Poppies for Remembrance Day

….a time to reflect on my Father’s life

Dad always said that November was the hardest month of the year for him. It always made him feel sad, especially in the last few years of his life. He was a very young man, only 17, when he joined the army and he saw many of his friends die before his eyes. He often wondered why he was spared.

The other thing that I think he found difficult was the fact that he fought for the ‘other side’ and he knew that no one, here, would be thanking him for his service. He never talked about it but I know that it weighed heavily on him. I do know that he was always very grateful for the friendships he forged after the war, first with the Americans who helped him after he escaped the Russian prison camp and then with the English who gave him his first job.

Years later he emigrated from Germany to Canada with his new and growing family. He quickly got a good job at the Royal York Hotel in his chosen line of work. He was able to buy a car almost right away and four years after arriving in Toronto he bought his first home in Oakville. Dad always made friends easily with other German immigrants and Canadians alike. No one seemed to look down on him because he fought in the German army.

Over the years Dad pursued a variety of jobs but his happiest days were as an entrepreneur. When I was 16, Mom and Dad started their own fabric and sewing machine business and never looked back. Again Dad was at the top of his game when he was surrounded by people and both he and Mom had close ties with the business and local community.

As the years passed, Dad lost my mother while vacationing in Mexico in 1993 and then his second wife in 2017. When he turned 90 in 2016 we had a big party for him. Despite having lost numerous friends already he always made new friends where ever he went and yet come November he would always reflect on those who had died before him and he would fall into a deep depression.

Dad passed away almost four weeks ago. This Remembrance Day I will reflect on all the good times I had with him in my lifetime. It will be bittersweet. This painting is dedicated to you Dad.

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Sadness in my Heart

….at 94 my father took his last breath on October 15, 2020

You may have noticed that I have not been very active on my blog in the last few day. The loss of my father has been very difficult and making arrangements for his cremation has been very time consuming. My husband has made many of the calls to family and friends to inform them of our loss and for that I am eternally grateful. Slowly I have been able to speak to those close to me and many of them have stepped up to let others know of Dad’s passing.

https://cremationcare.ca/tribute/details/340/Heinz-Winkler/obituary.html

COVID of course has made it impossible to have the big funeral Dad had always hoped for. Yesterday we were allowed a small gathering of 10 family members for 30 minutes to say farewell and pay our respects. For those in attendance it helped bring us closure and for that we are grateful.

I want people to know that Dad did not suffer pain and that in his final hours he slept and passed away peacefully with me by his side. Again COVID did not allow more than one family member to be present in the hospital and even with that I needed a special designation to be there. The nurses and support staff were wonderful and tried to give me as much emotional support as possible in my time of need. The hardest part for me was having to deal with this on my own and not having my family there. In the end Dad got his wish and died in his sleep.

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