When I asked readers to send in photos for our Father's Day issue, I expected the usual - father of the bride photos, father-daughter fishing photos, dad mowing the lawn photos. What I didn't expect was to be transported to far away places - Afghanistan, Iran, Czechoslovakia, Korea - and learn that a father's love is universal.
One image - and the amazing story that came with it - grabbed me. This story, from reader Al-Karim Walli in Calgary, reminded me of the lengths fathers - literally across continents - will go to for their families, the bonds that bind us all together, and how proud I am to be Canadian.
From Al-Karim Walli, Calgary:
This was taken October 6th 1976, on the side of a highway in Austria: My courageous dad had us embark on this road trip from Pakistan to Spain, where he had been told we could get a visa to Canada. The trip took us through parts of Central Asia, the Middle East, as well as virtually all of Europe from East to West.
We had a roll over in Iran, a transmission failure in France, a fender-bender that resulted in my dad being put into a holding cell in Czechoslovakia, a gas lantern blow up while camping in Spain, and more - but throughout, a path out and a helping hand was always there for us And indeed, in March of 1977, we arrived in Canada and have been proud Canadians ever since.
Here, we were celebrating my sister's birthday (she is cutting her cake, flanked by my other two sisters and mom behind them) and you can see our VW Kombi in the background with all of our belongings on top.
My dad was born June 15th 1934, the anniversary of which will always be Father's Day in my heart.
He passed away June 1st, just hours after I submitted this photo. He will always be my hero – the memory of my dad, the adventurer that got us to this wonderful country and without whom we would not have survived, is all the more powerful now.
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