I have been blessed to have had four great fathers in my life. My first dad, ‘Bud’ Cole, was a hard-working taxi cab driver and woodworker. Dad Cole taught me how to water ski and swim. I can remember many great Saturdays going to Deep Cove in North Vancouver and skiing with the family.
Dad Cole was killed in an industrial accident when I was twelve, but I can remember sitting on Dad’s knee as he drove to church. I can also remember Dad singing in the choir. I got my love of playing instruments from Dad Cole. Our house was filled with musical instruments. Dad Cole was not a great musician but he did love music. I can remember Dad taking all of us kids to all-night quartet sings with him. Dad loved music!
I can also remember helping my dad, in his woodworking shop behind the church, make the wooden church pews for Glad Tiding Church. I can also remember working alongside my Dad digging ditches for the new house we were building in Coquitlam. Dad Cole started me off well in life.
My second father was, and still is, Ron Preston. Ron became my dad around a year after Dad Cole passed away when my mom remarried. That was over forty-five years ago. Some of my favourite memories of Dad Preston are how he loved to arm wrestle, how he loved to play crokinole, how he loved to tell us the new joke that he heard at work, how he faithfully served at our church and how we worked together at the family Dairy Queen every Saturday. So many great memories!
My third father was Giuseppe (Joe) Foti. My wife’s dad, Joe Foti, was an amazing example. He built and financed our first home. He showed me the power of being a fearless witness for Jesus. He loved gardening and raising sheep and cattle and I can remember him bringing us vegetables and meat to our house on a regular basis. I can also remember spending many meals with him discussing the Bible and the things of God. What a great man! I miss him!
My fourth father is my Heavenly Father. I personally met Him when I was seven years old, although He knew me in my mother’s womb. I specifically remember Him coming into my life when I received His love and forgiveness as a child. He has never left me over these fifty plus years. He was there when I mourned the death of Dad Cole and Dad Foti. He was there when I travelled to over sixty countries in often strange situations. He was there through all my triumphs and failures. What an amazing Father!
Now I am a father and a grandfather. I am so blessed to have two great kids, an awesome son-in-law, talented daughter-in-law and two incredible grandkids. I hope that I can be half the example that my four father’s were and are to me. So here’s to all the fathers out there! May you be filled with all the joy and blessings that fatherhood brings. Dads are awesome!
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