It was on this date exactly fifty years ago, that my parents, Ian & Nina, wed in the southwestern Ontario city of Woodstock. I’m told it was kind of a simple wedding day, aside from the ceremony itself at St. David’s United Church, and a few years ago, my dad mentioned one of his favourite music memories from that day – as he and mom were driving away from the church, the song “Resurrection Shuffle” by Ashton, Gardner & Dyke was playing on the car radio.
Great song for a great day, much like Shannon & I closely associate LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” with our 2012 wedding day.
Although I was very young at the time, I occasionally noticed and/or sensed that my parents genuinely loved each other and cared for each other; one example of that would be when I saw them in one of their many long hugs in the living room. Whether it was a general “feel good” hug or dad comforting mom when anxiety got the better of her, that, to me, was a sure sign of their true love.
It was so nice to be with mom & dad to celebrate their silver anniversary in 1996, complete with recognition from our local MP. But when mom lost her cancer battle the following June, at the far-too-young age of only 45, it was obviously incredibly hard on all of us, and even more so on dad – losing the love of his life and becoming a widower before 50 was by far the lowest point in his 70 years, and his emotions and intense grief were evident at mom’s funeral in Lindsay a few days later. At some point in the service, my musician uncle John played a short tune on his flute – not long into the song, dad completely broke down crying. He was totally devastated and inconsolable, and this was likely the only time I had ever witnessed my dad crying. Even after recovering from his emotional troubles and into his final years with us, I don’t think dad was the same after mom died – he appeared to be more positive and more content than, say, ten years before his passing, but I do believe that deep down inside, life for him just was not the same without his Nina.
At dad’s funeral service in January 2019, I walked up to the lectern to say a few words from the heart. I ended up sobbing my way through those words, which included the fact that I’d take some comfort in knowing that my parents would be reunited in heaven after more than 20 years apart. Today, I strongly believe they’re both in a much better place, celebrating together on their golden anniversary.
Mom & dad, I miss you so much, and I’ll see you later.