This will be a short, sweet and personal post. I know that not everyone is blessed with an amazing Dad like I am. I am incredibly grateful for the father that I have. My Dad is a larger than life person, he says what he means and is brutally honest, a quality I admire. He loves to laugh and tease. All of my friends and my sisters friends know this quality of his very well. A quick example, he once threw my best friends brother and his buddy in the pool when they came to pick her up from a play date. He thought it was hilarious, the pair of them didn't know what to think of this crazy farmer. Literally he had never met either of them, but they got too close to the pool and in they both went! He now has taken to teasing the next generation. I think he started teasing Mckenna by the age of 7 months. She would be crawling around and he would sneak up on her (which he continues to do to this day) and yell "Hey what are you doing!" so that she jumps out of her skin. Thankfully she knows his tricks and already is giving it back to him, sneaking up on him now or jumping out from behind a corner to scare him.
There are far too many stories to share about this incredible man. He didn't have the easiest childhood, he lost his father at the age of 11, was homeless by the age of 14 and travelled across Saskatchewan running a cattle drive at the ripe old age of 16. He has stories upon stories and if you share a beer or five he'll tell you them all...twice. He'll often say to Chauncey "Did I ever tell you the time...." and even if he did tell him, Chauncey being the patient kindhearted guy he is, will listen once again. My mother on the other hand has "heard it enough times!"
He wears jeans, a belt buckle and cowboy boots even if it's 40C (104F). He used to drink 50 and now he's switched to Old Milwaukee. He looks like he is 55 but he just turned 76 this March. He may only have 3 acres now, after selling his 50 acre farm a few years ago, but he is still a stubborn farmer through and through.
When I was growing up he was often working long hours, leaving the house by 4am and Mom was the one holding down the fort at home. He worked incredibly hard building his own business and providing for his family. When he was home he was often with a beer in hand, outside working the land or fixing one of the horses paddocks. One summer when I was about 12 I helped him rebuild an entire paddock, and I'll hold on to that memory forever. His father was a carpenter and he learnt the trade through him.
I was and still am a Daddy's girl. I look up to this man and I thank my lucky stars that I get to call him Dad. The qualities I admire most about him, his loyalty to his family, his soft heart (although he likes to try to hide it), how he never gives up on a dream and finally his ability to talk to anyone and immediately make them feel like a long lost friend.
I see so many similar qualities in Chauncey and the unbreakable bond he is forming with our daughter makes my heart so happy. I am blessed with these two men and I won't take them for granted. If you are lucky enough to have a father that loves you unconditionally, always remember how blessed you are.
Finally, I'll leave you with some of Cy McKenna's favourite sayings, as you can see he's very humble:
"Am I good or am I good?"
"Does a bear shit in the woods?"
"Don't take any shit from anyone!"
"It's better to owe it to you, than beat you out if it" (when he looses a bet and won't pay up!)
"I'm better than sliced bread."
I think the below photo captures him pretty well. He's standing on his walkway at the farm, beer in hand with a full swig in his mouth, threatening to shoot my then boyfriend (Chauncey)...all in good fun of course!