Internet, meet my Dad.

George Goyetche - 1941-1999

George Goyetche 1941-1999

10 years ago tonight. I had the last conversation I’d ever have with my dad. We both knew it. We spoke of nothing really, we’d said it all in the months since his cancer diagnosis.

On June 30th 1998, the doctors told my dad he had 6 months to live. He took 8, and mercifully, checked out quickly, all things considered.

So there we were, Feb 28th/99, at my parent’s place, playing video card games. He couldn’t really concentrate on the game, and for that matter, neither could I. I remember racking my brain for any question I could ask, and couldn’t come up with anything. I’d asked everything I could up until that point in my life. I remember saying that what was pissing me off was I knew I’d have a question for him after he left, and he wouldn’t be around to answer it.

Sure enough, as my life progressed, I settled down,got married and had a child, and the questions I hadn’t dreamed of came.

The biggest question we both had that night was when and how it would actually come about. When you wait for death for months, and you see a loved one suffer through the pain, death is a deliverance sure, but it still manages to surprise you.

I remember the evening he died, and how strange it felt for me. Minutes after he died, I could have danced up and down the hallways of the hospital. His suffering was over. I felt guilty, but I was SO happy. It’s something that’s very strange to explain. The absence of suffering was pure joy. It was finally done.

When I think about it, it’s really not that long ago. So many things have changed though. I’m now married, have a son, and am surrounded by technology he would have loved. As much a gadget freak my dad was, it’s strange for me to think that I have no digital pictures of my dad (other than scans), and how much the world has changed in the time since he passed.

I’ve been to his grave once since he died. I don’t believe he’s there. He’s with me when I play hockey with my son, and I know for sure he’s with me when I’m introducing my son to The Beatles.

Anyhow, 10 years seems to be something worth noting – So to all my real/facebook/twitter/podcasting/social media friends, I’d like you to meet my dad George – I’m sure you would have liked him.

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  1. Keith Burtis says:

    Bob, your Dad was obviously a very special man. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Nice to meet you, Mr. Goyetche. I think our names might even rhyme. That your son would introduce you to the world wide web ten years after, says a lot about you.

  3. Surely one of the most valuable posts I’ll read in the next many days.

    I love the photo. If you’d told me he was a TV personality or a member of Parliament, or both, I’d believe it.

    The questions. Ah yes, the questions. It’s something I push hard against, the fear that I won’t have said everything and asked everything before one of my parents go.

    Thank you for the reminder. Your joy made sense to me.

  4. John Meadows says:

    A very moving post, Bob. And a great photo of your father. Thanks for giving us all something to think about!

  5. Scarborough Dude says:

    Glad you wrote that Bob. I’m sure you find your Dad’s often ‘with you’ as mine is still with me. When I get a new toy, like my Olympus recorder, I immediately think of my Dad and how impressed he would have been with the technology. There’s only a hint of sadness, but overall it’s comforting just having him in my thoughts. From what you wrote it seems you will always have that special connection too.

  6. Bill Deys says:

    If he was anything like his Son we’d all have loved him!

  7. Mark says:

    That photo is fantastic. It says so much. Your dad looks like he was quite the character, fun and focused on enjoying life to the fullest at every moment. The expression, his eyes, the eyebrows and the sly smile all say so much.

    Knowing the kind of person you are, Bob, I’m certain it would have been a lot of fun and enlightening to sit around in a living room or around a kitchen table with your dad, talking about technology, podcasting, whatever.

    Thanks for sharing your memories and the photo.

  8. Valerie says:

    “The absence of suffering was pure joy.”

    It *is* pure joy. That’s the goal of Buddhism.

    Now my dad’s on my right in my awkward Ikea chair he claims as his when he comes, half-watching Bill Moyers’ Journal with me. Mom is on my left, snoring on the couch.

    Since we all took the train across the country in 2002, I’ve worked harder on asking the questions. I was fortunate enough to ask some of them in a podcast a few months ago. The asking questions will never be complete. It can’t distract anyone from what is most important: the moment, every moment, maybe doing something like trying to play video card games. So you did good.

    Thank you for sharing. It was a privilege to see.

  9. Julien says:

    He looks like a funny guy, liked to make jokes kind of thing. 🙂

    Good post Bob. It’s cool you put this up.

  10. Bob says:

    thanks all for the feedback.. At first I felt strange about putting this post up, but it felt good to share that with you, and your reactions rewarded my risk – thanks!

    And yes, my sense of humour comes from him, he was very much the joker, and his ability to laugh at life is one of the beautiful gifts he left me.

  11. Steve H. says:

    Wow, Bob, this is such an awesome post on so many levels. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. Allen says:

    That is a great photo of your dad Bob. 10 years goes by so fast. I remember meeting your dad for the first time at your house when we were just kids. He was at the kitchen table having a smoke with your mom. Seems like just a few years ago, not 28 years…

  13. Eden Spodek says:

    What a lovely post. Your dad would be proud of you. No one wants to watch their loved ones suffer. I’ve been there and understand your reaction and your honesty.

  14. Myrna says:

    Bob, What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I know that he would be so proud of the responsible young man, the good husband and wonderful father that you have become. You will always honour his memory by just being a GOOD person.

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