FATHER’S DAY: The author (centre, about 2) flanked by his parents Rosemarie Kucherawy and Dennis Kucherawy Sr. Photo courtesy Dennis Kucherawy.
By Dennis Kucherawy, Corktown Correspondent
Happy belated Father’s Day, Dear Reader.
Especially to those of you who still have your fathers. My wife Karen and I were very young when we lost ours. She was 15 when Ernest Joseph Scheiblauer passed away. I was only seven when Dennis Anthony Kucherawy died.
Yes, the loss and pain are still with us and we both wonder what might have been, especially how very proud our fathers would have been of Karen as she graduates from her homeopathic studies this Thursday.
So, as the sun beams down on this beautiful morning, the day after the summer solstice, the gorgeous first day of summer, the longest day of the year, we want to say:
Thank you, Dad, for enabling us to know and feel the joy of eternal love, for teaching us and sharing with us your wisdom and many gifts. We know you now dwell somewhere in eternal sunshine. We are proud to be your children.
I am especially proud I bear my father’s name, especially the first, serendipitously derived from Dionysius. As a writer, I am proud to keep his memory and legacy alive every time my/ his name is printed as a byline.
A Ukrainian immigrant, he was educated, loved music, opera and the arts, and was a skilful teacher who played the violin and the mandolin. That’s why every time I put pen to paper, I reach into my soul to honour him as best as I can.
As a musician, every time I play the first note of a piece on the piano, I remember how, as a child we would play duets. He would play violin, while I, a five-year old, would plunk out notes, my tiny hands struggling to reach an octave.
In 1997, 12 years after we settled in Toronto’s Corktown, Canada’s Who’s Who invited me to send my resume to them to be included in their 1998 volume. Let’s not kid ourselves: it’s because I had been hired as a VP with Famous Players and my picture had appeared in the Globe and Mail’s Report On Business. That was nice, and that was about it.
What meant a lot to me is the names of our parents on both sides were included in the listing. That brought a tear to my eye because my Dad and Karen’s parents arrived in Canada — my Dad from Ukraine, Karen’s Mom from Germany and her Dad from Austria — as immigrants, escaping war-ravaged and rebuilding Europe, with little but their dreams and hopes for Canada in this land of opportunity. My Mom was born here. Her parents and my grandparents — the Schudlos — were immigrants.
So, kids, those of you who are still lucky to have your Dads, hug them and tell them how much you love them. If they live a long way away, just pick up the phone or, better yet, Skype them.
And, if you have lost your Dad, don’t mourn, but celebrate the years you had together. As the song says, “He lives in you.”
Dennis Kucherawy, a frequent contributor to corktown.ca, has lived with his wife, Karen, in Corktown for 30 years. He also writes often for songandscript.ca, the website of the Yorkville music store Song and Script. It has served Canadian arts lovers for more than 50 years as one of our country’s oldest independent performing arts retailers. specializing in music and Broadway musicals.