I knew this day would come, but even in knowing I was not prepared for it to happen. I miss my father’s hands.
Gentle In All His Ways
Douglas Blades, known to his friends as Doug but to Charles and I, he was Dad. If you met our Dad you would remember that he was a tall man, gentle in his ways, that is until he wanted to make a point. Dad was known to be stubborn and opinionated.
I remember his hands as they were huge, they dwarfed mine. More than once Dad told me that as a boy in school he got the strap every single day. Maybe that toughened his hands. Or maybe they were tough from hitching the oxen up and walking behind them plowing the fields with his grandfather. Or maybe by hauling in the fishing nets and traps.
My Father’s Hands
My Dad always worked with his hands. He took me to the sawmill where he worked. I watched him turn the lumber over as it was driven into the saw. To this day I still love the smell of fresh cut wood. I think dad felt at home in the woods. He loved to hunt and fish, often spending time tying his own flies. I wondered how his large hands could handle the tiny instruments to make the flies. The only trout I have ever eaten is from my Dad catching them from a stream, not a fish farm.
After he started working for CNR I remember going to work with him and him climbing over stacks of ties and stamping the ones that were approved. He had strong hands to swing that stamp and embed the print into the ties.
Dad taught Crusaders. One of the badges the kids could earn was Knots. He was proficient at tying knots and if you were going to learn how to do it you might as well learn it right. After all, you want the knot to hold when you are done with it.
One of my fondest pictures is of my Dad carrying me into church as a little girl. I felt safe in his hands.
All my life Dad worked with his hands. Every spring he put in a huge garden and tended to it spending hours after work pulling weeds and hoeing the rows. Dad was generous. If you needed something and he had it than it was yours. Family, friends and those in need benefited from garden extras.
My father’s hands were consistent, whether raised in praise at church or folded in prayer at home.
Dad was my anchor. He was part of every major decision in my life. I sought his wisdom and approval. I wanted him to be proud of me. He prayed for all of us, our boys, and their children, asking God to bless and keep them. As Dad was faithful, I know God was faithful to him and answered those prayers many times over. Dad was immensely proud of his son, Charles, and his three grandsons, Cory, Jean Marc and Lukas. He loved talking with them and looked forward to their chats.
Dad loved the hymns and often listened to them throughout the day. Actually, he had little use for any other music. He loved his King James Bible and try as I might to get him to read from another version, he stayed true to King James.
My Dad was faithful throughout his life – faithful to my Mom, faithful to provide and to pray. We never had to worry about where the next meal was coming from or if we would have a roof over our heads.
How I wish I could put my hand in my father’s hands one more time and feel his fingers close over mine.
My brother, Charles and I along with our families want to thank you for honoring our Dad.
More About Doug – A Long Way From East Pubnico
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Jocelyn, I so enjoyed reading your tribute to your Dad. What a strong man of faith, courage and Godly character. So hard to realize he has gone on to his eternal reward. Truly he has left you a beautiful heritage along with countless memories. The value of a godly heritage is such a rich gift. In you I see the imprint of his love for you.
Jocelyn, I have just read your heart warming tribute of your Dad. The privilege of a godly heritage is truly a great treasure. In you I see evidence of his love, care, concern and prayers for his family. You, too shine the love of God in your life. While it is often hard to realize our loved ones have gone on to their eternal reward, it is comforting to know that they have lived out the love of God here on earth and have heard the Lord’s welcome home. Love you, Joc.
Joc and Bob,
As I was reading these wonderful memories, I felt like I knew your dad. You painted great pictures of all the activities you did with your dad. And just to know that he prayed for you, your kids and grandkids…..a wonderful legacy!
That was a wonderful tribute to your Dad Jocelyn. I also wish I could hold my Dad’s hand. I held his hand no matter how old I was..even at 16….when most kids are embarrassed to be seen showing affection to their parents…not me. I was “Daddy’s little girl”. He passed away when I was 19 years old with pancreatic cancer. I had just been offered my job as a Dietary Technologist at the Cross Cancer Institute in November of 1981. He got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 1982 & passed away 3 weeks later in March. He had just retired & was planning to travel the world with my Mom. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition. So, I understand how much your heart hurts without him. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Thank You for sharing these memories. Brings back memories of my dad. Even though my dad was not a Christian until his late years
we had an exceptional father also. We wee both blessed.
Pastor Bob and Pastor Jocelyn.
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories of your Dad. He was definitely a man of God who loved his family and was very giving of himself to others. Sounds like a very good man. God Bless you.
Dear Jocelyn. I’m sorry to hear your loss. You wrote a beautiful tribute for your dad. Praying that our Lord will continue to carry you and comfort your family.