2016 was not a great year in many ways for a lot of people. Loved ones lost, favorite musicians gone but not really, protests against election winners, pipelines, you name it it happened.

As for myself I ambled through the year loving my grandchildren and their parents, going to work, mourning my favorite artists and celebrating life as much as I could. Sometimes I would forget which isn’t as hard as you would think.

Then came the 28th of November. All of my life as much as I had issues with my mother I loved her even when she annoyed me. She was there if I wanted to talk to her or when I needed to ground myself in home because I couldn’t afford to go home for a visit. I listened while she rambled, answered a few questions when she remembered that I was on the line and hadn’t done much talking. She’s my mom and I will always love her.

My father on the other hand has been the forgotten man for 44yrs of my life, except for the few times that he remembered he had children or my mother called him to remind him. His smokes and his liquor were more important to him and his second family kept him in Alberta. Which when I honestly admit was the best place for him. Away from his sisters but unfortunately away from his mother. I have probably in those 44yrs saw him 12 times maybe and only when I had travelled home. I also probably talked to him about the same amount on the phone from wherever I was posted. I was the one that called him.

The 44yrs between when he left our home and when he left this life were years in which I didn’t even remember he was there. When I did there was no remorse. There was nothing. That someone did not remember that she had a father still walking this earth baffles me. I know that regardless of where I am I never forget that my child exists and maybe he felt the same about the 4 of us but I doubt it.  It is sad that life brought us together and disappointment, hurt and anger tore us apart.

My father was a good man somewhere inside. He never learned how to be an adult without a bottle in his hand just like his father never did or his father before him. Alcoholism runs in my family just ask my brother. Thankfully only one of them succumbed. I nearly followed the family genes until I got pregnant and realized that I can’t be like my father when I have a little one to bring into this world. That is a lesson I thank him for. One of the only lessons he ever taught me. How not to be like him even though I am just like him in every other way.

November 28th 2016 the day my father died. As my sister so eloquently put it ‘I am sad for the loss of the ideal of a dad, but not for the man that was my father.’ and this makes my heart hurt.

Rest in Peace David Arthur Oliver. I hope someone is mourning you. May 1940-Nov 28 2016.