Tag Archives: dad

Memento: “Bobless” at Experience Music Project, Seattle / 2001

Memento: “Bobless” on stage at Experience Music Project, Seattle / 2001

In 2001, three of my four brothers and Dad gathered in Seattle (some of us came from Olympia WA, others down from Surrey BC) for some activities including a visit to the Experience Music project which is a sort of interactive museum at Seattle Center.

Amongst all the fine exhibits is/was a “live concert simulator” in which you are announced on to the stage with lights and crowd and play along in a kind of *deluxe karaoke* of sorts / with if I recall correctly ” twist and shout”. Really quite fun. 

Brother Bob wasn’t in attendance so, we called our band “Bobless” which has become sort of our de facto codename for events and activities in which Bob is elsewhere.

Related: brother Dan and I were charter members of the Experience Music Project and received a special piece of tile as an artefact to commemorate this membership I will share this elsewhere in this archive at some point, probably/maybe.

Items: assorted / luggage tags, woggles, keychain

Items: assorted / luggage tags (including Vancouver Grizzlies), woggles (including CJ81), keychain (feat Lorne Olson)

Ichiro: arrived!

And then, Everything Changed.

Ichiro has landed. He’s perfect & adorable / born 6/23 16:24 jst 3064g / photos to follow. 藤田良子 / Ryoko is a champion.

Grateful for your support & kindness. Hoorah.

PS Best song about being born maybe. What else ya got?

Ichiro: Waiting (with intentions) 23.6

Ryoko, 21.6.2020 at Grandpa Ichiro’s ohaka

 Good morning from a cottage in Japan with an update to say “no update per se“. Thanks for all your sweet notes and good vibes… I’m eating all the snacks and hanging out with our rabbit, scribbling in journal and completely excited…

Ergo:

I want to wear matching outfits with him, I want to write books for him, I want to teach him all about his ancestry, I want to turn him on to all sorts of music and books, I want to be the dad who welcomes him and pals home from school with snacks and hang out space, I want to support him on anything and everything he wants to do, I want to let him be whoever he wants to be, I want to be an example of kindness, empathy, intrepidness, courage, and sweetness. I want to introduce him to so many cultures and ways of life and be an example of respect, tolerance, advocacy and friendship.

I have stacks of maps and globes and art supplies and so many musical instruments and no TV. We have soft places to rest and projects going everywhere from pickles to paintings.

I will (try to) always be present, (almost) always put his needs first and prepare him for a wonderful life with patience & unconditional love.

His mother is magnificent, sunny and happy every day of this journey, full of energy and ideas… Until yesterday working in the garden, making things on the sewing machine, playing piano and singing for him, reading nonconventional texts about taking the best care of him, going slow, staying calm, eating well and… Yesterday we even had a dance in our tiny kitchen. Hooray dopamine.

Btw, Contractions started yesterday late afternoon (JST) so, as we measured the interval time, I made her a classic “japanese standard” dinner before taking her to the hospital… (hearty miso with daikon, brown rice, salted plum, pickled carrots, kimchi, grilled salmon, edamame) / noting: I will be that dad who makes the cutest bento lunches for the kid!

Oh, & I might have to invent my own alternative scouts organization to organize mellow camp outs at the goat farm / “no badges, no saluting, just good times“#WeedScouts

So… Here’s a picture of amazing Ryoko two days ago at paternal grandpa Ichiro’s nearby grave asking for a little bit of support. A bit of a talisman as of course during the pregnancy, we haven’t been out and about but take frequent walks to go clean his grave, light incense and talk about the beauty of it all. Yes, complete life reinvention.

PS As it all goes, maternal grandmother who is 88 and full of laughter goes in for a surgery today… World keeps on spinning spinning spinning.

All the vibes all the vibes #Grateful #Patience

Now I need another coffee and to go hang up the umeboshi in the sun. 

Dad, 6 years gone / brief notes

Changing topics from Nagasaki to Olympics to… Dad. Well he’s gone 6 years today.

On my mind so much as now i am bound to be a Dad in June.

His last weeks are hard to reflect upon. Not just the heart hurting but all the toll it took just living through the process on someone dying. The physical and emotional strain was well… a lot. Cancer, ugh. Have we not raised enough money, enough research, enough science yet? Learned on Christmas Day, was gone before Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a snap of us January 26, 2014. He looks rough but so positive and strong during the stretch run – He was fun and kind. So much respect. Thanks to all of you who supported us with kind words during that time. (Also, a thumbs-down to those who decided his funeral was a good time to give me grief, you are lame).

Peace to you and your kin. Good health for all. Boo cancer, yeah fun times.

++
My brother James adds:

My brother Dave Olson expresses so many sentiments on the anniversary of my dad’s passing (6 years+1 day) so well that I figured that I would just share what he said and add a thought …

A THOUGHT: As his ever-wise fourth son, it was easy to find “flaws” in my dad, as it was to pick out things he was really great at as a dad and good human. As a dad now, not repeating some of those flaws is actually pretty easy but replicating the great stuff is actually really hard.

I am a way grouchier presence in the house than he was (ask my poor kids!); his optimism pertaining to people and things was most often beyond commendable (he saw good and potential way more clearly than I can); he didn’t always need people to rush, rush, rush (“Hurry up!” seems to be my favourite refrain); and the list goes on.

I take solace in knowing that he evolved into many of those qualities and ways of being and I have some time. 

Christmas flashback variety pack with young Olsonboys

Brothers in robes: Dave, Bob, Dan and James in Surrey (Guildford, 154th St)

In preparing to enjoy Christmas 2019, i raided the archive of scanned slides which dear Mother diligently created (fortunately before her untimely passing) for a few to share with brothers.

In particular, brother James’ kids who received monogrammed robes from Ryoko and I for gifts, and also participated in various plays telling Christmas-related stories – both similar to these offerings.

Brothers in robes: Bob, Dave, James, Dan and Andrew in Surrey (Whalley 95th Ave)

Continue reading Christmas flashback variety pack with young Olsonboys

Artifact: Resume of Lorne H. Olson (aka Dr. O)

When going through my late Mom’s archive of documents, ephemera, photos, letters etc, came across this beautifully executed resume for my late Dad. The two were divorced after this time and very different people in general.

This document shows the collaboration from my parents as my Mom’s fingerprints are all over the layout and design. I would thing that this is well before digital desktop publishing but the typefaces and precise layout make me wonder the workflow. Anyhow…

Notably the multi-page dossier took me back to a time when the family was intact, before the rather tumultuous times which followed: Dad is smiling, has a Ed.D (Doctorate of Education which begat his nickname “Dr. O”) to his credit, and was fresh out of a few notable university gigs at Michigan State University (Lansing) and University of British Columbia (Vancouver) after earning his degrees at University of Oregon (Eugene) and BYU (Provo).

I see out last family address and phone number and the names of my brothers which allow me to date-stamp to probably 1981-3.

As it goes, he soon switched careers going into real estate sales (as Mom had recently done) at which he was diligent and successful by most any measure except some emotional categories. He also taught real estate licensing classes relying on his education education.

He died of cancer in February 11, 2014 at age 73.

Happy Birthday Flashback for Dad, Lorne H. Olson, 2018

Happy Birthday Dad

Lorne Harold Olson AKA Dr. O

Dec. 1, 1941 (Winnipeg) ~ Feb. 11, 2014 (Surrey)

As seen at the (awkwardly inaccurately named) Old Indian Wishing Well of Capilano, circa 1976.

Dad’s Malibu Super Sport – Postcard #65

Dad's Malibu Super Sport – Postcard #65

When I was growing up, Dad often spoke of his Chevy Malibu SS – his favourite car.  So, while on his death bed, I asked him to tell the story. He speaks about acquiring the vehicle, the budget, the deal, the financing terms and oh, also about the car and how he enjoyed having a reliable and cool vehicle as a young married man creating a life, after growing up poor in Regina, Saskatchewan, then heading off to BYU in Utah. The story is interrupted by a nurse bringing lunch and news. He died 10 days later.

Indulge me by listening to: Dad’s Malibu Super Sport – Postcard #65 (78MB, 12:08, ,mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Dad’s Malibu Super Sport – Postcard #65

Notes about Jogging and Lions on Father’s Day

I tried to avoid paying attention to today
However signs are everywhere
In chalk and pen and bits
Unavoidable to even at the most diligent
So I’ve turned you black and white
So I don’t remember you as yellow

Read a story about a 13-year-old girl running marathons after training six days a week
Reminded me of you and I,

Jogging six days daily
Loops in Whalley neighbourhoods
We didn’t miss a day for years
Until you caught a cold
Around the school playing field in the rain and darkness
Which, despite the heat, feels like today

Before we knew you were sick
I took you to the Lions game
With a signed jersey
And seats that didn’t suck
Thought you’d like to know
They won on Friday

First Olson girls i ever met

These girls are related to me!!! First Olson girls ive ever known. Super lucky uncle. #love

By the way, they are pointing at a picture of their grandpa, my dad who passed away a year and a half ago.

This photo hangs at my favorite pierogi café on the burrard street and I encourage all of you to go to Maple leaf deli for ridiculous pierogies and cabbage rolls.

I took dad there on a great afternoon walk before we learned about the fcking cancer … The folks are so nice that I gave them a picture of my dad eating cabbage rolls and perogies with a big smile and a thumbs up which has a darn their window since.

#Grateful #DrO

Brother James says: Dave Olson – your girls are representing!

I replied: I’ve looked at this picture 20 times today and only cried about three times.

Death, You are No Stranger

Sometime, as a child
A great uncle, a small suit
Staring into a larger hole
Remembering the smells forever

Sometimes the adults
Something about a black-and-white film star
Or a relative from Norway,
an Auntie from Ireland

Decades wrings life from hard years
Rambling into scenarios of loss
Some who wander are lost
Or get lost, indifferent to finding
Living with absence of fear

Once the guns report
Bullets smash into metal
Skimming past your flesh
You are not in charge

Delicate as we are
Sympathies are few
One by one
They leave

Vague words confuse and deceive
Deceased, passed on, gone
Kindly refrain from mentioning
A celestial birthday

We have no knowledge
Nor choice
Speculation is exercise
For the nervous and ill-informed

Resist the temptation to grieve and bereave
To celebrate & console
Death knows only the past and the future
There is no present tense
Just pain, from time to time.

Hard enough just to eat, brief, sleep, live
They are gone
Perhaps they loved you
Perhaps you loved them
Do not wait to know
There is no answer
Only absence

What legacy do we dream?
Laborious hours of tasks for others
Spawning our own creations
Brought to life for joy and for pain

Or to be warm in the coldest winter
In a land of endless foggy summer
Where the sea reaches out beyond comprehension
and airplanes magically appear from over a dusty hill

Or you, painted jolly with tankard
Hung above the fireplace
Books that open
on a mantlepiece

Or interred in plywood and white
Or abandoned as ashes
Or fertilizing knowledge
Through scalpels and agreements

##

I hold his tiny yellow bald head
Listening to the wheezes
Stopped 3:23 AM
“You must wait one hour to declare”
I clean his chin, lay him down
and close his eyes and mouth

Life in this instant is instinct
And survival
and gently sparing others
From grief and uncertainty

The four stand in a line
On cue, rain falls
We stand til the end — holding on
and watch them shovel and sweep

Then, you might collapse,
you might imbibe, you might justify,
you might pray out
to an imaginary friend

##

One by one, They leave
I remember each
Not for nostalgia or grief
But admiration unspoken

The rough one in leather and muscle cars
and bad decisions, I eagerly complied
Tiny pills at curling rinks
Fights and VW escapes at gas stations

Shaggy haired blonde guitarist
Talked to me like I mattered
13 rosy-cheeked and eager
In green mac jacket like his

The artist, far from home
Often confused and disappeared
Often singing about lusty ladies
and mad experiments in super eight

Long haired city sailor
Young retired from coding
To activism and discretion
Dominos with friends, aneurysm, the end

Ole Gramps and his 67 countries
Nicotine turns to morphine
Me and Uncle Walt
Read him to sleep

Meanwhile in Alabama
The sudden sadness comes, followed by
Deceit, struggle, reprehensible actions
and a litany of notary stamps

Both of the hasheater’s parents
The kind one went to cancer
The blue one, the hard way
I only remember kindness of both

No stranger to hospitals
The doctors’ eyes show bewilderment — and fear
They confer, they draw, they poke
They cannot admit confusion

##

The tsunami warning rings Tuesdays at 10
Would you run? Trampled by the eager and prepared
Or stare the waves down
Twitching legs and bleeding heart

Floods and fires, cold wind and water
Prepare yourself they say with portions and schemes
Or will you choose the present
Leaving sympathies for the past and the future

Do you think you have a choice?
Are you so noble to sacrifice
Running to save the small or the old
With adrenaline and action in your arms
You cannot know
Until the moment of despair

Or will you wait and avoid?
Never consider
Then perhaps
You will be truly
Surprised.