It has been quite some time since my last blog post and much has happened around the world. And while I have been remiss on providing updates to all my readers on the Captain’s and Debbie Dewdrops ongoing (mis)adventures the time for that is not right now. This post is not about CC and DD, although indirectly it is. It is our about all of my family. It is about my mother. It is about my brothers, sister, nephews, nieces. This post is about our celebrating our Dad as we face our first Fathers Day without him.
John Edward Cowell (The Coach) September 28, 1928 – May 5, 2021
Where to begin? How to begin? I have no plan, no outline on how to proceed. As usual I’ll just stumble along with my thoughts and feelings. When I first gave Dad the moniker of the “The Coach” in this Blog I didn’t do it after a lot of deep philosophical thought and meditative contemplation. No, it was quite simple. When we were kids, Dad was our hockey coach. That’s what he was and a darn good one at that. But of course nothing is ever that simple and being a Dad is being a life Coach for your kids. That’s what he was and a darn good one at that also. More than a darn good one.
It is next to impossible to try and figure out the life events that impact and ultimately determine the character of the people that you know and love. Maybe knowing about those events doesn’t really matter all that much but then again maybe it does help in our understanding. So I will pontificate for only just a little bit here. Dad’s childhood experience of growing up in foster homes undoubtedly had a bearing on his development and character. My suspicion is that not having his immediate family with him growing up was a major factor in him wanting to start his own family and to make sure that his children were loved and provided for unconditionally.
And so it came to pass. Dad hooked up with Mom, they started a family and had four (lovely I might add) children. So just what kind of father (with Mom’s help of course) was Dad? So here I need to go back to the “coach” idea. Who can be a good coach? In particular who can be a good life coach for kids? Dad was more than good coach. Dad loved us unconditionally. He put us first. He led by example. He didn’t need to talk about being a decent person, he just was one. He didn’t need talk about himself and what he did for others, he just did good things. He didn’t need to be praised for what he did; he just did what needed to be done.
Now that’s not to say everything was always “Leave it to Beaver” perfection in the Cowell household. Although Dad was mostly patient with his not so always well behaved children, there were a few times that Dad lost his cool, so to say. As an illustration I present you with the infamous backyard “Mad Man Monks” episode. One hot summer afternoon at 64 Boothbay Crescent, Newmarket, the backyard grass was desperately in need of mowing. Dad apparently had too many other things to do so he asked for one of his kids to get the job done. So after 30 minutes with nothing being done Dad once again asked for someone to help with the grass. Well the second request received the same non response and at some point Dad kinda lost it a little and fired up the mower and with steam coming out of his ears got that backyard lawn mowed in record time. We, the kids, witnessed this amazing feat from our lookout in the upstairs bedroom and one of us remarked, hey look at Mad Man Monks mowing the grass, he’s getting it done in record time. We all avoided any contact with MMM until he cooled down a bit which he did in short order.
Dad lived a long (92 years) healthy and happy life. He was grateful for this and pretty much everything he had and experienced over the years. He was grateful and thankful that he was able to share his life with our Mom and they were devoted to each other. He loved his kids and would do whatever was necessary for their wellbeing.
We miss him mightily, particularly on this Fathers day. As thankful as Dad was for his life and family, it is we, his family, who give thanks that we were so fortunate to have “The Coach” as our father. See you at the rink Dad. Happy Fathers Day.
Love Mom, Don, Gary, Barb & Jim and all the Grandkids.