Along with this photo of my dad. One of the last I ever took of him. This is him at his 60th birthday party. Notice the ice cream cone in his hand? Well he LOVED ice cream cones, chocolate specifically. Here where we live there is an ice cream boat that makes its way up and down the Rideau River providing ice cream to those on boats and people at the beach. We hired them to stop by the party and serve ice cream to everyone at the party. My dad loved it. Although he was never one to show his excitement we know this was one of his favourite parts of his party.
Well he would have loved what we did tonight. Tonight was simply one of the best nights of my life. And because it was simple. It was a last minute throw together. After he passed away my girls said they wanted to play hockey on the anniversary of his death. I left it a bit late but called our family friends to ask if the ice might be cleared off where my dad had his accident. They said unfortunately no. So I explained what I wanted to do and we said there was too much ice but we could certainly go down there. So that’s when I decided we’d go ahead with the idea that I posted on Facebook tonight. I ran around town after closing the showroom getting some of my dad’s favourites – Stella beer, chips and vinegar, coke, pizza, wings – picked my mom up and headed for the ice. We arrived a bit late so Trevor and Mekayla had already been there and were apparently already down on the ice. So we unloaded the car and hauled everything down to the ice. On our way there we had been talking about that we should have brought flashlights or something. Unfortunately I didn’t think about a fire or flashlights.
The most emotional part of the night for me was when Mark pointed to a pair of skates that were sitting my the fire. He said “I don’t know if any of you knew I had these but these are Kirk’s skates. And this is the beer he was drinking that day.” OMG!! My dad’s skates. The skates he was wearing that day he had his accident. They had taken them off him there and left them. Now here they were a year later. Same skates my dad always had so I could picture him wearing them still. None of us shed a tear but this was an emotional moment for me. Made everything feel real.