Sportspage Editorial: Thanks Dad.
Updated On: July 19, 2012
The Ottawa Sportspage will be down its #1 newspaper delivery man for the next few months. My dad, Paul Plouffe, is headed in for heart surgery probably as this paper is being printed.
It’s as routine as it gets for an operation dealing with the central organ, but it’s provided me with the incentive to pay a long overdue tribute to a man who’s got more heart than anyone I know – even when it’s not pumping at full steam.
Yes, I absolutely could not tell you about the countless ways he’s helped out the Ottawa Sportspage in practice. Every time I call asking for help, there’s no need to even hear the answer. He’s been there every step of the way – from building signs for newspaper racks, to purchasing and constructing plastic stand covers, and of course driving around the city to deliver the paper each month (I swear that gas money is coming soon, by the way.)
But what I’m even more thankful for is the lessons he’s taught me throughout life that have helped me along in this new endeavour.
My dad has provided inspiration from so many angles. First, he’s moulded my life passions, most notably for sports, of course.
I had a ball for just about every sport growing up, and somehow he didn’t kick me out even though I put just about every one of them through a wall or window during Ultimate Sports Tournaments in our living room and dining room.
He coached my minor hockey team every year. He took me to Riders, Lynx, Renegades, 67’s and Sens games. I don’t think there’s anything I enjoy more than sharing the moment together when we’re jumping arm in arm after a big playoff goal.
Simply put, my dad built the drive that makes the Sportspage chug along.
But I think even more inspirational to me is the spirit my dad shows in life. Maybe the #1 thing he’s imparted on me is that if you’re not pleased about something, it’s your job to change it.
I’ve seen him demonstrate this countless times by producing the willpower to make significant life-changing decisions that others would shy away from. Like quitting smoking when I was young, taking early retirement, and living a healthier lifestyle in recent years. These are all moments that I’ve felt so proud of my father.
And there’s also his personality traits. Staying calm and maintaining a positive outlook at all times are two main ones.
That’s how he’s approaching his surgery – no big deal, let’s get it done and move on with life. I guess it’s not so tough when he’s got that carrot dangling of being able to lace up his skates again once they fix up his ticker better than ever.
This isn’t a farewell, old man, not at all. It’s just time to catch up on a couple messages I don’t repeat nearly often enough: Thank you. And I love you.