Germain family keeps memories of dad alive
Since their dad’s passing in November of 2008, Father’s Day hasn’t been the same for the Germain family.
Guy Germain was a well-known community figure and was serving as a Town of St. Paul councillor at the time of his death. Although he is no longer with them, Father’s Day remains an important day for Guy’s three daughters, Chantal, Renee and Tracey, and his wife, Carolyn, as they make a special effort to gather for a meal over the Father’s Day weekend.
One of Chantal Sadlowski’s most vivid memories about her dad is the Sunday morning breakfasts he would cook up for his family, and for his daughters’ friends who had spent the weekend at the Germain home.
“My friends would be sure that they stayed over on a Saturday night because in our house, the more the merrier,” said Sadlowski. “The classic country music and dad humming and singing along was a wake-up call I will never forget.”
Her father was a family man. Whether it was making Sunday morning breakfasts, playing baseball in the backyard, evening drives around town, or coaching the kids’ baseball teams, he was always doing something with his girls. “I knew on Friday evening at about 4:30 p.m. the phone would ring, dad on the other end saying, ‘it's my turn to cook.’ I always knew that meant dad (was) coming home with a bucket of chicken from KFC or he was making homemade pizza,” she recalled.
Now with two children of her own, Sadlowski makes a special effort to create similar memories in her home, “because it is one of my most treasured memories.”
Sadlowski says that her dad’s “devotion and love towards his family was endless,” and this too is something she hopes to pass down to her own children.
The first summer after her father passed away, the annual Germain family reunion seemed a little empty without Guy, who was known as the “beanbag champion.” So, Sadlowski and her sisters decided to organize a beanbag tournament, in honour of their dad.
“It was such a great idea and made us feel so much closer to dad,” says Sadlowski. “My sister Renee has still not stopped bragging because she won that day.”
Sadlowski says her dad “loved his community, as much he did his family,” and he was always working to make people happy and was proud to live in St. Paul. He became a well-known face around town and sending him out on a quick errand to grab milk usually took an hour because he would run into people he knew wherever he went.
“We quickly learned that if we needed something quickly, we better take matters into our own hands,” says Sadlowski, later adding her dad was always there to offer advice or lend a hand, no matter what the task.
“I am still approached by many, telling me how a great a man he was,” she said.
Germain passed away when Sadlowski was 26, and although she is grateful for the time she had with her dad, it wasn’t long enough. Over the Father’s Day weekend, she, along with her sister Renee and mom will take time to pay a special visit to Guy’s grave.
Sadlowski encourages everyone to celebrate their fathers and “always tell them that you love them,” and have fun. One of the most important things her dad taught her was to laugh. Even if they were having a bad day, Guy would always find a way to make his daughters laugh.
“I was blessed with almost 26 years with my dad, definitely not long enough but wonderful memories were made in those years, memories that I pass onto to my children every single day,” she said. “I only hope that everybody is as blessed with a wonderful dad like I had.”
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