Arthur Edward at 81

Today would have been Dad’s 81st birthday – hard to believe!  Memory is a wonderful thing and I remember us racing down the back alley in St. John New Brunswick.  I would have been about 5 years old and I challenged by Dad, who would have been 31 or so, to a foot race.  
“Race you to the back yard Dad!” I challenged.
“Okay!”
“Go!” said I taking a step or two before giving out the cue to start…
Looking to my left my Dad was right there…running hard, arms swinging with all my might…Dad was keeping pace with me.  The race way was a dirt and gravel alley that led you to the garage.  As we crossed into the backyard I suddenly pulled ahead and won the race.
I remember wondering…”did Dad let me win?”  By the smile on my Mom’s face I figured I won fair and square and she was just proud of her little boy.  It was the first time I remember feeling like I was growing up, getting bigger — faster.
Of course Dad did let me win.  No question there.  And it’s one of the memories that has stuck with me over the years.  It wasn’t the only time Dad did something to let me feel good.  I remember him letting me drive the boat, or the car.  I remember what he said to me the day I was commissioned as a Salvation Army Officer.  I always felt I was loved – that He was proud of me.
Dad’s gone to heaven – but not from my memory.  And one day we’ll be together again.

What would Dad be like as an 81 year old?  I don’t know.  But I think he would remain gracious, loving, kind and most of all proud of his family – all of us!

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