Bill and I have been without the daily presence of our fathers for many years. I wanted to take some time on this Father’s Day time to reflect on, and thank our fathers because,

“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” —Unknown

Paul Erskine Stewart 1921 – 2001

Bill’s Dad was the kindest, sweetest and caring father one could have. He was wise to accept that father and son were quite different and always supported Bill (and us after we were married). Ever careful and somewhat risk-averse he would probably be uncomfortable with the rate at which we decided to move out west, but he would have been happy and supportive to both of us. He was delighted with his grandchildren and unfortunately left us to early to see what wonderful young men they have become. He is the voice of reason on our shoulder and we remember many wonderful moments.

Clearly genes do not lie. Except for the picture quality and obvious older furnishing, this could be a picture of Bill and Eric but in fact is a picture of Bill and his Dad. How many pictures do we have of us reading to our boys?!

I love this picture of the three generations of Stewarts. The boys were young when we lost him but the memories survive. Thanks for a life well-lived, Grandpa/Dad.

Emil Schilder 1928 – 1984

My Dad since he left us way too early and I am sad that Bill and the boys never had the pleasure of meeting him. When he died at age 56, I could not understand why everyone said “oh he was so young”. But having surpassed that age myself now, I can totally understand why they said that. So much life to enjoy after that age. It’s also one reason we decided to retire to the west coast when we did – life is too unpredictable and we wanted to live it with no regrets.

This is the picture that most of us use to remember Dad by. It’s the latest one we had; enjoying the beauty of the Gatineau Hills near Ottawa. I remember Dad as a smart, caring and loving father, husband and friend to many. He set a great example in so many aspects in life; I know many things I believe in and hold dear come from him. He was still madly in love with Mom and enjoyed life and the outdoors. I learned a lot from his money-management skills and he was the one that urged me to go to business school, where I met Bill. That turned out pretty cool! I just wish he could have been in my life longer, the boys could have met Opa, and he could have enjoyed more time with family.

Stewarts Today

Our boys are now on their own and the family is spread across the globe in Ottawa, London UK and here in Ladysmith so Father’s Day can’t be celebrated in person. Eric and Kirk know we did our best and that we will always support and love you, no matter how far apart we are.

Happy Father’s Day to fathers near and far, past and present.

2 thoughts on “Fathers

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