June 7, 2009
My Dad, Lowell Denton Hubbard, passed away, at the far too young age of 71 years, on June 21st, 1990. Appropriately, this Father’s Day, it will have been 19 years to the day. Man, where does the time go?
One of my favorite photographs, of my father, is of him and my Mom, Rose, walking down a street in Calgary with Dad pushing the baby carriage that held their first child, John. It’s 1941 and Dad was wearing a fashionable fedora, suit and tie, Mom is in an equally fashionable double-breasted overcoat over the dress she was wearing. In today’s language, they could have easily passed as a Hollywood “Power Couple”.
I have many of my Dad’s traits, some of them by nature some of them by nurture. I’ve got his build, his hands and his kinda-big ears. I also have his attention to detail, his terrible impatience, his sense of humour, his love of all sports and his acute sense of style and grooming.
Sometimes, while I’m driving our car, I see his hands on my steering wheel, right down to the position of the freckles, the protruding veins and the thumbs hanging down at that peculiar angle. How many times had I looked at those hands from my standing position behind him as he drove?
I am not completely sure if one can get their food tastes through genetics, but if you can, I almost wish he would have kept his addiction to raw onions to himself. So does my wife.
My Dad was a writer, too. I didn’t read too much of what he wrote because I always got the oral version on Sundays in church. Yes, after he and Mom had had their nine, that’s right NINE, kids he joined the ministry. For sanities’ sake, you’d almost have to, don’t you think?!
Dad had a green thumb and loved his garden. That’s one of the things, unfortunately, I didn’t get. It was his escape. Nine kids!? You gotta go somewhere! Nary a weed could be found in the confines of his garden patch or lawn. I would imagine that a lot of his sermons were grown in that garden as well.
Dad was nearly forty years old when I was born so the age difference and generation gap led to some head butting over long hair (mine), lifestyle choices and my stubbornness in bucking authority. But as we aged, the gap lessened, my stubbornness subsided and we realized that we could both be right at the same time; well, most of the time, anyway.
Not unlike many father-son relationships ours strengthened over time as his lessons on duty, loyalty, compassion and commitment to family and community emerged in his eighth child.
Although it has been nineteen years since my father’s passing I still find myself wondering what he would do in certain situations. Without having the advantage of speaking to him about a given situation, I can still seem to find his guidance when needed. Someone whom one has been very close to doesn’t always have to be here to be here, if you know what I mean?
“A sweet thing, for whatever time, to revisit in dreams the dear Dad we have lost.”-Euripides (484BC-406 BC), Alecstis, 438BC.