Saturday, 14 April 2018

My Dad

Most of you who read this, already know, but I will write it anyhow. My father, Stephen Donald Kot, died on March 29th. He was a wonderful father, husband, son, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend. Click here to read Dad's obituary as it appeared in The Ottawa Citizen and the Weyburn (Sask.) Review.

 Dad would not have wanted all the fuss but Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen came to the house and interviewed us about Dad. By very happy coincidence, he appeared a half hour after Dad's teammate, Len Fluet, arrived at the house. Len had just cleared out Dad's locker at the curling club. How lucky was Dad, to be curling at 93! Click  here to read the lovely tribute that Waybe Scanlan wrote.

I was just looking through some old writing of mine and came across this piece that I wrote a few years ago. It will give you an idea of why we are going to miss Dad so much.

It is, of course, an understatement, but I will say it anyhow. As kids, we got lucky in the Dad department. First of all, he has always been a very supportive father to all of us and secondly, we have had him for so long.

At a dinner party a while ago I was telling some friends about a problem that came up at our house. It may have been when we had rats in the basement. I was in the middle if the story and I was saying, “ So I picked up the phone…” and a friend interrupted, “I know. You called your Dad.” 
“Of course I called my Dad”, I answered. “Who else am I going to call?”

That’s been the way we have always operated. For all kinds of issues, we have called Dad. Most of the time he has been able to help us to solve our problem of the day, whether his help has been long distance over the phone or in-person help. In the case of the rat problem, he came right over, set some traps, and helped that rat onto the hereafter.

It’s not just that Dad always helped us or did the work, on our homes and cars. What is possibly more important is that he taught us how to do some of that work. I am the least talented in those areas. Everyone else in the family is more talented than I am. However, even I am slightly inclined, because of all the time I have worked beside Dad.

A month ago Pat and I were having trouble with our garage door. The roller thing kept coming off the rail. Pat was working on it but nothing was working. I went out and looked at it for a bit and realized what the problem was. It wasn’t that hard to figure out. That’s because of being with Dad, watching how patient he is,  how he analyzes things, how he doesn’t  give up when things get difficult.

Love is a verb, not just a noun. Actions speak louder than words.

There are many ways to show love. Dad has always loved us with his actions. He has taken care of us. He has helped all of us out , wherever we have lived and whatever car or house we have been working on.

This week I’ve been with Pat at Norah and Sean’s place in Toronto. Aaron was there when Eliza was born. Just before he left to go back to Ottawa I asked Aaron to look at a couple of things at their house. One was their kitchen tap and the other was a bedroom door that was sticking. Aaron gave us advice and Pat and I were able to solve those 2 small problems. They were only small items but they will be appreciated. If we do small things to help out when we visit, it is because of Dad’s example. When Kath  and I lived out of town and Dad and Mom visited us, they never visited without Dad doing many jobs around our houses: putting in electrical outlets, doing some plumbing or carpentry.

And so we help out our kids and family because of Dad’s example. Although he wasn’t there in Toronto this week, really it is because of Dad that that bedroom door doesn’t stick anymore and the kitchen tap moves  more freely. Dad has spent countless hours working with Aaron, teaching him and teaching all of us. Besides that knowledge, he has more importantly, given us the example of using your talents to help others.

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