A dedication to my Dad

Jason Gregor
September 29 2009 09:32AM

blurry-farm-house

Good morning, I hope this Tuesday finds you happy, healthy, and most importantly, that those in your life are doing well.

Nine years ago today my father, William Arthur Gregor, passed away at the young age of 56. The morning of his funeral I couldn’t sleep and decided to write an e-mail to my friends to release my feelings, and since then I type an e-mail in his honour each year, and hope that it somehow lessens the void in my heart and the hearts of my family.

If you never met my Dad, he was unique. He had an unbelievable zest for life; an ability to make everyone he met comfortable and most importantly he had a huge heart. It’s too bad his heart gave out so soon. Dad was healthy for his age, he had quit smoking a few years earlier, rarely drank, ate well and was active, but I guess it was his time.

When I sit down and write this email I am flooded with memories of Dad that make me laugh, but ultimately leave me in tears as I yearn to hear his laugh or see him dance with my mom one more time. I’m most proud of my father because of how he treated his wife, my siblings and our extended family. My dad wasn’t rich or famous but he was very wealthy and extremely blessed.

It's strange how a person can affect you even nine years after the last time you’ve spoken. When I see fathers and sons together at sporting events, family gatherings or even at the mall I’m always reminded of him. Dad was what a father should be. He was supportive, caring, stern when necessary, but his best characteristic was that he always made me feel that he was in my corner.

He was also a character.

He loved to laugh, and play jokes and tease his kids or nephews and nieces. He was able to fit in on any situation. I remember a wedding our family went to when I was about 21. There were little bubble bottles on every table and the bride and groom wanted people to blow bubbles on them. Well, it was all kids out on the floor except my dad. He was in the middle of it, smiling with the kids, laughing with them and blowing his bubbles. I recall my mom telling me this story once and how she fell in love with him even more when he did that. He was so good at having fun and embracing the child within. Many of us guys think we are too cool or too mature to do certain things, but I think we might be missing out on more than we know.

Dad wasn’t a big “life-lesson” type of talker. In fact, I only recall a few times when he gave me any fatherly advice, but mostly he showed me through his actions how to be a good man, father and husband. To the dads who are reading this, sometimes the best thing you can say to your kid is nothing. Pat him on the back after a loss or a win — the fact that you are at his game means more than you know. And it isn’t just when they are little. My dad came to my games in junior when I was 18, 19 and 20. He never said much, but he was always there and if I wanted to talk about the game he remembered every play. Be there for your kids, emotionally and physically more than just monetarily.

Last month I had an encounter at the farm that re-enforced how moms and dads prepare you differently for situations, even though the outcome is similar.

When I was 16, we had a huge hornets nest on the side of the farm house. The hornets had become a bit to aggressive so Dad decided we needed to get rid of them. He explained to me that we should attack the nest at night, because the hornets would be sleeping and it would be easy to get close to it. There wasn’t GOOGLE when I was that age, and I never doubted the old man... ha! I was 17, and thought it made sense.

So at about nine o’clock we go outside, place a ladder against the house, Dad hands me a broom and says go up and give it a rip. He stands at the bottom and steadies the ladder. It’s was a 12-foot ladder. As I’m climbing, he of course shakes it and nearly knocks me off, just another one of his fun-loving pranks. I get to the second highest rung, rear back and swat the nest. It doesn’t fall, and as I’m getting ready to swing again, the hornets are everywhere. Dad had left the minute the nest didn’t fall and yelled “jump” so now I leap off the ladder, and land with a thud.

I see Dad standing in the garage doorway laughing, waving his arms at me to hurry up, while the hornets are all around me. I sprint to the garage and as I get in he slams the door. I ended up with about five or six stings. I’m livid now.

“I thought they *&*&%*#$% sleep at night,” I said. I can still see him hunched over the work bench, his back heaving up and down as he tries to catch his breath between laughs.

“I forgot you didn’t play baseball that was an awful swing,” he finally says.

Who the hell says that? But that was dad; life was too short not to have fun. I asked him later, after I had rubbed some mud on my arms to ease the stings, if hornets actually slept at night.

“I think so,” was his reply.

We spent an hour in the garage that night recapping the debacle. What I wouldn’t do to see him standing there one more time.

Fast forward to last month.

One of the hardest days I’ve had since Dad died was earlier this month when we had to ship all of our cows, except ten and the bull. This has been the driest summer in 60 years and the fields are barren and most of the dug outs dried up. The worst part was knowing how it tore up my mom. The cows were a connection to my Dad, and getting rid of most of them was really tough to take.

I had to ear tag all of the old cows before we shipped them. I put the first one in the head gate and then went to the house to get the tags. When I came back, there were bees all over her. So I let her out. Over the summer some yellow jackets had built a nest underneath the head gate. I got the tractor, lifted the head gate up and took it away, but the nest wasn’t attached it was still on the ground. I go to the house and tell mom. My plan is too be fully clothed this time.

It’s 30 degrees outside, but I put on my coveralls, some gloves, and a toque for my head. I’m walking up to the barn when mom comes out of the house. She has some sort of mesh with her. She’s going to make me a bee hunter head gear. She folds it up for double the thickness, drapes it over my head, tucks into the collar of my coveralls, and then puts the toque on top so the mesh won’t go anywhere. I’m sweating bullets now, but I’m confident I won’t get stung.  Moms at least try to prepare you for the situation, rather than tell wise tales... ha.

We don’t have any of that spray that supposedly kills bees, so my plan is too scoop the nest off the ground with a shovel and move it away from the squeeze. I sprint in, scoop it up and get about ten feet before the bees are buzzing all over and I drop it and retreat. Behind the granary stands my loving mother. I walk over and as I get closer I see almost the exact same grin on her face as I did on my dad’s 20 years earlier.

The only difference is she waits until I ask her if she has a better idea before she bursts into hysterics. She describe how I was flailing my arms up and down as the bees were all around me, but has to stop as she grabs onto the fence to hold herself up while laughing. She can barely talk.

I’m sweating bullets in my new bee fighting outfit, but it’s hard not to laugh watching her describe my antics. She then proceeds to get a camera, because she will need a picture when I go back for round two and move it further away. Eventually I got that bees nest into the burning barrel, and I’m glad to report without any bee stings.

As she walked away I was reminded why she and Dad were so in love. They both knew how to love and laugh. I also think that Dad knew that day was going to be hard, so he wanted to inject some laughter. Laughter can make even the hardest day easy some times.

My parents had a whirlwind romance. Dad asked her out in the post office; three weeks later they were engaged and then they got married four months later. Their love was apparent every day to me and my brother and sister. Without ever saying a word, my father showed us how a man should treat a lady, and I’m proud to say my brother was a good pupil, because he has become a loving father and husband. I’m confident that when I am in that situation, (keep the faith mom!) that the lessons I learned from Dad will stick with me.

Dad always made sure Mom knew that he loved her. I never consciously noticed that as a child, but as a teenager and then a man it was obvious. Gentlemen never forget to show, or more importantly, tell your wife how much you love her.

I feel blessed to have had a loving father for 27 years of my life. He showed me how to be a genuine man, how to respect others, and how to enjoy what life brings you. But what I wouldn’t do to hear his laugh one more time...

It’s not like my dad and I never argued or bickered. Our battles in the barnyard were quite boisterous at times, but we never held a grudge. One of us always extended an olive branch to apologize, and thankfully when he passed I had no regrets. Some days it pains me to hear about a son or daughter who isn’t on speaking terms with their father. Some things are too hard to overcome, but most of the times our egos or plain stubbornness hold us back from saying sorry.

We can convince ourselves that it's the other’s fault, but let me tell you this: losing my dad was difficult, but I can’t imagine how I would feel if we hadn’t been on speaking terms at the time of his death. Death doesn’t give you a tomorrow. It is forever, and it rarely gives you advance notice, so don’t wait to mend that fence, because you might not get that chance.

I write this post with the hope you can help my father know how much he meant to me, and how much I truly miss him.

If you are lucky enough to be able to see you father today, or this week, give him a hug or just spend some time together. At the very least call him and ask how he’s doing. Dads might never say it, but they love hearing from their kids. If you are in a different city, give him a call and tell him you love him. I hope that through your actions, my father will see what a wonderful impression he made in my life and heart.

I know for men, and some women, it can be hard to show emotion, but don’t let your fears get in the way of telling those you care about how important they are. Trust me, knowing he loved me made his death much easier to accept. His memory brings tears to my eyes as I write this, but they are a mixture of pain and joy, as I recall all the wonderful times we shared. And for the grown up kids, remember that your father is older and probably set in his ways more than you, so for you to take the first step might be easier.

Many of you are now fathers, and I encourage you to always show an interest in your children’s lives. I think the true measure of a man is showing those he loves that they have his support and love, no matter the situation. While your kids might not say it to you, we all loved looking in the crowd and seeing the face of our father or mother at our games, concerts, recitals or at the dinner table when they asked how school was. It is comforting and the best gift you can give your kids is YOU. Don’t forget that when you are busy “providing” for them.

Thank you for reading this, and for taking the time to follow through on my request. I really need to feel his love and energy and your actions will make that happen.

To all of you who have suffered the loss of your father recently or at any time, especially my friends Allison and Erin, my thoughts go out to you. Make sure you call your mom instead, because I guarantee the void in her heart is much deeper. And remember to cherish the memory of your father.

Dad, I love you dearly. I miss your smile, laugh, your undying love and your company. Please watch over all of my friends and family and especially Mom.

Love your son, Jason

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 RossCreek
September 29 2009, 09:43AM
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Only made it part way thru so far and you got me tears. I need a break. *Breathe*

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#2 bingofuel
September 29 2009, 09:46AM
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Jason, thank you so much for sharing. I can't imagine what my life will be like when my dad's gone.

I'm definitely calling him tonight!

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#3 reijo29
September 29 2009, 09:50AM
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Always enjoy reading your annual post Jason. Good for you for honouring your Dad in this manner.

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#4 Alon
September 29 2009, 09:52AM
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Hey Jason,

Great story man. My friend lost his father one year ago today. Their house was always like a second home, and I am very close with the family, and I always felt that he was like a second father.

Your dad reminds me a lot of my friends father, it's sad to see good people die so young. My friends father died a year after his accident due to complications (he was electrocuted putting up a christmas display). He was 46.

My condolences to you and your family.

I think I'll call my Dad.

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#5 stuubs
September 29 2009, 09:52AM
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I've been a chronic reader of this site for over a year now. However this is the first time, I felt I should post.

This was a great read Gregor. I've recently lost my father at an all too young age also. Even with the tears, its always nice to be reminded of whats important in life. Rather than the score of the hockey game the previous night.

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#6 freeze
September 29 2009, 09:57AM
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Great post Jason, thanks for sharing. I have yet to go through the loss of my parents.

Just last night my Dad told me a hilarious harvest story about how his grain truck burned to the ground on the weekend. One of those classic farmer stories. I will miss him so much when he is gone.

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#7 risto
September 29 2009, 09:59AM
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Wow, just excellent storytelling again. It was very well paced, I just flew through it.

Great stuff, Jason!

I hope Quinn can become a fatherly figure for O'Sullivan. Matty wrote in the EJ about Quinn's 'feelings' for POS.

If he and Comrie keep up their great goal-scoring instincts together, we've got a pretty fun team to cheer for on Friday!

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#8 Chris
September 29 2009, 09:59AM
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I lost my Dad a year ago September 5th.

I tried reading this, but couldn't get through it. I'll read it when I get home.

Ironically, you were the same age as me when I lost my Dad. And although I am greatful for the 27 years I had, it still doesn't feel like enough.

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#9 jayoilfan
September 29 2009, 10:01AM
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Thanks dude, That must be really hard. I just about made it to the end with out a tear on my cheek.

I just talked to my dad last night. That was a very moving read Jason. Thanks again and I'm sorry for your loss.

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#10 Marlow
September 29 2009, 10:01AM
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Thanks for sharing that Jason. My father passed away ten years ago yesterday (Sept28) and, despite my thinking to the contrary, the passage of time does not make it any easier to deal with. By reading your post, it gave me comfort, and allowed me to reflect on my own loss. Many thanks!

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#11 SkadderBrain
September 29 2009, 10:02AM
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wow, i wish my dad would laugh and love every once in a while, that was intense, i need a cigarette

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#12 Scott
September 29 2009, 10:05AM
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Gregor, that was an awesome post!! Even being the devouted father that I am, your post reminds me we can always do more and we never know when that "last time" will be.

You are an excellent example for alot of men out there. I do not know you and the only reference point I have is this website. My initial take on you is one that I would have never expected a post such as this one. It just goes to show all of us "men" that no matter what your profession, no matter how "manly" we think we are, the bottom line is family and without it, we are nothing.

Thanks again for the great post Gregor!!

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#13 Gunner
September 29 2009, 10:06AM
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Jason, thank you for sharing that with us. I dread the day that I will have to face that. To all those who have lost a father, including Jason, I'm very sorry for your loss.

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#14 The Towel Boy
September 29 2009, 10:06AM
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Thanks for sharing this with us Gregor.

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#15 ChrisInEdmonton
September 29 2009, 10:09AM
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Thanks for having the courage to share this. I also have a great relationship with my Dad and I shudder to think what life will be like when he's gone.

I'm going to go out for my usual Tuesday night coffee with my Dad tonight. I'll hug him once for you.

I have to go collect myself now, I must look crazy sitting at my desk typing with tears in my eyes.

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#16 Petr Klima's Helmet
September 29 2009, 10:09AM
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After having spent the last 4 months in the hospital with my Dad, flying back and forth no less then 5 times from Grande Prairie to Edmonton, this post really hit home hard. One of my biggest wishes is to see my Mom and Dad dance together once again, and by all accounts it looks like it may happen. Great post Jason and thanks for sharing.

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#17 JimmyOiler
September 29 2009, 10:13AM
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Some things are more important than the Oilers. Thanks for reminding me of that, Gregor.

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#18 Ender the Dragon
September 29 2009, 10:18AM
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Beautifully written, Jason. There's a book in there somewhere; I hope you author it someday. If your Dad is looking down at you today, I have no doubt you've made him very proud.

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#19 Shannon
September 29 2009, 10:18AM
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Thanks for sharing this, Jason. I think we all need a reminder to not take the people we love for granted. Life is too short for that.

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#20 ogorr
September 29 2009, 10:18AM
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Great story Jason, truly it is the quality of time that you spend with family that leave you with memories that you carry for a lifetime. Your dad reminds me of mine and I have always cherished the times we spent together. I think I'll cherish them even more after reading this. Being a new father (10 months) I've come to realize the importance of being a loving caring parent and I strive to be what your father was to you and my father was to me.

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#21 Craig "Norris" Muni
September 29 2009, 10:20AM
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Thanks for sharing Jason.

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#22 Jonathan Willis
September 29 2009, 10:22AM
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Thank you, Jason.

And God bless.

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#23 Reggie
September 29 2009, 10:36AM
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Jason, thanks for sharing. Tears welled up in my eyes, I am so glad I have my dad everyday.

Take care and God Bless.

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#24 Bill
September 29 2009, 10:46AM
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Gregor:

You need to get hitched (or not, haha) and have some kids yourself. Obviously you have inherent "Dad" skills from your father, and I think you'd be a great Dad!

When I'm gone, If I even have 1/4 of the respect and love that your father has from you (to this day), then my life will have been for great purpose (as his was)....my other accomplishments will have paled by comparison.

That's easily the best I've read from you. Thank you for lending us some memories of your Dad, as I read it memories of my own father (lost pretty much at the same time as yours) come flooding back. Great point about being there for your kids. Your funny & sentimental stories involving your father reminded me of mine, and you made this day 100 times better.

Enjoy your day. Bill

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#25 ronaldo
September 29 2009, 10:49AM
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Thanks for sharing Jason. That was a beautiful story.

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#26 tlbest
September 29 2009, 10:49AM
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I don't tear up much but I did today, thanks Jason...great blog. God bless, I am sure your dad would be proud.

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#27 sittingatmydesk
September 29 2009, 10:49AM
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Thanks for sharing, I m lucky to still have my dad love you dad!

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#28 Drew
September 29 2009, 10:49AM
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My Goodness Jason,

That hit home I lost my dad 20 years ago, coming up ext month hear and I am only 24.

It was a great thing to read and so nice to see that other men have that feelign and respect for there father.

I only wish i could have had the chance to know mine, like you had.

God Bless Buddy

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#29 Wainwright Dan
September 29 2009, 10:55AM
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Thanks Jason, compelling stuff. I'm a dad of a 2 year old, you have some great gems in here about being a great dad, but also appreciating our dads while they are with us.

Hockey related - Schremp claimed by NYI?

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#30 Fish
September 29 2009, 10:57AM
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Very moving post Jason. Makes me want to hug my son and Dad at the same time.

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#31 imissedmonton
September 29 2009, 11:05AM
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I have not lost my dad yet but i did loose my best friend on 15 years, 4 years ago and at his funeral his mom said to me never go a day with out telling the one's you love that you love them everyday because you never know what can happen (he was only 29 with 3kids)it was the most powerfull statement she could have said to me as i wasn't shown love like that growing up and being a new father(6 months) i tell me wife and son everyday that i love them. thank you for the post Jason

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#32 Zamboni Driver
September 29 2009, 11:06AM
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Nice, Dude.

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#33 Dale
September 29 2009, 11:10AM
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My Dad died of cancer 18 moths ago. I miss him tremendously. His presence made the world a better place in which to live. I think about him hundreds of times each day.

Thank you for sharing your love for father, Jason. We walk the same path with joyful memories and the pain of loss.

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#34 ChamucksDeluxe
September 29 2009, 11:10AM
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Gregor,

Thanks for sharing, it reminds me alot of the good times I had working with my dad on his rig. The jokes, the laughs and even the shit giving. I just moved for college after working for him for two years saving up cash, and as it would be I was feeling bummed lately about not seeing him everyday. When I was a little guy he was always punching holes, so we never got to hang out on weekends or my hockey games. So for the last two years we got to see each other every day, and as an adult I understand why. The guy drilled in -30 alberta winters since he was 18 (now 45) so we could have everything we ever needed, our fridge was never empty because of his back. So I finally as a young adult got to kick it with dad everyday, and like I said- your stories remind me of the good times we had. Cracking jokes about camp rats in the cafeteria- miles from civilization, ratchet strapping consultants to trees and questioning people's manhood everytime they ate a bannana. I think I'll call they guy tonight, lay it on him how much I miss him.

Thanks Gregor not only did you get to vent on us and relive some times with your dad, you made all of us appreciate what we have or have lost all that much more. And man, I know you'll be a great Dad yourself someday; you've got the big picture figured out.

Take care of yourself, God bless.

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#35 egp629
September 29 2009, 11:13AM
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God bless and thank you for sharing.

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#36 Oilchange45
September 29 2009, 11:16AM
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Awesome. If anybody comes into my office in the next bit, I am blaming my cold....

My Dad and I weren't always on the best of terms, but I still miss him. Having regrets once they are gone is pointless, so for those of you who still can, follow Json's advice. I read the site daily, not what I expected today, but best post ever.

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#37 fjislander
September 29 2009, 11:16AM
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Very touching

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#38 Moony
September 29 2009, 11:20AM
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Thank you for sharing that Jason. I usually don't post but with what you wrote today I feel that I have something to share. This may help others appreciate their parents and children more.

I was raised by a single mom. My Dad died when I was only a year old. My Mom never re-married but rather gave everything she had, for her children. She raised 4 boys and 1 girl on a nurse's aid's salary. She rarely missed a game any of us played in. Even when I became in adult and played in all night slow-pitch tournaments in Grande Prairie, she would still be there at 3 in the morning cheering on my team.

She died 7 months ago after battling cancer for almost 2 years. She was the greatest person I have ever met and I miss her dearly.

2 months before my mom died my wife gave birth to our twins (1 boy and 1 girl)that were born 3 and a half months prematurely. They were born on December 19th in a very traumatic situation. On Christmas Day the Doctor called us in and told us we should let our son go as he had a very high chance of being blind, deaf and developing severe Cerebral Paulsy because of a brain bleed that he suffered.

I called my Mom in tears as I had never imagined I would be facing a situation like this. She lived a 9 hour drive north of Edmonton but was on the road with my Oldest brother a half an hour after we got off the phone. It caused her a tremendous amount of pain to sit in a vehicle for any length of time, never mind a 9 hour drive. She knew that I needed her support. She never told my wife and i what to do, but was just there to support us and love us. She never once complained about the pain she was in.

My wife and I decided not to give up on our son. I will forever love him and gave him the same type of support that my Mom gave me. I am happy to say that my son is now 9 months old and has already serpassed many of the Doctors expectations. He is not blind or deaf. He is also very aware and i don't believe that he will suffer from any mental deficiancy. He still may suffer from a minor case of Cerebral Paulsy that will cause him to be physichaly weaker than he normally would have been. This is not a guarantee and it is very possible that he could grow up completely normal.

There is a chance that I may never be able to take my son to his own hockey games but I have full intentions on taking him to see our beloved Oilers many times. I know I will be a better father because of the mother that I had.

I hope my story can help Parents and Children appreciate each other more. I was very blessed to have had my Mom in my life for 25 years. I am saddest when I think that my Children will never remember her.

Thanks again Jason for what you wrote today.

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#39 Murf
September 29 2009, 11:21AM
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Gregor,

I visit this site daily (sometimes multiple times) because I love hockey and I love the Oilers. This is the first article that has motivated me to post a comment.

The relationship between a father and a son is a truly special thing. I am so fortunate to be able to spend time with my Dad and I thank you for reminding me of that. I hope someday I will be able to have the same positive impact on my kids that my Dad had on me and your Dad had on you.

Thanks for sharing Jason.

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#40 DeepOil
September 29 2009, 11:23AM
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This still brings water to my eyes, I admire the respect and love you have for your father Jason, he is very proud of you, watching you in spirit.

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#41 weeman2727
September 29 2009, 11:24AM
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Thanks for sharing Jason. You sure do have some great memories!

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#42 Harlie
September 29 2009, 11:27AM
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Dad's are awesome. I'm fortunate that mine is still around and now that I'm a Dad I have a new appreciation for the "old man". I get a tear inside when I see my Dad rolling on the floor playing with my 7 month and 2 year old boys. I can only hope that I am as good a Dad to my boys as my Dad was and is to me and my brothers. Cheers to your Dad Jason, cheers to all Dad's everywhere, and a special cheers to my Dad.

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#43 ChamucksDeluxe
September 29 2009, 11:27AM
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DeepOil wrote:

This still brings water to my eyes, I admire the respect and love you have for your father Jason, he is very proud of you, watching you in spirit.
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#44 socaldave
September 29 2009, 11:28AM
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Thanks for this, Gregor. I only had 22 years, 360 days with my mum (not such a happy birthday that year), and what you've said about memories being both (mostly) sweet and (sometimes) bitter is so very true.

My family was lucky enough to have the chance to say goodbye, and to this day I never get off the phone with my dad or sisters without saying I love you. We weren't a family that said that too often, but Gregor, you're absolutely right when you talk about not letting fear or embarrassment get in the way of telling the people you care about how you feel.

My thoughts go out to your and your family, and thanks again for sharing. Your pops sounds like a pretty cool fella. :)

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#45 Fish
September 29 2009, 11:29AM
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@ Moony: Glad to hear your son is doing well. My little guy had a little trouble when he was born 15months ago and it was the most helpless I have ever felt. Happy to say everything turned out well.

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#46 David S
September 29 2009, 11:32AM
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Slow clap for Jason Gregor!

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#47 Dan the Man
September 29 2009, 11:33AM
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Thanks for sharing this Jason. As a father of 2 I make sure that my boys know I love them both by showing and telling them everyday. My hope that when they are adults they love love and respect me as much as you loved and respected your father.

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#48 Susie
September 29 2009, 11:52AM
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Thanks Jason! You brought back so many memories for me today. My Dad passed away almost 29 years ago when I was 21 & I still miss him dearly. How I have wished over the years that he was still with us. He was a great guy & gave me all the confidence in the world to do whatever my dreams & desires were. I've struggled at times, but something always comes along to jog a memory or two & all of a sudden it is like he is standing right beside me walking my path with me. I will forever be grateful for the love he showed!

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#49 Jeff
September 29 2009, 11:54AM
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Jason

Thank you so much for your story. My Dad was recently diagnosed with Alzheimers and he is in Stage 3 right now so he's not too bad, but has a hard time remembering certain things about time we spent together when I was smaller. I only get to see him a couple of times a year and it saddens me to know that each time I see him another little part of him will be gone slowly. Thank you for making me cry and smile in the same day.

Jeff

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#50 Quicksilver ballet
September 29 2009, 11:58AM
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Sympathies to you on this sombre anniversary Jason, you're one of fortunate. As i read through your efforts this morning i experienced a different kind of tears, tears of envy rolled down my cheek. You don't know how fortunate you are to have had a relationship with your parents such as the one we've just read about. I would have given anything to have what you had for one week let alone 27 yrs. Just one friggin week....glad you had 27 years of it. Your children will be very fortunate kids if you hurry up.

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