My father, Clyde Mitchelmore Jr.

My father, Clyde Mitchelmore Jr., left this world on September 17, 1999, he was just 38 years old. It is approaching 14 years since this life altering day. Now at 27, I have spent more than half my life without his guidance, the ability to learn his many talents and share with him life’s successes and failures.

Dad - The Loving Father. Giving me a shoulder ride, as we walk the beach with my sister

Dad – The Loving Father. Giving me a shoulder ride, as we walk the beach with my sister

Today, I reflect on his life, through photos, his journal and other memories in which I hold dear. My father was the sixth of eight children born to Clyde and Rhoda Mitchelmore of Green Island Cove.  He was very young when he fell in love with my mother in the 1970’s. They shared almost 20 years of marriage before his untimely death.

My father was a teenager when my sister was born. He took his responsibilities as a father very seriously and went to college in St. Anthony to further his skills as a carpenter. He worked hard and built a home for my mother, sister and soon a son – I was to arrive in the Fall of 1985! We certainly lived modestly, but we were very happy, because we had each other.

My dad always made time for me, whether it was my little wooden boat for the yard puddles, the ‘horse’ or ‘piggie’ back rides, pulls on my sleigh that resembled a ski-doo, tailing rabbit snares in the woods, making a Dennis the Menace sling shot, homemade ring toss, wheel barrel, bow and arrow or using up most of his lumber to build me a basketball court. He also made the best snow tunnels and houses. Dad could do it all! He helped with perfecting that pirate beard for Halloween or designed the Matthew, which would undoubtedly win the bicycle decorating contest in 1997.

Division No. 9, Subd. C-20130616-02110

Dad was a small boat fishermen – he built his own flat bottom boats and took me with him cod fishing in 1999. One day off Labrador, I let the big one get away as I was a real “greenhorn” with the gaff and likely not to follow in my father’s footsteps as a fisher. However, his journal recordings show that I did pull in more than 450 lbs that day. Those days on the water were good – I hope never to forget them. From the ‘lassy bread, Big Turk Bars and other goodies in our beef bucket lunch pail, to the 4 AM wake-up calls and long days. One evening, I must have been deeply dreaming of jigging as I perched up on the sofa and started pulling on the lines, back and forth as I rocked back and forth.  I must get that trait from my mother. 🙂

Now, Dad had his routine habits, which included the nap after supper daily and the nightly visits to “mother and father’s house, Tuesday night darts, plaid shirts, movies on ASN and keeping records of all the NHL hockey play-off games before the Internet was there to keep the records. His journal records show he paid attention to weather, daily events and his family. There are many mentions of how I did on a test or my report card. He also loved golf.

He even designed his own driving range on the front of the house.  He likely would have kept driving those balls, but the net didn’t always catch them and he likely didn’t want to risk breaking a windshield of passing traffic as some balls bounced off the nearby Route 430 asphalt. He would have loved the Newfoundland themed golf-course I designed that my Uncle Dan & his crew built for Flower’s Island Museum in summer of 2003. One of the last journal entries he wrote in August 1999 had a line “Christopher beat me at mini-golf today, it won’t happen again” and he was right, it never did.

My father had so much talent, he could build anything – he made snowshoes and bark-tanned sealskin to make traditional seakskin boots.  He even liked to sing, especially during Christmas visiting. One thing for certain, I don’t think anyone in our family of four were blessed with hitting any high notes.

I look up to my father – remember him as honest, hardworking and diplomatic. I only hope to conduct myself in a similar way of being fair to people and helping out where possible.

Before Dad left for his last journey fishing in Nain, Labrador he said to me, “you are the man of the house now, so be sure to help your mother – be sure to take out the garbage and help with the chores”.  At that moment, I had no idea that would be the last time I would ever see him again.

As a family, we moved forward together. I want to thank all my friends and family for helping me through such difficult times and being there for me, to support me in any decision I made, whether to start a business, travel  overseas or enter a political race. Life is not always easy. We all face challenges, struggles, regret and loss. Life is also about the happier times, when we celebrate a milestone, a birthday, wedding, enjoy a great vacation or learn a new skill.

On Father’s Day, take time out to spend with your father in person, over the telephone, via Skype, at a cemetery or in your memories. Family is certainly a cornerstone of our lives and society – let’s not forget this!

Thinking of you today and always Dad.

With love –

Christopher Clyde Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

About Live Rural NL

I am a youth living in rural Newfoundland & Labrador that will share stories of culture, tradition, heritage, business, travel, geography and other posts relating to any rural. I completed a Bachelor of Commerce Hons. (Coop) degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador. I currently live and work on the Great Northern Peninsula, where I was born and raised. However, I have lived and worked internationally and travelled to more than 30 countries around the globe. On October 11, 2011 I was elected the youngest Member to Represent the people of the Straits -White Bay North in the Provincial Legislature of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Posted on June 16, 2013, in Community Economic Development and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. BEAUTIFUL WORDS CHRISTOPHER. I WAS BLESSED TODAY TO HAVE TALKED TO MY DAD ON FATHERS DAY FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ON SKYPE ALL THE WAY FROM ALBERTA TO SAVAGE COVE. I THINK IT MADE HIS DAY. I KNOW IT MADE MINE. YES, DO TAKE THE TIME TO TALK TO YOUR FAMILY YOU SURE DON’T KNOW HOW LONG THEY’LL BE WITH YOU ITS THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE THAT MEAN THE MOST AND YOU’LL ONLY GET ONE MOM AND DAD….<3

    • Thank you for your comment. Skype is a wonderful invention, I have been using it to talk to my sister in Idaho. It is better than a telephone, with the video chat. Family is truly the cornerstone of our lives and society. Glad you and him had such a wonderful day.

  2. Wicked Christopher .How we all feel the same about our dads .my dad died 21 years now .im happy today because I had him for my father,my friend my guidance .and so on .HAPpy fathers day to every man whose a dad and loves his children like the blood through his vains .thats how Dad loved us 🙂 .

    • Thanks Donna for making the comment. It is important to be happy of the relationships and time you had with a loved one. We have been quite fortunate to have fond memories.

  3. Hi Christopher, This is truly a beautiful post and it is sad that you lost your dad at such a young age. I am sure he would be very proud of all that you have accomplished. You are right everyone should make time for family just as your father did. I am 73 years old but will never forget my father who passed away in 1974 at the age of 95. There is a link on my facebook page to a tribute that I have written. I have three grown sons and I heard from all three today. It is a blessing to know that you are not forgotten especially by family. Be fair to people and make life a little better for someone whenever you can – it appears that is what your father would have hoped for you. Blessings.

    • Hi Mose – Thank you for taking the time to make a comment on the blog post which is a tribute to my father. Your father enjoyed quite a long life. You are certainly right, about how important it is to make time for family. Glad you have such a close connection with your sons. Hope all is well and God bless!

  4. Christopher you have described your Dad to a T , He was an amazing man and left no doubt the love he had for his family

  5. Shannon Reardon

    Chris, that was truly moving. Your father sounds like he was a wonderful man and there is no question that you have inherited his drive and good nature. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. Enjoyed reading every word.

    • Thank you Shannon for taking the time to comment on my blog posting about Dad. He certainly was a wonderful person and definitely a hard worker. I only hope to be able to carry his good nature and love for life as I advance through life. Hope you have a great summer.

  6. Chris, This was a very touching story. You remine us that Family is so important and let us not forget where we come from.Because all of our mom’s and dad’s are so special to us. because we only get one mom and dad.So enjoy every minute you spend with family.

  7. An absolutely beautiful tribute to your Dad, Christopher. The cold shivers as I read through just grew and grew. I remember your Dad very well and he was a wonderful man, I’m so glad you have such warm memories. Hold onto them! I’m still lucky enough to have Dad with me and I try to make those beautiful memories every opportunity I get. I’m sure you’re Dad is smiling down on you and is very proud of the man you have become.

    • Thank-you Darlene for taking the time to comment. I will certainly hold on to the memories of my father and continue to hear new stories of Dad from others. Enjoy the time you have with your father, family is happiness.

  8. Joy Byrde(Genge)

    Hi Christopher~Thanks for sharing those beautiful words about your Dad~obviously he was a wonderful man & you have inherited his caring ways.I did not know your Dad personally but did hear lovely stories about him from your Aunt Iris~Cherish your wonderful memories & surely he is very proud of the man you have become & all you are doing to keep our rural areas alive & well. God Bless

  9. As you know Christopher,I knew your Dad very well,playing Rook with him on Saturday nights, I still miss him even after 13 years, he would have been so proud of what you and your sister accomplished,I know this time of year brings back painful memories,so I will be thinking of you all

  10. Chris your writing is very touching & moving. In the 8 or so short years I knew your dad I developed the utmost respect for him. He was a great individual & certainly a great dad

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