Tuesday, 24 May 2016

I'm obsessed with my dad

I let most people I meet know that if they’re going to be obsessed with me, they have to be obsessed with my dad too.
The people who know already know my dad and me don't have to be told.  They’re already obsessed too.
He started small. He liked to hunt, so grandma made him eat the kill.  It ended with endless days of eating duck sandwiches for school lunch.
He’s worked his whole life. My first nanny and I used to play a game called grand central station.  So many people have always wanted to talk to my dad… legal matters, favours, church matters, favours…In the game grand central station, we would start the clock and when the phone rang, the timer would end.  It would sometimes be seconds between phone calls and the house never got to rest more than five minutes before someone would call looking for Lockey. Generous to a fault people close to him would say. I hated it. Why couldn’t he say no to the beggars, abusers and the relentless.
He would leave the house at 4.30 am to beat rush hour into downtown and most nights we would be in bed before he got home. Despite the minimal hours we’ve spent together, I never once thought that I was unloved.
The man is totally socially awkward. He still pats me on the head when I’ve done well and one time when I started crying, he pulled out his wallet and tried to hand me his credit card. The thought makes me laugh and cry all at the same time.  The love this man has given.  
He seems aloof and distant to most people, but I know that mama and us are always first on his mind.  I was lucky enough to have him as my first Principal. He’s a nationally recognized lawyer and runs another full time business. Everyday was filled with abnormal hours, the grind and chaos.  He’s completely non-domestic. He doesn’t know where anything in his own kitchen is. Each day I would bring him lunches to work, he would leave the dirty dishes on my desk instead of in the work kitchen (and since I adore him I would gladly clean them).  After five days of work, he barrelled through the door with two heavy flats of sparkling water and another flat of organic, gluten free, vegan snacks.  He said, Natt, I saw you’ve been bringing sparkling water everyday, this way you don't have to go get it all the time. The weird crackers were just a guess because he'd heard that organic, gluten free and vegan was popular now.  My heart melts.  It’s amazing that through all his life deadlines, bottom lines and hard lines he picks certain things that are important to him.  I am blessed.
I could write an entire book about the intricacies of Lockey's mind, but in the interest of time, I’ll just share one small chapter out of his book of adventures. 
Chapter Aught
My Papa used to take me on hard trails 
I'm talking saddle soars and dropping dead each night after a hard 10 hours on the horse and days upon days of bathing in freezing mountain lakes, wearing the same clothes, stringing all the food up in a tree at night, smokey campfires and just …freezing
We ate bears meat, the fish we caught and froze at night in the snowy Waterton tundra 
He let me be one of the guys 
He didn't mind that I was tagging along
One day a horse kicked me in the head 
Her name was Grace and I know it was an accident
She didn't mean to and she felt bad
I still remember the sound her hoof made against my skull
It was like those stars, springs and sounds the bugs bunny characters saw when they got whacked
My second flash was dad piling snow on my head. It was cold I think
Third flash, riding down the mountain in oblivion & pain
They told me after it was a four hour ride out. It seemed like five minutes 
[In my adult life, I can only imagine my dads' shear panic]
Fourth, stumbling into grandmas house in Lethbridge. She put her hand over her mouth, there was blood running down my head and all over my waist long golden locks. My green eyes were wide and dilated from the concussion
I was soaked from the snow
Fifth - bathtub with grandma by my side and an endless stream of tears
Then... Oblivion 
But that wasn't the trail ride I was taking about 
I guess that ride just shows I've always viewed horses the same way I view the ocean 
I respect the power they hold
I'm talking about the trail ride when dad saved my life. Thinking about it now, it was probably the second time he saved my life...
There’s an ugly scar on my left hand
He'd given me a new, half broke, young horse
It was her first time in the mountains 
I was maybe 14, but I was good horses
I remember so clearly, something scared her
She ran straight into a dead tree and then tried to run back 
The only trouble was my hand was bone deep in the dead tree and another thick black branch was strapping me into my saddle
Dad jumped off Falling Leaf (his favourite horse) 
There were three other men on the trail with us 
They just sat on their horses with their eyes wide while tears welled up in mine
They
did
nothing
I turned my head to see her back feet slipping on the shale of a treacherous mountain ledge
I couldn't move from the saddle 
The blackened twisted tree branch that wouldn’t give seemed to permeate across my left leg, through the saddle, down the cliff and into my deepest fears
I watched dad barrel to the tree. His arms and body shook against the trunk of the tree 
Her feet were dancing on the shale 
It would've been a long way down 
Dad dug deep 
The entire tree snapped and I was free 
No one could believe he broke an entire tree down. It was all the talk around the campfire that night
I can't believe no one helped him 
They just starred like that jackass donkey
No on else helped me 
It was only him, my pops 
He's told me four times in my life that he's proud of me 
I live for those moments 
Really live 
I hang onto his every word 
And there are many 
He's a talker like me (even though we’d both rather just take a nap over socialize)
He loves a good fish tale 
I know we can be overwhelming for people 
Especially when we're together 
But I like that we're a lot 
I would rather be a lot than a little 
We haven't been on a trail ride for years together 
But it seems like a good time for us to venture out on the next one 
I can hardly wait