Sunday, June 21, 2015

You Did Good, Dad!

I WISH I had known my dad better. I was fourteen when he died and he had been sick for quite some time prior. There is not a single picture of the both of us together that I could find. I look a lot like him though.

My father took a risk. He was brave and hopeful when he traveled from Europe to Canada through turbulent storm-tossed seas with his young wife and three children.

I was the youngest of two siblings born later in Canada after my parents settled in Quebec. In view of the past and continuing political turmoil in the Ukraine, my dad’s goal was to bring his children to a more secure life. Although he succeeded in that, it was not to be the best move for him in the end.

My father had been a professor at a university in Kiev in the Ukraine, a head accountant for the government of the day, a philosopher, a storyteller and a musician who also had a degree in religious studies but who turned down the option to be a minister at a Greek Orthodox Church when he arrived in Canada. Wavering in his religious beliefs, he did not want to be disingenuous I was told. Instead, he started a farm and did manual work eventually succumbing to an illness that was life threatening and common then. Tuberculosis took him down the long road of health problems, surgeries and stays in sanatoriums.

The painting of him is one of several original art pieces he brought from Europe. The work was by his artist friend that I have not been able to trace. My father’s face is inscrutable as I try to read behind the eyes. Although he is as mysterious as Mona Lisa without her smile, the portraiture reveals something about my father the way only a painting can. I sense his earnestness and innocence about what is to come. If I could speak to him this Father's Day, I'd say, “You did good, dad! You did give us opportunities for a better life.”

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13 comments:

  1. A wonderful tribute to your dad. I lost my dad at 18. Still miss him very much.

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  2. Your father is around you and hearing your voice of love, respect, thankfulness, and admiration toward him, Maria. The happiness you have now is the precious, priceless present from your father. He chose and did the most important thing he things to your family despite his health. He looks so nice with impressive eyes keeping his youth in that painting. My father passed away at 76 twenty three years ago, and I still miss him.

    Yoko

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  3. Oh, yes!! This is indeed a wonderful post and beautiful tribute to your Father!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I do understand your sense loss!

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  4. He gave you the best possible start in life and you seem to have done him proud.

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  5. Lovely painting of your Dad and a great tribute! Have a happy new week ahead!

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  6. Loving tribute to your Dad and beautiful portrait of him ~ Hold on to the dear memories that you have ~

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

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  7. What a lovely tribute to your dad.

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  8. It is so special that you have this wonderful portrait of your Dad. He sounded so brave bringing you all to a better life. Thank you for sharing his story.

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  9. i so admire the people who left their countries ,their language,their culture behind in the search for a better life.How wonderful that your father "did good" and gave you a life full of opportunities.
    It is heartbreaking to see what is happening to refugees nowadays who are ,like your father, are trying to find a ( better) life.
    A wonderful and lovely post.

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  10. A heartfelt tribute to a brave man ... He gave you so much. Beautifully written Maria.

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  11. Wonderful tribute to your dad! It's a coincidence that I was talking to a stranger from Ukraine just today. We spoke of her immigration to Toronto and how she has left part of her family behind. It all sounded so HARD!

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  12. I really enjoyed this post, Maria! There is, to me, great depth in your father's eyes, and for that matter, in the painting. I can imagine that you treasure that link to him. He would be so pleased and proud to read not only this post, but your entire blog. The sensitivity in his expression comes out, I believe, in your writing.

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  13. What a touching tribute to your father. Great post!

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