Glen and Donna’s dad was a character. He was an adventurer, moving from farming in Saskatchewan to the brand new town of Kitimat, BC, built by ALCAN to smelt aluminum. He hunted, fished; he was a star hockey player on the local team. He was a fireman and later became a fire chief. Dad retired early to live on a houseboat on Shuswap Lake in Salmon Arm where he continued to hunt and fish and charm anyone who knew him.
Until he was 74, Carl lived a fulfilled life. He was funny, intelligent, stubborn, and opinionated and the life of any family gathering or party. He was the local handyman – he could fix anything. He built the most wonderful toys for his grandchildren – playhouses, kitchen appliances, ride on trains, rocking horses, a boat with an actual outboard engine. Not everything was a success - once he burned down our patio when a fish-smoker malfunctioned. He blamed Glen.
At 74 he suffered a devastating stroke that took away his independence. He spent 8 long years in care – and, with the luck of the draw with the Roger family genes – his stroke was augmented with dementia.
So his 8 years in care were uncomfortable and undignified. Every once in a while he would get into an argument with the staff when he came up with a new, ingenious way to make his life easier. “Drill a hole in the wall, attach 3 feet of rope and then I’ll be able to use my teeth to help steady me when I try to stand up!” The staff, of course was worried about the wall but his teeth were too far-gone to worry about.
So we experience mixed emotions with the passing of Glen’s dad. We celebrate the heroic, adventurous life he lived, and we sigh with relief that he is no longer uncomfortable and humbled by his condition.
Caught a huge mahi today, Dad! Must have been 15 pounds!
|Carl and Glen - 1955|
|Fire Chief Carl - 1967|
|Glen, Carl and Brad celebrating Carl's 80th|