Memories of my Dad listed as: True story for adults | Theme: Family| Published here: 01/04/2014
By Stacey Sigurdson | Female, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Before my father died he would repeatedly tell me a story of a real life experience he had when he was about 15 years old. I think he repeated it so often to me because I would ask him to tell me the story again and again. I loved to watch his expressions as he would talk to me and loved to see how dearly the experience was to him.
As he got older he got dementia and would dream the story and wake up with a huge smile on his face and tell me HE shot the bear. Now don't get me wrong, I do not promote animal abuse, but the old way to survive was to hunt.Killing the bear was not his joy. It was the fact he did something he didn't imagine he could or would do, that filled his heart with joy.
My father was an Icelandic man. Both his parents
had come to Manitoba from Iceland. His father worked as a printer on the
Icelandic paper and was in the army. His mother would stay home to tend
to her seven children.
While my grandfather was away at war, my grandmother got sick with Rheumatic fever and died. She was a good mother and hard worker. She caught the illness, I am told, because she would wash clothes and then go outside damp to hang the clothes on the line in the middle of winter to dry.
To make this shorter, both my fathers parents ended up dying and so the kids were dispersed among a few families to be taken care of. My father was to go live on the farm near Arborg with his sister. He slept in the barn on straw with a horse blanket, even in the middle of winter, while his sister slept in the house.
One day his uncle who he was living with took him on a trip up North to Fisher River to log and obtain wood to build a new barn. They went up there by horse and wagon.
When they got there they stayed at a logging camp. One day a group of men road into camp and said they killed a bear on the way into the camp. The story peaked my father's and his friends curiosity. They took a horse and went back down the trail to see what they could see. It was an adventure for my father.
They found the bear and my dad decided to hitch it up to the back of the horse and drag it back to camp for the men. My dad's friend was too scared and wanted to leave it. My dad insisted. His friend ran off. Dad hooked it up to the horse and dragged it back to camp.
When the men saw what he had done they all laughed like crazy and could not believe he had the courage to bring it back to camp. They slapped him on the back and congratulated him. My father was made to feel he did something wonderful by doing that.
They tied it by one leg and hoisted it up on a high pole and skinned it and cut it into bear steaks. There was so much meat they shared it with everyone in camp. All the people were so happy to have fresh meat to eat. My dad said the ladies at camp were so happy they made a big homemade apple raisin pie for him to eat all to himself.
He said he then gave some of the meat to some Indians in camp. He went to the teepees and told him what had happened and said there was enough for everyone, and gave them meat. They were so happy with him, and they found out he was sleeping outside on the ground in the snow with a blanket, that they insisted he sleep in the teepee with them.
My dad said his experience was that it was so nice and warm in the teepee, then changed it to actually hot! But it was something my father never ever forgot. It created such amazing memories for him.
For me I would sit and marvel at his adventures. I loved how he was so kind and generous to people. I loved how brave and good-hearted he was.
My father's memories are some of MY best memories, and I am happy to have shared one with you.
Ms Stacey Sigurdson