As you know, Dad was not a man of many words, except for the occasional choice ones.
Instead he was a man of motion … his communication device was his body, as evidenced by his whole life, most strongly noted these past few years as he struggled against the barriers imposed by the disease invading his mind and the increasing restrictive living challenges he faced trying to live in the very structured, contained retirement and nursing home environments.
“Come on, let’s go,” was his constant mantra, even just a few weeks ago.
The father I remember as a little girl was always on the go. I don’t recall memories of him sitting around, but of him swinging a hammer, pushing a lawnmower, swimming in The Snye, throwing or catching a ball with a glove or a lacrosse stick, tossing a line into the water, hoisting me on his shoulders. About the only time I remember him slowing down was when he did his country driving … going to slow on roads, I’m told he was ticketed as a safety hazard.
When I moved back to Kincardine in August 2011, I discovered he was still very much a man constantly in motion. The time had come for him to not be in motion alone for his safety, so the job of chauffeur he requested of his long-time friend Orville Wilson, his daughter-in-law, Jackie, and me.
Demanding as he was with his “Come on, let’s go,” we settled into a companionable routine of country driving where he would tell me about the farmers’ field, the season’s work, and the crops. During these drives, he also revealed the boy and youth he once was … by telling the stories that ultimately created the man I have grown to know.
The most vivid and significant to him was the story of how his parents could not afford a bicycle for him … so when his friends bicycled to the creek a few concessions away, he would run beside them … and the man in motion has never stopped running.
One day while accompanying Dad to the doctor’s office, we sat beside a man who proceeded to tell me it was not that long ago when Dad and he ran along the beach together. And in the seniors’ homes, many people expressed how they had never seen anyone go like him … fast and relentless … driven to be in motion.
The other most significant memory he recited were tales about his lacrosse days … of how he would work all day framing houses and how he would be picked up to go play the game that dominated his youth.
His other reminisces were his dreams of being a professional athlete … and in hindsight he thought he should have chosen baseball because it, versus lacrosse, could have meant he could have earned a living running and using his excellent hand and eye coordination talents, but still he loved his lacrosse memories. Another denied dream was his desire to sing and play guitar professionally … and in the past year he revealed the talent he did have … singing, and even making up new songs, to entertain Shirley and I as I drove them around in the car … his escape from what he considered were prisons.
The farmer boy he was never outgrew his love of the outdoors … and any chance he could … all his life out the doors he would fly.
As Dad’s eldest daughter, Dad was with me at the beginning of my life and me with him at the end … and as for all time in between, we were both on the go, living our separate lives, except for the time when he guided and assisted my husband Verne and I in renovating and expanding our Lakeshore Road home.
Last Thursday night, the medical community finally got the right pain medicine and dosage into his weary body, the priest came … and he slept peacefully for the first time in years … and then finally he gave up being the man in motion that Friday afternoon.
Though he has left us physically, so many memories and stories he gave us to tell and share, and love that he often did not how to express the depths of in his heart.
What lifts my heart today is my belief he is finally free to be the man in motion God truly created him to be.
Thank you for honouring him with your presence and showing us that he touched your life in some way too.
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier, March 26, 2015 for Dad, Oscar J. “Trip” Trepanier’s funeral service. I thank God for the blessing of the beautiful words He gave me to share with Dad’s family and relatives yesterday. Thank you for sharing how Dad touched your life too and for your condlencences. God bless …
KAITLIN A. TREPANIER
Freeing “Potential” with Education, Entertainment, and Inspiration with the global initiative and core book Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE … because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED.
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