Remembering Dad: Edward Patrick Pitt

As we celebrate Father’s Day this week,  I decided to reach out to three colleagues and asked if they would be interested in writing about their dads.

Here is the first of three stories to be shared.

Kathy, thank you for writing about your Dad.  He sounded like a lovable man who enjoyed people’s company.


 

 

Edward Patrick Pitt
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  ~A.A. Milne

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My girls called him Papa.  When Laura was learning to talk, she thought my dad looked like Belle’s father from Beauty and the Beast.  Belle called her father Papa.  It stuck with him.

My dad had many passions, especially sports.  He loved golf, curling, and watching the Blue Jays, the Maple Leafs, and the Argos.  He loved harness racing.  On most days he could be found at the Off Track Betting, sitting with other retirees watching the races on the big screen TVs and placing two dollar bets.

He kept his greatest love for his family.

He took every opportunity he could to brag about his girls and his grandkids.  He loved going to my girls’ sporting events and in fact he was the carpool parent for their before and after-school swim practices for many years.

My dad loved being around people.

He liked to be the life of the party.  When we watch old home movies, my dad was always laughing, joking, or doing a goofy dance to make my girls laugh.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  The saddest thing about my dad’s illness was that it robbed him of his ability to interact with people.  He lost his ability to make funny faces, dance, and think quickly enough for humourous quips.

My dad lived out loud for most of his life, but the last couple of years reduced his life to a very quiet, contained existence.  He had a form of Parkinson’s that included Lewy Body Dementia. This horrific form of the disease includes vivid hallucinations.  The only joy we took from his last year was that many of his hallucinations included animals (which he loved).  He could describe with extreme details the animals that were in his hospital room.  He thought it was great that the hospital allowed him to stay in the barn with the horses.

I miss my dad when….

  • I see a photo of parking lots or people without their heads in the shot (he was a notoriously bad photographer)
  • I hear someone order a Rye and Pepsi (he preferred Pepsi to Coke)
  • I watch curling on TV
  • It’s Kentucky Derby time
  • I make stewed tomatoes and serve them with sausages
  • A “Western” is on TV
  • I vote (he was a staunch Conservative and would never vote for another party.  I always told him my vote cancelled his vote out in every election since I was 18 years old)
  • My husband buys another baseball cap (my dad had hundreds of them)
  • I see pictures of the 1977 Blue Jays snowy opening day (my parents were there)
  • I think about Winnie the Pooh (we inscribed on his tombstone a quote: “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~A.A. Milne”)

 

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I think of us dancing at my wedding to Unforgettable (just one month after he was diagnosed with cancer).

 


 

Lainie Note: This piece was written by Kathy Witherow.  I met Kathy about 5 years ago when we were both part of a learning network in the York Region District School Board.  I remember when Kathy lost her dad.  On Instagram, she shared a photo of him along with the A.A. Milne quote.  The quote stuck with me and when I thought of someone who might want to write about their dad, I immediately thought of her.

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