Good morning my Daughters and Grandchildren,
Today, April 9, 2021, I celebrate 33 years of sobriety. It seems to me that the many suns, the many moons which have passed since then, have brought forth joyful experiences we would not have had if sobriety was absent from my life. So I wonder on this magnificent spring day what would have become of me if I had not vowed in the spring of 1988 to never allow alcohol to ever pass my lips again. I often think also, especially when I find myself in the centre of the grace, the tranquility and the peacefulness of the forest, what would have become of you too, if I had not put alcohol, the great destroyer, down for good. I tried to the best of my abilities to be a good father but I’m aware that recovery from severe alcohol addiction takes time. Eventually, you understood that my support for you, my precious girls and grandchildren, was unconditional. I guess what I’m saying is that I know you would have still turned out to become the proud Algonquin women you are today, no matter what the past did to you. When I look at you today with such amazement and pride, I can’t help but hope I had a role in helping you map out your life in a good way through my love for you and with any inspiration I sent your way.
With each passing season after my sobriety began I realized evermore how important it is for me to leave something behind for my family to remember me by. An estate, a pride in the Dumont family bloodline and the precious memories of family love and solidarity are things which are of utmost importance for you to have from me to you. I give you these things with a sober and loving heart. How spiritually broken I would be if I failed to do so. When I cross over to the land of our peaceful ancestors, I hope to hear an honour song being sung for me. But here too, after I have gone home, I would be very happy indeed if you, my loved ones, feasted me every now and then. Remember at those times how your dad and grandfather made something of his life after alcohol disappeared from his life.
I confess that I am guilty of bringing a great deal of pain and heartache to loved ones while I lived my life as a no-account drunkard. To all those that I wounded somehow, I ask now for your forgiveness. For all those times that I should have been there for you but was not, I express here and now the great regret I feel today for having failed you. Alcohol was a cancer slowly devouring my spirit. It blinded me and made a big hole in my heart. I believed I didn’t have a fighting chance against it. If not for the spiritual beliefs of our Anishinabe ancestors, I would never have been able to conquer alcohol. With the sword of family love I was able to stab it in the heart and watch it with glee as it convulsed in its final death throes.
If I have, through my life, given you the dearest of memories a child could ever have with their dad and grandfather since my sobriety began, then I am truly at peace on this day marking my 33rd year of sobriety. It seems to me that there isn’t a ‘Father’s Day’ in the past where you haven’t given me a card saying ‘To the Best Dad Ever’ and upon reading it (each and every Father’s Day) my heart always filled with pride. Sobriety made it all possible. My love for you is everlasting. Never doubt it for even a minute.
Never but never lose sight of the fact that love and support is always present in this world and in the next one. All you need to is reach out for it.
Your Dad, your Grandfather