Karen and I just spent the weekend up at Dad’s. While I was looking forward to spending time with family and just hanging out with them both, Dad had indicated that there was a special surprise he wanted to share with us. My curiousity was piqued even further when he said that we’d need to join him for breakfast out at Wiarton airport to experience it. Was I going on another plane ride?
So dutiful daughters that we are, we gladly played along. We drove into Wiarton Sunday morning, parked and ascended the stairs up to the Airport Cafe. It was at the top of the stairs where we came face to face with our surprise.
This airport is chocked full of historical aviation paraphenalia. And now, in a prime location, there was one more piece of history, one to which I had a very personal connection. It was a lovely tribute to my deceased Mother. There, in the first covered display case between the stairs and the cafe, was a photograph taken some 60 years before of my Mother, all decked out in her Fort William Girls Pipe Band gear, perched on the cowling between the blades of a Curtiss Helldiver. Beside it there is a short explanation that proudly tells the story of the connection of that photo taken so long ago in a place far away to my Dad and this airport in the Bruce Pennisula.
This little tribute was a glimpse back into war time. It showcased a passion for aviation and most importantly, it proudly proclaimed two of my Dad’s greatest loves… my Mother and aircraft… Dad, I’m so proud of you for doing this, for the love you had for Mom, for teaching us what real love means by example and for creating such a fitting tribute to Mom and sharing it with us.
Of course both Karen and I were touched, but I can only speak for me and admit that my eyes welled, the tears flowed and I just stood there and soaked in the moment.
There in a little airport cafe in Wiarton, I was, indeed, surprised by just how much love, history and connection they could serve up with breakfast!