Watching the opening ceremonies of the Rio Summer Olympic Games is in many ways bittersweet. While my relationship with my Dad was a rocky one at best, the games were something we could enjoy together… even if we were apart!
Eight years ago I was in the hospital having and recovering from a total knee replacement. My Dad paid for me to have a TV rental and I was so grateful for many reasons. I didn’t want to miss any of the Beijing summer games and as it turned out I got to watch most of it live in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep. My roommate slept like a log and I had headphones, so it didn’t bother her at all. The nurses would come in to check on me but would always ask for an update.
In the mornings my Dad would call to see how I was doing but our conversation would quickly change to the day’s events. I would tell him which events were worth tuning into without giving away any medal news. Then he would call me later and we would discuss it all. He lived fairly close to the hospital at that time; however, his sight was decreasing and wasn’t driving out of his local area. This way we got our visits in and actually had something to talk about.
When I was released from the hospital after five days, Hubby had set up a recliner chair and TV in our spare room so the arrangement with Dad continued until the closing ceremonies. I was still often watching live in the middle of the night when the pain was too great to sleep.
By the time the 2010 Winter Games were being held in our “back yard”, Dad was living with us. We had the games on constantly and would watch all our favourite events. He had believed he would not be around to see them. He was so proud of all our Canadian athletes and how well the games were hosted.
Two years later, Dad passed away in February, six months before the United Kindom hosted the 2012 summer games. I watched them often thinking “Dad would have loved this” or “I’m sure glad Dad wasn’t around to see that”! The same went for the Sochi winter games two years ago in Russia.
And here it is, that time again.
Dad, I will be waving the Red and White for both of us as our athletes give it their all once again.