Memory of the heart

How many times I went with my dad to P. A. Gouin, Pascal, Handy Andy, Léopold Duplessis or Canadian Tire to pick up a tool, some paint, a car part or all sorts of materials to repair, renovate or build something!

His workbench was just as carefully organized as the shelves at the hardware store: the nails and screws were categorized by their size and type. Everything was neatly ordered, and finding things was a snap.

My father was not a great handyman but he seemed to like to tackle little jobs. He worked cleanly and patiently, and he would punctuate his efforts with comments like “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

Saint Joseph artisan

If he was unable to do something on his own, he would sometimes ask for help from a relative or his friend Rolland, who knew how to do everything. My mother even referred to him as “Saint Joseph.” The carpenter from Nazareth was the model for any task that required a hammer or a screwdriver.

My dad passed away in 1991; his friend Rolland, six years ago. The memorial card received at the funeral home show me his smiling face plus a photo of tools! This simple image sums up very well the good worker he was. The thought on the card says : “As long as the heart remembers, the beings we love remain there and live there forever.ˮ

The Father’s Day celebrated on the third Sunday of June in many countries is a good opportunity to exercise the memory of our heart. Remembering significant moments lived with our father; smile while thinking of some of his little habits; honoring some values and skills which were dear to him; these are all ways to celebrate our father’s legacy. A silent tribute to all the Jean-Louis, Rolland, André, Claude, Roger, Aimé…

Sincere thoughts of compassion for all the children who have lost their father in the past few months without being able to be at their bedside to say goodbye.

May our hearts remember with love.


Nathalie Dumas, editor, THE ORATORY magazine