Just a thought... I smile because you're my father. I laugh because there's nothing you can do about it. [Author Unknown]
Are we home yet? Is the NBA championship "home" yet? I wrote almost all of this journal during our 90 minute ferry ride at the end of our journey from Kelowna on the mainland to our island home yesterday. Here we go.
I'll tell you, last evening was the aural equivalent of having my eyes just slightly crossed to make sense of one of those 3D posters that used to be everywhere a few decades ago. Except, instead of trying not to focus so we could see, we were endeavouring not to hear so we could later learn a basketball score!
After a windy and windy (you'll get it...) five-and-a-half hour drive through some of the most beautiful scenery you'll ever encounter...like this...
...we arrived at Tsawwassen near Vancouver to board our ferry back to Vancouver Island at 4:00 pm.
While on the boat, we peered out the large dining room windows watching for whales and wondered if the Toronto Raptors were about to make NBA history and hand my former home city its first championship in this sport!
As our massive ferry pulled into Swartz Bay harbour, just a few kilometres from our home, we weren't looking forward to watching the game just yet: we came back especially for our semi-monthly Rotary Club meeting at 7 pm.
Rob was to be official greeter and note-taker and I was to act as Sergeant-at-Arms for the first time. My duties would include "fining" members who had forgotten their Rotary pins, taking donations in the same happy piggy bank for people who want to donate "happy" dollars (ours would be for the St. Louis Blues' Stanley Cup win and for being able to spend a few days with my dad and sisters).
Uh-oh. Who knew what time the meeting would end? There was a guest speaker who was very carefully showing pictures from a Guatemalan project that other Vancouver Island Rotarians had taken part in, bringing gas stoves to impoverished families.
I felt like an awful person wondering just when we were going to get home. Our friends the Woodses were to be at a dinner last night and couldn't text me back a simple YES or NO as to whether the game was over. Should we watch the waning minutes or roll back the PVR? Turns out we had no choice.
We got home and the dreaded message showed up on our screen: absolutely everything on our PVR, including the NBA game we had set the machine to record just a few hours earlier, had disappeared. Gone. Vanished. Vapourized.
We decided that we'd better stop looking for a way to make the PVR find the show, and just turn the game on. Talk about tense: there were some 36 seconds left on the clock!
As you now know, those final 36.7 seconds turned into quite a few minutes and in the end: victory. History. A new Heritage Minute in the making, thanks to a 114-110 victory.
Oh my, but it's been a good bandwagon to be on: until a month ago, I thought Kawhi's name was pronounced "cowwee" and that Pascal Siakam's last name was "see-a-cam." You see, I didn't have to talk about it on the air anymore, so I simply didn't pay attention.
But as the playoffs got longer and the Raptors were still in them, we sure did start watching. Something special was happening. And last night, a whole lot of dreams, decades in the making, came true.
Savour this moment, especially if you're a long-time Raptors' fan. You've earned it. This looks fantastic on Toronto and, yes, the entire country. Brought together over a game that was invented here. Welcome home, Basketball.
Finally – as we switch lanes back to reality - there's something that came into my inbox the other night that made me want to share it with you.
It's not without a lot of careful consideration that I tell you stories of my Dad, as I did this week. I realize that a great many readers here don't have their fathers anymore and this weekend can carry an awful lot of emotional weight. My heart goes out to you.
So I was grateful to see this piece from one of my very favourite blogs: WhatsYourGrief.com. Here's a link to "Surviving Father's Day Grief: When Sadness Meets Storytelling." You may well find comfort in these words; I HIGHLY recommend this site, no matter who or what you miss in your life.
And Happy Father's Day.
(@erindavis on Twitter)