September 17th 2016.
The 20th anniversary of my father's death. The day he left this world and left me with so many things left unsaid.
I remember this photo like it was yesterday. It was taken at our fishing club in Quebec.
I was 16 or 17, glad to be home from boarding school for the summer.
My dad was a strong man. He went off to fight in WWII at a young age, serving his country as a fighter pilot flying a P-38. He was shot down over France where he was taken in by a French family. Unfortunately, he was discovered by the Germans and spent the remainder of the war as a POW in unimaginable circumstances in a POW camp in Germany.
I know now that my father evidently suffered from PTSD after the war, but at that time there was no diagnosis. However, my father never let it stop him. He went on to become a successful businessman and he and my mom raised a family of four children.
For the last three decades of his life, my father battled MS. He became a prisoner once again, but this time it was in his own body.
It was terrible for him and for us to watch this strong man slowly succumb to such a terrible disease.
When he passed away 20 years ago I imagined that he was once again whole in body, flying up into the blue skies.
So today I am feeling nostalgic as I watch the rain beat against my window. I am remembering times with my daddy. There were good times and bad times. Things I wish we could have talked about while he was still well.
But even though he is gone from this earth, I still feel his presence. I know he is happy and I am happy for all of the memories we created together. Memories I can pull out whenever I want to feel him close by my side. Just like in the photo.