(Staying with relatives during a visit to St. John’s for a medical visit years ago, Dad was urged by Mom to bring along pyjamas, for they found that house somewhat cold. Dad normally wore boxers to bed. That night, stumbling to the unfamiliar bathroom half-blind without his glasses, and wearing the unfamiliar ensemble, he came face to face with himself in his pale pyjamas in the full-length mirror and thought there was an intruder approaching. Rushing back into the spare bedroom and shutting the door, he said to my mother, “My God, Vera! What a fright! I just saw a strange fellow out in the hall and he was wearing a karate suit.”)
I was lucky enough to spend time with him over the years, sometimes just the two of us in each other’s company; we enjoyed comfortable silences and felt no pressure to say something just to fill up the space — unless it was something worth saying.
One gloriously starry night, walking the darkened road through his boyhood community of Gin Cove, Trinity Bay, we marvelled at how many stars you can see in the sky when there’s scant artificial light.