When I think about you, images float through my mind like the raw footage of a film. I see you coming out of a shower after shaving off your moustache. I refused to hug you because I was adamant that you were not my father. I see you buying a rose for me on my birthday off a street vendor that was clouded in steam from vents. You were taking me to the Remembrance Day Ceremony at Old City Hall. I see us walking through Toronto when I came to visit you during your stay at The Clarke Institute. Though you were struggling with depression, it was you who compassionately listened to me. I see you outside of Massey Hall where we had met to hear Jordan’s choir. You said I looked beautiful.
When I seperated, it was important to me that Jordan and Ethan had the sense of being surrounded and loved by a family. I made sure to visit and do lots of things with you, Mom and the boys. I am grateful they got to know you.
There are parts of you in them both. Ethan’s musicality and beautiful singing voice. Jordan’s talent for languages and his impeccable grammar. We all love to travel. We followed your footsteps and stayed in your recommendations in New York, Montreal and Paris.
The boys and I can reenact a memory of you and I can feel you with us. The time you surprised us with your agile depiction of a helicopter for charades. Or when we went to see Harry Potter Potted, and 10 year old Ethan summarized all 7 books for you a few minutes before the show. How you almost veered off into the swamp when you pointed out a deer on the way to Uncle Claire’s cottage.
In the Fall, I had a dream of you. You and Mom had a secret trailer in France. After a tour, I excitedly looked through the window to see a Patisserie. Jordan, Ethan and I walked out to fill up on pastries. As we crossed the street, you were there on the other side, carrying bags overflowing with croissants. In the final sequence, the whole family, including all the grandkids and Mom are around a square formica table. It is a scene of busy contentment. I look at you and exclaim, “Dad, you are here! But you are dead?” You turn to me, smile as you walk your fingers like spiders up my arm like you used to do with Jordan and Ethan and calmly say, “Yes, I am here.” I woke up basking in the glow of that dream knowing that you were ok and that you would take care of us.
On New Year’s Eve when you were at the hospital, I called you. You kept repeating over and over that you had lost your wallet and that you needed me to pick you up. I tried to reassure you and told you that I knew where you were and that when it was time, I would take you home.
Dad, it is time. We have brought you home.

~ Kaja Montgomery
August 8, 2022