is through a hatch in the hallway ceiling. Mom dragged the sewing machine under the hatch, put a chair over it and up he went. Ha ha ha…

Now, Once You Were Up There, You Had To Be Very Careful!

There was no floor to walk on, you had to position yourself to walk on the crossbeams of the house. Between those beams was the drywall of the room beneath it. Well… that day we kids were playing on the floor in the living room, gathered around the wood stove to stay warm. All of a sudden, we hear a big CRACK over our heads! Looking up, we see Dad’s body hanging from the ceiling… ha ha ha. We could only see his legs which were moving in all directions AND he was hanging over the wooden stove. Ha! What a clown. We had so much fun laughing and watching him come down.

What I Remember Daddy Teaching Me Those are the kinds of memories I have of him, forever etched in my heart.

Early one spring morning, he was coming home to his family and fell asleep at the wheel.

He’d been tired, sleepy and pushing it because he was almost there; he thought he would make it. About 3 miles away, he drove into a ditch, the cargo he was carrying slamming into the back of his cab, instantly killing him. Had he not had that cargo, he probably would not have been hurt because his speed had decreased a lot by the time he hit the ditch.

It was the day that changed the rest of our family’s life.

My Mom was 35 years old at the time, left to take care of 9 children ranging from 2 to 15 years old.

It was not easy for her to move on. I’ll tell you about that in another post.

What I Remember Most Is The Life Lessons:

  • Never judge. You don’t know what another person is going through.  When tempted to judge anyways, imagine putting your feet in that person’s shoes, walking a mile where they’ve walked.  Then, and only then… can you even attempt to have an opinion of that person. 
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  The golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Never do to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you. 
  • Treat everyone equally. Have no favorites. Don’t put people on pedestals they can’t honor and don’t estimate yourself higher than others. It doesn’t matter the status, where they seem to be in life; respect people for who they are. Everyone equally. Talk to people, treat them with utmost respect. 
  • Be yourself. No showing off. People don’t like stand-offish people or showoffs. Don’t esteem yourself higher than others. No airs, no pretension. Be real. Doesn’t matter if they’re the president, a handicap, a doctor or a farmer. Respect everyone.

I Have Missed My Dad’s Presence Throughout My Life

There have been specific moments where I so wished that he could be with me.  When I got married.  His first grandchild.  The Christmases.  The family gatherings… We have missed a lot of special times with him.

I Long For The Day Of The Grand Reunion 

The marriage supper of the lamb where we’ll meet, eat, talk and celebrate together. Oh! What a glorious day that will be. Jesus, standing by watching with a HUGE grin on his face. 

I Can’t Wait to Have Him Give Me A Great Big Hug… 

Till Then, Love You Dad ♥ ♥

Norma Bourque Niles