With the death of my father, the search for a process to grieve the complicated relationship that we had, I was challenged by my peers to write a letter to myself from him. The backdrop to the writing of it was our family cabin, the place he came to live with us in Prince George. As I wrote the letter, with an open heart, the door upstairs was banging and shaking, likely caused by air flowing through the window I forgot to close, but I preferred to think of it as his energy, reaching out to me. What followed the letter was the knowing that his stories are ready to be written and that this letter will be the prologue to the telling of his tales, through conversations, with the pirate….
My sister called me, she had received a call that our father had had a very serious surgery and that we needed to go see him, from his brother, our uncle. We had both been estranged from him for 10 or so years, as families sometimes are. She found out much had changed in his life, he had gotten divorced, he lived on a boat on Vancouver Island and now had only one leg. Given his many adventures and somewhat dubious career paths, the first thing that popped out of my mouth was “What? Our father is a pirate?”