If That's Life, I Guess I've Had It

I wrote this about my Dad, so long ago I had forgotten about it. Originally published to BackWash.com on May 28, 2004 and written when my Dad died.

My Dad would sometimes say, “If that’s supper, I guess I’ve had it.” This past week after his death that phrase has caught in my mind only I’ve adapted it to, “If that’s life, I guess I’ve had it.”

My Dad was 71 years old when he died. He was born in South Shields, Scotland in 1932. He had one sister who also came to Canada (the whole family did when he was in university). My Dad was an electrical engineer though he didn’t have the actual engineer stamp due to not finishing that last year of university. He could have many times over, but he chose not to bother. He chose not to bother about a lot of things.

Anyway, he married my Mother in 1964. They lived in farm houses and city apartments for awhile, back and forth until one run down farm in a town called Kincardine where my sister was born. She was the third of four kids. We moved back to the city from there cause the farm house had no running water and my brother and I were having asthma problems with the country lifestyle. Two more moves and we ended up in The Rouge. It was the town of Port Union then, later it became part of Scarborough and thus part of Toronto. When someone asks where I grew up I think of The Rouge. It was a very white middle class place. Nice though a bit sheltered.

Dad always loved jersey cows. He kept buying the Jersey Breeder magazine long after we had seen our last farm house. While I was growing up in The Rouge he was daydreaming about a jersey farm. He made lots of plans on paper and now and then we had family trips into the middle of nowhere Ontario to look at a farm he could buy. By that time Mom was pretty much prepared to veto them all. No more run down farm houses, no more him expecting her to run a farm and cows while he worked in the city and came back on weekends to supervise.

Dad liked to sing and whistle while he worked. Often the same old songs about ‘stay home and mind baby brown eyed girl, captain brown being down amongst the dead men and tally my bananas day o’. I’m not even sure what the names of the songs are. But I’ve heard them over and over all my life.

We started looking through his things, picking what to keep, what to display at the service and what to toss. There is a lot to toss. He wore his clothes till they were worn out, he was no fashion plate though he liked to think he looked good. Sometimes he did. Among his things I noticed an old program from a theatre performance of ‘Man of La Mancha” that he went to with my sister and myself a very long time ago. I was surprised to see that. Also one Father’s Day card from all the cards I had ever given him. Usually he left them sitting right where he had opened them and let Mom eventually toss them into the garbage. I put away the one card that he kept. There were also more pins and badges from the local Lions clubs that he had yet given to me to sew onto his Lions vest. Between my Mom and I we had kept them sewn on for him for the past ten or so years. He also had pictures of golf games and events with business associates and sometimes my brother or his current son-in-law too.

He had his first small heart attack while we lived in The Rouge. After that they came more frequently, over time, slowly. He ignored them. Even though his own Dad had died at age 65 from a heart attack which he ignored until he died in the hospital that same night. That just proves you can’t help people who will not help themselves.

I remember being in the hospital up here in Alliston with my Dad just a few days before they took him down to Newmarket for the quadruple by-pass operation. He wasn’t sure about having the surgery and I can see now that he was afraid. That makes me feel very sorry for him. But, I don’t see how we could have done differently at that point. It was likely already too late. Anyway, he had a very bad heart attack right before the surgery but they went ahead at that point cause he would have died anyway I guess. Either then or the next attack. Surgery seemed to at least give him a chance to survive. He did pull through for two more days and seemed to be feeling pretty ok for someone who has just had his chest opened and adjusted. But two days after the surgery he didn’t wake up. He was in ICU and stayed there. Being worked on, his body kept functioning with life support. The hospital staff seemed to think his chances were not too bad at that point. But he never got better and last Saturday, the very day they were going to pull the plug he died himself sometime before 6:00 AM.

Maybe it’s having the distance of time and now death, but I do feel less angry about him and things he did and said. In the end it doesn’t matter. It’s up to me to get on with my own life. On Monday we are having the memorial service. Mom is bugging me about what I will wear. I am not looking forward to having to make chit chat with people who think they knew him. Cause they didn’t really know him. Dad liked to make a show of his life. He was always Mr BigShot and we were holding him back, picking on him and making things difficult in general. He would tell his business associates, the local Lions club which he joined and others all about us, as he chose to see us. So, no, I’m not looking forward to two hours of hearing about what a good guy he was. But the service is for them I think. For me, I don’t care. He is dead and it’s over.

Right now beside me I have an old rolodex of his business cards which I’m sorting through for valid names to add to the guest list. If he could be there for the memorial he would be happy with the show put on for him, because of him. His due I expect he would think. For me it’s just something else I have to do. I wonder if I will think of him much after the wind down of everything. It seems as if we’ve been expecting and waiting to put on this last show since we were kids and here it finally is. Now we can do the show and put it into the past and leave it there. All the build up and the suspense will be gone. Just like Ian N. Brown himself.

David Bader's Complete Guide to Cows (Part 1)

From: The Great One stuce@csv.warwick.ac.uk
Subject: the.ascii.cows

        --==>>  THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO COWS  <<==--
             as you've NEVER seen them before!

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/-------/ /-------/ /-------/ /-------/
/ | || / | || / | || / | ||
* ||----|| * ||W---|| * ||w---|| * ||V---||
~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~
Cow Cow laden Same cow Betty Ford-type
with milk after milking cow with milk

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/------- / /------- / ------- / /------- /
/ | ||O / | ||O | ||O / | ~#>-+|O
* ||,---|| * ||@--|| ||,---|| * ||,----|
~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~
Bull Same bull after Rotc bull after Red-blooded American Bull
seeing above cow seeing other bull shooting the Rotc bull

[[code]]czoxMjI6XCIgICAgIChfXykgICAgICAgICAgICAgKF9fKSAgICAgICAgICAgICAoX18pICAgICAgICAgICAgIChfXykKICAgICAob297WyYqJl19KSAgICAgICAgICAgICAob28pICAgICAgICAgICAgIChvbykgICAgICAgICAgICAgKG9vKQpcIjt7WyYqJl19[[/code]]

/-------/-* /-------/ /-------/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
/ | || ))(/ / * / | ||
* ||----|| * |||/)|/()( ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
/|(/)(//(,,/ )|(//|)(/
Cow munching Grass munching Cow in water Cow in trouble
on grass on cow

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/--------/ /-oooooo-/ -------/ -------/
* o| || * ooooooooo o o| || / ||
||----|| ooooooooooooo ||----||>==/-----||
ooo^^ ^^ ooooooooooooooooo ^^ ^^ ^^
Cow taking Cow in deep Cow getting the shit
a shit shit kicked out of her

[[code]]czo0NDpcIiAgICAgKF9fKQogICAgIChvbykgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgIFUKXCI7e1smKiZdfQ==[[/code]]

/-------/ /---V
/ | || * |--| .
* ||----||
^^ ^^
Cow at 1 meter. Cow at 100 meters. Cow at 10,000 meters.

[[code]]czoxMjE6XCIgICAgIChfXykgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICApX18oICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgIHZ2ICAgIHZ2CiAgICAgKG9vKSB7WyYqJl19ICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAob28pICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgIHx8LS0tLXx8ICAqClwiO3tbJiomXX0=[[/code]]

/-------/ *-------/ || | /
/ | || / | || /-------/
* ||----|| / ||----|| (oo)
^^ ^^ vv vv (~~)

American Cow Polish Cow Australian Cow

[[code]]czoxMjA6XCIgICAgIChfXykgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAoX18pICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgKF9fKQogICAgIChvbyl7WyYqJl19ICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgIF9fX18gKG9vKSAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICBfLS0tXyhvbykKXCI7e1smKiZdfQ==[[/code]]

/-------/ /- --/ /- -/
/ | || / | || /| ||
* ||----|| * ||-|| * ||-||
^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^

Freshman Cow at Freshman Cow Freshman Cow
start of school After the "Freshman 15" After the "Freshman 20"

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/-------/ /-------/ /-------/
/ | || / | || / | ||
* ||----|| * ||----|| * ||----||
^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^

Cow who drank Jolt Cow who ate Cow who used Jolt to wash
psychadelic mushrooms down psychadelic mushrooms

[[code]]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[[/code]]

to George Washington this cow cow

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The cyclops that Jason and This cow lived with
the Argonauts met had this cow Dr. Doolittle

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This cow belonged This cow lived with This cow belonged to
to Flash Gordon the Little Rascals the Headless Horseman

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This cow belonged This was Salvatore No one was sure whether
to Pablo Picasso Dali's favorite cow M.C. Escher's cow had four
legs or eight

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^/ /----
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ /
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^ * ^
Cow Hanging Ten at Malibu Cow sunning at Fort Lauderdale
(What a bod, huh guys?)

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(Where Jaws was filmed, for those less educated)

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Cow skiing a Black Diamond at Aspen / / / / | / /
/ / / ()| / /
/ / / (oo)| / /
( @@@ ) /-------/ |
( @@ ) (------------) / | ||^_|
@@ (
) ( *>COUGH<* ) * ||----|
@@ (oo) . . . ( *>COUGH<* ) ^^ ^
/--UU--/ (____________)
/ | || Cow sheltering from English Weather
* ||---||

(New) Jersey Cow
O O O O
/ /
() /
(
) (xx)/
(DD) +--------+//
/-------/ | | /
/ | || +--------+
* ||----||
^^ ^^
Cow fantasizing about "Riding the Mechanical Bull"
at Gillies in Texas

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/-------/ /-------vv /-------/
/ | || / | || / | ||
* ||----|| * ||----|| * ||----||
~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~
bill bixby bela lugosi boris karloff claude rains
male relative cow cow cow cow

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/ | x=a(b)|| / | { }|| *----/
* ||------|| * ||{___}|| /
^^ ^^ ||-----|| / /
^^ ^^ ^ ^

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(developer of (Cow-thode snorting cow-caine)
cow-culus) Ray Tube)

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It's a bird... // The Boss
It's a plane... // (Bruce Holstien)
// //
^^ ^^
==================
_____________________________ H H
| |-------------| H () H
| | ________ | H (oo) H __
| COWNTY | | (|
|) | | H / / H /
| JAIL | | |oo| | | H | | | | H | STOP |
| | ||/|| | H D===b=----- H __ /
| | o | H^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H ||
| | ^ | H H ||
| | ] | H H ||
| | | H H ||
|_____________|_____________| H H ||
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^
Some cows get in trouble... Cattle Guard

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( ( ) )
( ( )
( / )
( ( )
( | // )
| | ()
| | (oo) (
)
| | ----/ ______(oo)_____
| | || ( _)_______(__) )
**| | ---|| __________/
``'---------^^
Cow Hide Cow Pie

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| | #/ | | | | | = = = = |
| | | | | # | |v'| | | |
| | # // | --- ___ | | | || | |
| | | | | #// | | | | | |
| | #
/_______ | | | | | | || | |
| | | | | # /_____/ | --- | | |
| | # |+ ++| | | |^^^^^^| | | | || | |
| | # |+ ++| | | |^^^^^^| | | | || | |
^^^| (^^^^^) |^^^^^#^| H |_ |^| | |||| | |^^^^^^| |
| ( ||| ) | # ^^^^^^ | | |||| | | | ||||||| |
^^^^^^^^^^^^^________/ /_____ | | |||| | | | ||||||| |
v'- ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ | ||||||| |
|| |`. () () ( )
(oo) (oo) /---V
/-------/ / -------- * | |
/ | || ||_______|
* ||W---|| || || *
^^ ^^ ^^ ^^
"Cow Town"
() ()
(oo) (/)
/-----/ /-------/
/ | (##) / | ||
* ||----||" * ||----||
^^ ^^ ~~ ~~
This cow plays bagpipes. Cow from Beijing

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/-------/ /-------/ /-------/
/ | 666 || / |=====|| / | ||
* ||----|| * ||----|| * ||----||
^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^

Satanic cow This cow is a Yuppie Cow in love

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/-'''''-/ /-------------------/
/ |'''''|| / | ||
* ||''''|| * ||----------------||
^^ ^^ ^^ ^^
Cow in Argyle Stretch Cow
*
** **
* ** * * * **
* / / * *
/ / / ()
* / / (
) /--------(00)
/ (00) / / / | |( )
/-------/ * ||---- ||()
/ / | || / / || ||
* ||----|| ^^ ^^
/ / ^^ ^^ / / Cow Chewing Marbles
Cow in Heat

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/ ____O (oo)
| / /--------/ "Where did that camera come from!"
/oo===| / ||
| || *||~-----||
* ~~ ~~ ~~

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/-------/ _______/ *+-------/
/ | || / | || ||______||
* ||----|| * ||----|| ||----||
OO OO OO OO OO OO
Detroit cow Mustang cow pickup cow

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/---------------/ /----/ /-------||/
/ | || / || / | ||
* ||------------|| *-||----|| * ||----||
OO OO OO OO OO }{
li-moo-cow fastback cow teenager's cow

Crochet, Sewing and Crafty Grrl in General

I want to get back to doing more crafts. I used to crochet granny squares but now I have forgotten how. My new roommate knows how to sew so I can finally get someone to help me learn how to use the sewing machine I got for Christmas just before the divorce. I was using it for a short time and doing ok. Can’t even remember how to thread it now. If it’s a choice of getting old or getting stupid I pick old. 😀

Might make plans for a crafty weekend my next couple of days off. Bring out those masses of buttons, the Raggedy Ann pattern and the half finished doll I was making a few years ago, find the sewing machine which was put away somewhere during the most recent move. I’d like to get making things again. Finally learn to use the sewing machine. I’ve got a great pattern for a dress suit to make, in jersey fabric so it is stretchy and comfortable for a plus size dame like myself. Also has the plus of being very washable too. I’m not a fan of taking anything to the dry cleaners.

Laundry Night in Canada

Why does it take so long to do laundry? There are other things that take a long time but I can at least enjoy something about them. Like taking the bus to get somewhere. It can be kind of bland when you do the same route each day, but there is the hope of the journey being interesting in some way. Tonight on the way home a guy was babbling away on the streetcar. He sounded less than intelligent but at least this time it wasn’t me he had latched onto. (I seem to attract crazy people who want to talk to someone). Anyway, one thing he said made me laugh though quietly so he wouldn’t notice me and come on over.

First he said about what a great job the streetcar driver was doing. How it was hard work and very complicated. Which is debatable, it’s not brain surgery after all. Anyway, then he looks outside and says something like, “Look at all those guys over there, just lying around like they’re dead.” I thought he was looking at a couple of teenaged boys who were slurping down slushies while they played around with their skateboards, waiting to cross at the lights. But, I was wrong. Cause crazy guy elaborates a minute later. “Oh, they are actually dead.” I think you had to be there but “they” were graves in the cemetery which I pass each day on the streetcar a block from where I get off. It was pretty funny in the moment. I did wonder if he was trying to be clever but he had been so anti-clever for so long before that I just can’t believe he suddenly grew a really sharp sarcastic wit.

On goes the laundry tonight. I had four loads cause I got ambitious and decided to wash all the sheets first. Even the new ones I had not unpacked yet. But, I decided not to wait for them to dry and used my old red ones (my favourites even though a pillow case got lost when I was still stuck with taking everything to the laundry matt). So I have a fresh bed when ever all that laundry is finally done so I can curl up into my fresh bed with it’s soft and comfortable cotton jersey sheets. Mmm.

It’s 4:00 AM Do You Know Where Your Brain Cells Are?

I don’t know why I woke up so early this morning. Too early. I was feeling perky enough for the first hour but my brain is definitely slacking off now. If I hadn’t opened a nice cold diet Coke I would already be back in bed all snuggled up with the red cotton sheets. (Don’t you love jersey sheets?)

But, here I am, the ultimate morning person. Someone just needs to plug me in.

It’s a bit chilly this morning. I have the heat turned off. The days have been so mild it seemed silly to be heating the house. Not quite ready to leave the windows open for long, yet. It is nice to get rid of the stale air from all winter long. The house (and myself) can breathe again.

Enjoy the last of the long weekend, if you have it. I am going back to bed. 🙂