Happy Birthday Dad!

W. J. L. Clark (26/12/1923 – 26/3/2003) with Helen B. Clark at Craigleith Ski Club  – Image via Tumblr

My dad was born on Boxing Day. I don’t think he liked his birthdays too much. Nothing much was open that day in the old city, so we had to scour the streets looking for a pastry shop selling some semblance of a birthday cake. I guess it was just too much to find one ahead of Christmas. Or maybe we thought it would have gone stale.

I remember one year being sorta tired after the big Christmas dinner, and my mom and I locked ourselves out of the car on an especially freezing day. Probably my fault but I can’t remember who was driving. It was easier to lock yourself out back then. No bells, whistles or warning lights if you left your keys in the ignition. So I had to walk home a sizeable distance to get a second set of keys, and then return while mom stayed warm inside the shop.

Being the day after Christmas, I suppose dad’s birthday was a bit anticlimactic. But we loved dad very much and still do. I think of him every day. During the recent ice storm I had to guide some branches to ensure their safe fall on the ground. Dad loved he-man “chores,” as we used to call them. So when I was out there in the middle of the night, roping branches in the pitch dark, I really felt like he was with me, guiding the operation!



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