He has made a stopover in Toronto after staying in New Brunswick for his mother’s funeral.
He is vibrant and healthy looking, but a fragile version of his usual self. I can’t imagine losing a parent. He has now lost both his parents and is going through the stages of grief.
Luckily he is his mother’s son, and has his two feet planted very firmly on this earth. He knows who he is, he understands his emotions, he speaks and moves with confidence and he takes care of himself.
Sometimes I envy how steady he is. He is healthy, active, curious and always interesting to talk to. He loves to know what’s going on in the world. He has excellent ear and a good name in the film industry. He works harder than anyone I know, but knows how to relax more than anyone I know at the same time.
At this point in my life I'm realizing I need to care for my parents the way they have always cared for me. I have to refuse the urge to be nurtured and return some of the love that has been given to me for the past 20 years.
I take small steps in learning to do this: I offer up my bed, make my dad a simple meal for his sensitive stomach, and most importantly listen. I hear my own voice talk incessantly about my own needs before remembering the importance of listening. He has things to say that are worth hearing, and my ego needs to calm so I can shut my mouth and absorb what he's saying. His needs are just as important-if not more-than my own.
The exchange of nurturing helps bring us to the same level. It doesn’t matter that there’s 40 years between us or that he’s my father, I love the guy for who he is. I want to spend time with him, go for lunch with him, talk to him about my everyday thoughts and laugh so hard my stomach hurts over dirty jokes with him.
Isn’t that what growing up is all about?
*photos all taken on Queen Street West, Toronto.