Nearing the “Home” Stretch and memories of my dad.

After a bit of a stressful couple of days (again) last week, we are getting sooooo much closer to realizing our dream of being home owners…

Our bank, once again, decided that having 4 different documents was not enough, even though they were the ones that told us all they needed was the 4 documents to complete the sale.  They came up with a 5th document requirement.  AUGH!!!  

This latest document was a bill of sale to be filled out by the seller and signed by her.  She reviewed it and refused to sign the document as it indicated that she had already received the funds of the sale of her mobile home.  *sigh*.  I had to agree with her as it didn’t make sense for her to sign that document.  So, we went back to our bank and after a tense exchange between myself and the bank, our realtor and the bank and then the BIG GUN, Alex and the bank, they agreed that the document didn’t need to be signed until after the sale was completed.  No kidding (note definite sarcasm here!!!)!

So, we were back at the point we were supposed to be at before all this document hellishness arose… We confirmed our home inspection with Arne Larson from West Coast Home Inspections for this Tuesday at 10:00 am.  This is the last hurdle that we can foresee.  Hopefully, the inspection will go well.  I am confident that it will.  

Once the inspection is finalized, then the conditions will be coming off on February 12th.  Very appropriate date… it is my mother’s birthday….  We will get the keys on February 14th – Valentine’s Day.  Another appropriate date to close the deal…..

Alex is so ready for this event.  We went fabric shopping this weekend as Alex wants a whole new color scheme in our new home.  So, $232 later… we have some amazing fabrics which Alex will turn into draperies, cushions and so much more.  

We have started collecting boxes as Alex will start packing as soon as I get the keys…. Then the real job starts… Moving!!!!  Alex and I will take a load over every morning for the balance of February and the first week of March.  We will also do 3 or 4 runs on Weekends.  I will drop Alex and Nykie off at the new home and Alex can start painting, cleaning, unpacking the load of boxes and generally get things going.

We decided to do it this way as it gives us more time to move in gradually as well as allows me to finish up my last show of 2013:  Murder on the Nile.  Nice segue, huh?

To anybody who reads my blogs, I would love for you to come and check it out.  It is a great Agatha Christie “whodunnit” and features a great cast.  I am equally pleased to mention that Alex is one of two costumers for this production.  He has done a great job making everyone look good.  I have always been so proud of his talents and this just further reinforces that.

To see pics, show times and ticket prices, check out the website at http://www.metrotheatrevancouver.com

The show runs from February 16 – March 16th.  I hope to see you all there.

On the Nykie front, we took him back to the Vet’s on Saturday.  This is his last visit for a while, I hope.  His recovery from his most recent affliction is bordering on the miraculous.  He is eating well, he is sleeping better, he is gaining the weight back that he lost, his sense of balance is back, he walks well again and only ocassionally trips but manages to catch himself very quickly. Alex and I are so grateful for each day we get with him now.  We now know for certain that his final years will be spent in a home with a yard where he can sit and sun himself and not have to be on a leash.  That is worth the price of the property alone….

Finally, on the personal front, Saturday was the 10th anniversary of my father’s death.  I couldn’t quite figure out why I was so out of sorts on Saturday.  Alex even commented on the fact that I wasn’t being very helpful with the fabric selections.  I couldn’t understand it either…. It wasn’t until I got home that it dawned on me…. I had forgotten the date!  So, I spent the next few hours remembering my dad.  What a card he was!

He loved to tease my mom.  Almost to the point where she would have loved to hit him with a frying pan! 

He LOVED his daughters in-law as much as his own daughter:  Sharon, Nadine and Shelley were the apples of his eye.  His own daughter, Anna was the one person who could make my dad turn into a superhero in the blink of an eye.  The women in his life were his life to the exclusion of all else. Until the grandchildren arrived.

The women graciously took a back seat to his attention and affections.  He truly doted on the grandchildren.

Then there was the dog!  My youngest brother brought my dad and mom a tiny German Shepherd puppy for Christmas in 1986.  That began the sage of Shanki – the adorable tiny puppy who became this massive monster who loved to knock over the grandkids, reveled in being vacuumed each morning by my mom and would sit on the sofa next to my dad while dad watched WWF.

My dad was a spirited man who loved to travel.  He was happiest behind the wheel of his car flying down the highway heading to Vegas.  

It was always an endurance test for the rest of us who were unfortunate enough to forget to go to the bathroom before we hit the road.

Dad and I had a distant relationship.  He never quite got me.  He knew I was gay but, didn’t want to talk about it.  He didn’t disapprove of me but, didn’t know how to talk to me.  I was fortunate to fix that.  On Christmas Eve, 2002, dad called me out of the blue,  After the customary discussion of the weather in Vancouver vs. Edmonton, he paused.  I could hear it in his voice that something was up.

“Are you happy, son?” Those 4 words changed everything about my relationship with my dad.  He was actually talking to me…. about me!  Suddenly, my vision became blurry.  I had to stop and sit down.  The tears were coming and I couldn’t stop them.

“Yes, dad.” I managed to whisper. “I am happy.”  

Those words were all that I needed to say.

“Good.  I am glad.  I will talk to you soon.”

6 weeks later, I managed to make it home in time to say “goodbye” to him.  By this time, the emphysema had taken its toll on him.  He was in the hospital, a shadow of the man I knew.  His labored breathing tore at my heart.  My mom and some of my family were there.  Mom leaned over to dad and told him I was there.  His breathing seemed to steady for a few minutes.  

I was able to spend a few minutes alone with him.  I held his hand and told him that I loved him and that if he needed to go, he should.  No one was going to stop him.  I could feel his hand tighten on mine ever so slightly.  

I went to my older brother’s to get some rest.  Around midnight, we got the call from the hospital that my father had died.  I sat up in bed, said a silent “thank you” to the powers that be that allowed me a final moment with him.

I wish that we had more time but, I will be eternally grateful for the time I did have with him.

 

 

Published by Al Zylstra

a somewhat erudite wannabe writer with aspirations of not putting people to sleep with my prose....

One thought on “Nearing the “Home” Stretch and memories of my dad.

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