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john.jpgIt is hard to believe that my dad, John Mayhew (Clarence Clifford John Mayhew) is 70 years old today.  I am sad by the fact that I am not able to be with him to celebrate as the miles separate us.

There are so many reasons why I am so proud of my dad and love him so much.  My dad was one of 13 children (6 brothers and 6 sisters).  He was raised in Shawville, Quebec on a farm and spoke only French until he went to school at the age of 5.  After going to school and deciding not to take over the family farm, he moved to Sudbury to work in the Nickel Mine. He met my mom at church and they married and settled in Sudbury, Ontario where my brother and I were raised.  We had a stable up-bringing.  I lived in the same home until I left for University.  My dad always did his best to provide for his family.  There was love, warmth, care and support. 

I always felt like I was the “apple of his eye”.  My dad always made me feel like I was his special little girl. My nick name was “Kimmy” (short form for my middle name Kimberley) and he used it often as a term of endearment.  My greatest childhood memory was when my dad would get off his day-shift from the mine and come and say to me, “Put your helmet on!”  That meant that we were going to go on a motorcycle ride (just the 2 of us).  We would collect pop bottles and bring them to the corner store to cash them in for money to buy candy.  We even have scars on our left knees to remind us of a slight accident we were in where we skinned our knees.  What precious scars!!!

I also remember our Saturday night swims at the pool where I would go on my dad’s back and hold my breath as we tried to go as far as we could under water.  I would always pinch him when I needed to come up for air.  Then we would go home for pizza and smoked oysters with seafood sauce. My mom was always committed to making these family outings happen.

Other special memories are when my dad took me on a special trip to visit prospective Universities, walking me down the isle the day I got married and recently, taking the time and money to visit our family in BAKU, Azerbaijan (he assures me that it was a once-in-a-life-time trip).

I also have appreciated the effort and money that went into building our family’s summer cottage on Manitoulin Island.  It not only holds special memories for me but for my four children as well.

There are so many things I could say and so many memories I could recite but I must say that my dad is the best dad in the world.  He has imparted to me a deep faith in God and his commitment to his faith has been a part of his daily life for almost 50 years.

Dad, I wish you all the best on your 70th Birthday.  I wish I could be there in Markstay just to sit and watch the news with you or take a walk to the barn to feed the animals.  Only 29 more sleeps before we return home for the summer. 

I love you.  Happy Birthday. 

Love, Rhonda

4 Responses to “A Tribute to my Dad–Happy 70th Birthday”

  1. on 21 May 2008 at 5:54 pmRuth

    What a great tribute to your dad. Those are some great memories. May God continue to bless him and give him more healthy and happy years.

  2. on 26 May 2008 at 11:13 pmNannie

    Thank you Rhonda for the wonderful tribute to DAD. He deserves every comment. He has loved you and Greg so much and you have both enriched our lives and been a blessing to us.

    We pray that God will continue to bless you and your family as well as Greg and his family and MAKE YOU A BLESSING!!!

    With much love

  3. on 27 May 2008 at 5:37 pmDarrell Scheepers

    Rev 3: 12 says “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God”. I know that it refers to the church in Philadelphia but to me that sums up your dad. I have had the pleasure of knowing him for just over 3 years now and I know that it is men like him who God uses as pillars in His church. I consider my self very lucky to have a man like him as not only my friend but also as a mentor. I assure you that we at MPC really love your dad and try our best to look after him as best as he will allow us to.

  4. on 08 Jun 2008 at 10:05 pmGail Galer

    Hello Rhonda & David

    So nice to have such good memories of your Dad.

    I also liked the comments that you made about the driving over there, I like driving but I think I might change my mind if I had to drive over there.

    I think of your family often, because I have been diving down your street since sometime last fall. I have a student on that street #171, I drop her off at her grandpa’s.

    Hope to see you soon.
    So long for now Gail Galer

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