2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
Our father shaped our personality, our character, our values. Our collaborator Raymond Villeneuve takes advantage of Father's Day to pay tribute to his father!
I am the director of the Regroupement pour la valorisation de la paternité and, in this capacity, I have written texts on single fathers, on fathers in difficulty, on immigrant fathers, on future fathers, on services to fathers, about my own fatherhood and about my two children. But… I never wrote about my own father. On the occasion of Father's Day, I decided to fill this gap and tell you about my dad…
My father will be 73 in a few weeks and when I think of him, the first thing that comes to my heart is his deep sense of commitment. His commitment to his work, his friends, his relatives, but above all, to his wife, to my brothers, my sister and to me. My dad was always there for me when it mattered and I never doubted for a second that he loved me. My father was there when I won, but he was also there when I lost.
I remember the support my father gave me during my first theater production whichwas a great success… He had sold a lot of tickets, had supported me morally, was proud of me and I even remember that we had put up a promotional banner together on a hangar in the Old Port of Montreal… What a beautiful moment! …But I also remember that the following summer, when my second theatrical production was being slammed by the critics…my parents had flown in from the south of France to come and support me in this ordeal…
I also remember one morning… when I was studying at Cégep in He alth Sciences and I was about to take a chemistry exam because I was bad at chemistry and I just had the desire to let go of everything… I remember that I had called my father at work and that he had said something very simple to me, but which still resonates in me today: go anyway and you will call back later… I went to take my exam, I got thirty eight percent… I failed my chemistry class… But, thanks to my father, I faced my fear knowing that there was someone 'one who would be there for me, on the other side of this ordeal… It was a very small gesture, but, at the same time, a very, very big lesson…
Ready for anything
I also remember the time my brother and I, aged around 9 and 11, stood in front of two big boys around 12 and 14 with firecrackers in the forest not far from our house… We had felt threatened, I ran off to look for my father who, like acowboy, had jumped into his wagon and, in a rage, had come to the rescue of my older brother… When we arrived, the bad guys had left and had done absolutely nothing to my brother… but I had learned, that day there, that my father was ready to do anything to defend us…
When I think of my father, there is also another memory that comes to mind… It is that of my beginnings in primary school… I was 5 years old and, one morning, I did not want to not go to school… My father asked me why? I answered Pass que. We repeated this exciting dialogue for almost half an hour. Why? Pass that. Why? Pass that. Why? Pass that. My dad finally took me to school…I still couldn't drop out at 5…but…he still gave me the chance to express myself, even at 5…
Respect and trust
There are also countless happy family memories. The trips to Europe, the vacations in the United States, all the shows I produced and they all attended, the birth of my children, the support that my father and my mother give me now as grand- parents… but, above all, I am deeply grateful to my father for having always respected my life choices, both personal and professional… I started my Cégep in He alth Sciences to finish in Human Sciences… I did a law degree and then studied at the National Theater School of Canada in playwriting… I founded a creative theater company, worked as a freelancerfor many years to finally land today in the community sector… And my father always respected my choices, and I never felt that he was judging me… Only, he had a beautiful and great requirement: if you do something, do it all the way! I now apply this principle in everything I do and it is one of the things that makes me happiest.
I deeply believe that, if I can get involved today with such intensity with fathers and with my own family, it is certainly because my father gave me confidence in myself, supported me throughout my life, loved me unconditionally and gave me a great example of the importance of a father's commitment to his children.
For all you have given me, Dad, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks! I love you!
Your son Raymond