As we approach Father’s Day this weekend, my thoughts naturally go to my Dad, a hero in my eyes. A letter carrier for 30 years, he would walk more than 20 km each day delivering mail. His route locally for probably a decade was off Connaught, north of Fairview mall.
With all that time spent in the sun, he developed skin cancer. It started with one lesion on his face and they have for years. His treatment was second to none, and I am so grateful they have been able to treat the lesions and keep my Dad in good health.
My Dad is a hero because he always fought for better rights for all. As a member of the postal union, he fought for the right for employees to take paid days off to see the doctor, something that is taken for granted now but actually took a lot of work and lobbying.
He is also a hero because of his dedication to health care and the community. From canvassing door to door for charity and giving anytime someone asked he helped teach me the value of giving back. And of course, he is a hero to our family. My five daughters simply adore Grandpa Royston (and his creation the RIPT)
My father has instilled in me a dedication to charity that I have passed to my children. They give to the hospital and other charities out of their allowance and they have accompanied me to countless charity events over the years. They know how helpful the health care staff at Grand River Hospital has been to our family, and so they are determined to give back. They are planning to join me at the Grand Ride this September. We think we are going to do the Community leg together of 20-40 km. The 3 year-olds will be in the bike trailer but the 10,9 and 7 year old will go the distance!
As my own family has grown I have reflected a lot on my Dad and my childhood. I grew up an only child (I now have a step-brother I love very much!) and spent a lot of time with my parents and other adults. My ad worked as a letter carrier and then to make ends meet cut people's lawns after work. I can only now imagine how much work that actually was. All the while, my om struggled with what we would call chronic illness today. I really never appreciated the sacrifices he made for me and my om.
This Father's Day, I'll call my Dad and tell him I love him. He retired to PEI to be on the water and while we won't be able to drive out there like we usually do we'll cook up some PEI mussels and my ad's favourite curry recipe and remember the good times together. Love you Dad.
From my family to yours, Happy Father’s Day!