Columnist Ryan Uytdewilligen and his father Andrew sometime in the early 1990s. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Langley Advance Times)

Ryan’s Regards: Happy Father’s Day

What will COVID-19 mean when it comes to celebrating the fathers in our life?

My dad’s pearls of wisdom weren’t always the wisest of words.

When I turned 16 and earned my driver’s licence, he repeatedly pointed to a section of rural road, advising that “it was okay to go over the speed limit because there never any cops.”

I took his advise and almost immediately ended up with several speeding tickets in that exact spot.

They weren’t always the most coherent of words either.

His tradition of spitting his chewing gum into whatever beverage he was drinking was passed along to me as a surefire way to be certain no one would ever steal your drink.

While I still have never met anyone who has wanted to do such a thing, I still, whenever munching on a stick of gum, have to shove it to the bottom of my glass as per tradition.

About a month and a half ago, I wrote a column about Mother’s Day and how it was shaping up to be an unusual and certainly more isolated celebration due to COVID-19.

I figured it was only fair that I write one this week to honour all of the fathers in our lives.

When thinking about what to write, I noticed that the stereotypes embedded in us is that a father is a figure we turn to for advice, though according to every television sitcom, said advice is usually ill-advised though well-intentioned.

Did you turn to your father for advice while facing the pandemic? Was it helpful?

Maybe it was something mundane as directions on a long put off household chore or something as profound as what direction in life we should take going forward.

Though my father is no longer with us, his words, as humorous or ill-advised as some things do seem, still echo in my head every day.

READ MORE: Ryan’s Regards: Happy Mother’s Day

In times of uncertainty, I often pause to think what he would do – whether it is the way I should conduct myself in a certain situation, how I should go about my work, or how to face a challenge head on.

He was a gruff and rationale kind of person, rarely letting his uncertainty and sensitive side show until it was absolutely needed from him.

I can only imagine, in times of coronavirus, he would have showed courage and leadership.

So to all of the fathers out there, who have been solicited for advise from their confused and perhaps frightened children – looking up to you as a sturdy rock of comfort, wisdom, or perhaps even humour – thank you.

I racked my brain on advice to share with you on how to celebrate the patriarchs of our families seeing as how restrictions have significantly lifted, you can actually physical dine inside a restaurant or going shopping for a gift.

But I think the nugget of wisdom for us is all right there; to take notice of how wildly different our realities are today compared to what the world was like on May 10.

Things are changing at a rapid pace in so many different aspects, it can be hard to grapple with.

So, despite the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll once again say let potential the separation this Sunday during COVID-19 lead to a realization; time is precious.

Happy Father’s Day Dad.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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