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Dad's last project


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My dad had just retired when he found out he had lung cancer. He retired early at 62 so that he and my mom could travel- they never made it.

What he did do was build a wooden boat- completely by hand, with old fashioned boatsman tools. He wanted to sail and boat and travel the world in his retirement and just for fun because he no longer worked, just because he could- he wanted his first project to be a small boat for his grandson- my son, Hunter.

He always talked about taking him to the lake to "christen" the boat- but the boat never touched water. It sat in the garage where he had built it.

In the first few months of his disease, he kept talking that he had to "finished" the boat for Hunter. He had me paint the name on the side of the boat "HUNTER II" and he kept saying that all he had left to do was put the oar holds on the boat, then it would be done.

He didn't finish it.

I brought the boat to my house about a month ago. 19 months after my dad died. It still doesn't have oar holds but we don't care.

We put it in the pool on Sunday and it's sound and solid- kind of like my dad was. We will try it at the lake the next time we go on vacation.

My mom and he used to joke around when he was alive that the minute the boat would touch the lake it would sink...mom would laugh at him and dad just grinned and said it would float "100% guarantee"....mom would say.."uh-huh we will see"

Well, I hope he saw what he always knew- I hope he saw us on Sunday. I hope he saw Hunter in the HUNTER II.

Hunter loved it. And it made me really sad that my dad wasn't the one that was there with him.


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Katie.. I love it. Your Dad was quite a giving man. I just love the photo. He has already blessed Hunter with his own spirit!

Beautiful boat.

My own Dad also died at age 62 and almost retired, but not quite. He also dreamed of traveling. It is my one regret that he had worked so hard all his life and didn't even get a crack at having full time fun.

Get those oars on..that would be so cute to have Hunter paddling Hunter11 around the pool.

Cindi o'h

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You "think" that the sad days are the anniversaries (b-days, death-days, holidays) but really for me, it is the special memories that my dad is no longer here to share. The adoption of my daughter (he didn't even know the possibility of her) Hunter's straight A's, or his sports games, or someones new house, car or trip one of us had....and then times like Sunday when the boat finally touched water- really affected me.

I know there will be a lifetime of those things- and other's that I love will die and I will go thru it all yet again to differing degrees-

It's just such a sad part of life.

I try to focus on the positives-and always keep busy, but this one got to me.

thanks for the ((hugs)) everyone. i needed that.

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Katie, have you considered keeping a journal to your dad? Get a special notebook and write down for him all these special occasions and tell him about them. A friend recommended this to me and it helped a lot. I could feel the communication as I wrote. My parents died before I married and had kids, and this was a way to share the two generations although I couldn't bring them together. I also shared with my kids things about my parents, even letters they had written me, so I could do that for them (and for me). Don

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This reminds me of one of Becky's favorite songs, "A Boat Like Gideon Brown's" by Great Big Sea.

Oh Gideon lived across the bay

He's gettin' older now

His boat is big and strong and bold

She has a stalward bow

But my father's boat was second hand

One someone used before

And after every fishing trip

My father always swore

That someday he would save enough

To go to St. John's town

And buy himself a big new boat

A boat like Gideon Brown

A boat like Gideon Brown

Confederation came around

And the days of old age pension

He said 'Son I'm saving every cent'

And this you must not mention

You save the baby bonus too

And things just might turn around

And we'll have enough to buy a boat

A boat like Gideon Brown


'Cause she can punch ahead in any gale

And ride the fishing ground

I often thought how proud I'd be

In a boat like Gideon Brown

In a boat like Gideon Brown

Many years did pass away

And Dad began to fade

He didn't talk of boats too much

He said 'Son I'm afraid'

If things don't soon improve

Then I'll be underground

Before we ever get to see ourselves

In a boat like Gideon Brown


I sat and held his hand one day

And he said 'Son, that policy'

The insurance is all in your name

You're the beneficiary

And when I'm gone they'll pay you off

Then go to St. John's town

And buy yourself a big new boat

A boat like Gideon Brown

[Chorus (2x)]

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Hi Katie,

My Mom had a last project too that one of my girl's was lucky to receive. My oldest daughter had an afghan of mine that my Mom made for me years ago. My youngest asked my Mom if she would knit her one. They picked out the wool colors and my Mom worked on it at chemo sessions and at home. It was completed, but not totally put together when she passed away. My great aunt was kind enough to finish it off in time for Jessica's birthday (5 days after Mom died). Her handywork is treasured and used nightly. Keeps her close!

I'm sure Jesse is very proud. Hunter is a lucky boy to have a labor of Grandpa's love.


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I only have one word...Awesome. To see your son in that beautiful boat that was made with such love gave me such a feeling of joy. Oh, I am sure your Dad was looking down and enjoying that very moment. The boat was "unsinkable" as was your Dad.... Thanks so much for allowing us to be part of this wonderful story. Love, Sharon

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Your stories and thoughts about your Dad are so beautiful. Anyone that reads them can easily see what a wonderful man your father must have been to have deserved such love and adoration. He must be so very proud of you and your family and I'm sure he was with you all in the pool for the "christening" of Hunter II.

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