Lain's Log


April 3/11

My Dad has really stepped up to the plate. At age 85, he's lost all three of the ladies in his life. He and Mum were married from 1950 to '59.
I wasn't quite four when Dad left to start a new life. Fifty years later, I know he still suffers guilt over the decisions he made, even though he did the best he could for us and never missed a support payment in his life. Sometimes things don't work out the way you planned. It wasn't anybody's fault. It just happened. I'm sad that Mum had to suddenly become a single parent, but I've always loved my Dad, no matter what the circumstances.

Me, my Dad (Rex Loring), and my sister Carrie

I didn't see him much at all as a child, but in the teen days, when I was able to take transit and make choices on my own, we visited off and on, (sometimes at the CBC, where he was a TV personality and newsman for many years), and he always made sure to deliver birthday and Christmas gifts. To this day, I have magic memories of those surprise presents, which somehow showed up at our door in the middle of the night!

He married a lovely lady named Shirley and was with her for over 20 happy years, until she underwent brain surgery and later died, due to complications. Her death came only days before the birth of his first grandchild (my daughter, Kate), in 1992. I still remember being at Shirley's funeral, and having friends approach my Dad to give condolences on the loss of his wife, while at the same time, congratulating him on becoming a grandfather. Highest highs, lowest lows.

He next shared his life with another incredible woman named Shirley Jane. They had a beautiful home together in Oakville for several years. We were happy he'd found someone so special. Shirley Jane played a big role in bringing our Dad together with us whenever possible, and I'll always be grateful to her for that. But in 2004, she passed away of cancer. Once again, Dad was mourning another very sad loss.

Even though my parents hadn't been together for over five decades, he was still very saddened by Mum's death, of complications due to surgery in October, 2010. He drove into Toronto to be with us for her Celebration of Life. It meant the world to Carrie and me that he was there to support us and to remember her. Mum always believed he was her destiny, because, she said, "You and Carrie just HAD to be born!"

Check out my Dad in his 20s! No wonder Mum flipped for him!

I was reluctant even to TELL Dad I have cancer. He's been through so much already. But, as he's my only remaining parent, I summoned up my courage, (take THAT Cowardly Lion!), and gave him the news. He took it well, with great strength, in light of the losses he's survived.

Since my diagnosis, I've been blown away by my Dad's unwavering support and sympathy. He calls me. He calls Carrie. We talk things over. He tries to make us feel better. He encourages me and when I've told him my worries about the upcoming surgery, he says, "Remember, the doctors don't want to have a failure! They want success!"

Going on this journey without my beloved Mum has been so tough for me, but, amazingly, I have a great Dad, who, come hell or high water, now appears committed to being there for me.

Love you so much Dad!



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