This year we have chosen two winners of our Father’s Day contest. Although their entries were very different, we found each of them meaningful and are delighted to share them with you. Please join us in congratulating Lyn and Linda who will each receive a free coaching session from us. We thank all of our readers for their thoughtful contributions.

Lyn Godin writes about her father and how he made a difference in the lives of those around him.

“In the 50s, my father was a school principal of a small school – grades one to nine. Winters are long in northern New Brunswick and there wasn’t much to do outside in the wintertime back then. So, my father decided to build an ice rink on the side of the school. He started a boys’ hockey team and coached it and with the help of a few of the boys, he would flood the rink every night, and shovel and scrape. He built a little hut with a pot-bellied stove and benches where we could warm up and change our skates. Every fine night he would go to the school for a couple of hours and play music out of loudspeakers for everyone to skate to. It’s where I learned to skate. I don’t remember any other father giving up their time to go out and help him but that never stopped him. He made a difference. All the students looked up to him and he was my dad! This is one of my most cherished memories (of many, I have to admit) of my father.”

Our second winner, Linda Burbidge, wrote a poem honoring her dad at the end of his life.

I knew it was your time to go.
You were tired, no appetite for a fight,
Even for your life.
As the blood pooled in your brain,
And we waited for the end,
I told them you were dreaming
Morphine dreams of your perfect last day
In the pale prairie sun.

In your last years
Fear shrank your world
Until all that would fit was pleasant and mild.
All edges rounded, no bittersweet or sour,
No risk or surprise, no harsh words admitted.
I scrutinized and judged your choices
But never aloud.

I never cried at your funeral
Even as I gave the eulogy and watched
The grief of others flow.
Even as I sorted the artifacts
Of your meticulous life, and imagined
A sweet earnest graduate student
Recording everything.

And only now do I weep
At a glimpsed silhouette,
An old man in a peaked cap
Shrunk behind the wheel
Of a too large car.

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