Yesterday was a typical morning, got up got my breakfast and grabbed a cup of coffee. It was a beautiful morning and I usually sit in the living room to have some peace and quiet before my day begins. For some reason I was drawn to the staircase at the front of the house. I sat on the steps with my coffee and found myself gazing out the front window at the glorious sunshine. I caught sight of myself in the mirror attached to the old vanity I have sitting at the bottom of the staircase. It was then that I was hit with the memory. I grew up in Montreal, Quebec and my parents were separated when I was about eight years old. As time moved on both parents re-married and I found myself in Vancouver, BC with my mom and her new husband. My youngest brother and I flew back every year to Montreal to visit my father for two weeks. I always looked forward to seeing him. My childhood was not a happy one, it was dysfunctional to say the least. However, having said that I always knew how much I was loved by my parents. The divorce was a major thing in our lives and quite frankly the whole divorce took up way too much of our valuable time. Sitting on that stair yesterday morning brought back a memory of my father that I had long forgotten about. In the neighbourhood where my father lived, everyone had concrete stairs at the entrance way of their house. For some reason people chose to sit out on those stairs during the sunshine weather. We didn’t really sit out the back, we always sat on the stairs at the front of the house. Sometimes there would be rows of people on the stairs all sharing coffee, cigarettes and talking. Yes I grew up in a culture where we all smoked. I was smoking by the time I was 14 years old! Thankfully, I quit a long time ago. When I was a teenager visiting my dad, I enjoyed the weekends the most because he didn’t have to work. We would get up on those weekend mornings and the two of us would grab our coffee, head outside with our smokes, sit on those stairs and talk for hours. It was really the only time I really sat and talked to him during those visits, because it seemed like later in the day there would be chaos in the house, people in and out and other things to do. But those mornings of just the two of us, we talked about so many things. Memories of his childhood, memories of his days as young man, memories of me and my siblings as children, he often told me how much he loved me and missed me during those conversations and I was able to tell him the same as well as my hopes and dreams. After my father passed away and fast forward to my life with my children and husband, I had long forgotten those lazy mornings on the concrete steps. I realized yesterday how much I missed him and for a brief moment I caught my breath because it seemed like he was there with me on those steps, the ease in which the memories came flooding back to me as I remembered all of our conversations. I sat there smiling and then I had a little chat with him, told him how happy I am and how I hoped he was enjoying watching his grandchildren. I also told him how special he is to me and will always be in my heart and a part of my life.
Mom and dad in better times, sitting on the wooden porch in front of the old house!