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Bradshaws Blog

A Very Special Father: Finding Inspiration Locally



One of the things I love about working at Bradshaws is that each day is different... This keeps me highly interested in what I do! The other thing I love about being at Bradshaws is making personal connections with our customers. This month we ran a contest for Father's Day and we received many great entries, but one in particular REALLY stood out and made an impact on me as I know it will you...

We asked all of you to send us a picture of your Dads' kitchen knives that he uses at home to prepare meals and to tell us a little bit about why your Dad deserved to win a new chef knife! This letter was sent by one of our entrants: 

"Dear Bradshaws Team,

In most ways that a dad can be exemplary, my dad has been and more! We used to refer to him as Mr. Mom before I realized that this titled enforced societal gender roles. On September 2nd, 2012 my mom passed away from suicide. I was only 14 at the time, but my initial thought was that my life was destined to go downhill. However, looking at my dad and his strength through the situation quickly taught me that I could get myself through this. Ever since then, he has made sure to continually teach me I could get myself through anything. We kept our routine going, and even though my mom was the love of his life, he always made sure I came before his own grief. He made sure he used my mom's death to advocate for mental health (as she always had) and involved himself deeply into projects such as the Huron Perth centre for children's mental health and the United Way. My dad has always been involved in his community, by giving more than he gets out through his job and many other non profit organizations. Despite having always been a charitable, understanding, and patient man, my mom's death made him a better person even though I didn't think it was possible.

Even before my mom died, he was my primary caregiver. My mom's depression rendered her an absent parent mentally, and my dad selflessly managed the household. He cooked, gardened, and cleaned for me and her. His understanding and patience was endless. He was nicknamed a Saint by our close family friends. He always woke me up in the morning and made me breakfast, never failing to be both a good father and mother. I also had ADHD and it was pretty bad when I was a kid, making it harder on the family. My mom's patience would run out fast, but my dad never failed to sit me down and have a good talk about why I would be acting the way I was and how I could fix it, being as gentle, kind, and most of all understanding as ever. He raised me to be a good friend, to question the opinions of others, to be kind and compassionate, and most of all to be disciplined and hardworking.

Hannah and her Dad Ron

Finally, my parents raised me to be a feminist. Having a mother who was a strong empowered woman with an equally strong and important job to match was a big part in forming who I am as a feminist and a woman. However, having a feminist for a father who would except no less from me than my best was even more important in many ways. I have learned to expect respect from men and woman and give respect in return. I have never seen my gender as a barrier because neither of my parents let it be one. My dad would cook new recipes for me in the same kitchen that he asked me to help build with him. His undying support has carried me until university. My mental health came to a tipping point as a result from stress, and my dad being the same supportive person he always was rushed to my aid whenever I needed him. He's definitely the closest thing to a superhero I've ever met!

This is why my dad is so great,
Hannah Shaw"

Many of us have been touched by relatives and friends with mental health issues. Hannah's message affected me deeply not only because I have lost a friend and relative to suicide, but because I am always so inspired by people who are able to overcome situations that seem insurmountable. Her positivity amidst years of struggle and grief truly inspire me. Her ability to put her feelings into words so succinctly at such a young age is impressive. And mostly, the positive connection she has with her Dad is amazing. We are so happy to hear that it is possible to come out of a life altering experience in this way. We applaud Hannah, and we know that her Dad Ron has done an incredible job being a supportive parent and has helped her to become the wonderful person that she is. Congratulations to Hannah for winning this contest and to Ron as well for winning our Zwilling Pro Smart Chef Knife and Cutting Board for Father's Day. May you enjoy preparing many happy and healthy meals together...

Hannah and Ron picking up their prize at Bradshaws!

The Huron-Perth Centre for Children and Youth is an accredited community-based children’s mental health centre that provides assessment and treatment services for mental health concerns for children and youth up to their 18th birthday. Huron-Perth Centre for Children and Youth has been in operation since 1977 and is the Lead Agency for Child and Youth Mental Health for Huron and Perth. It provides consultation and referrals, 'Therapeutic Parenting', trauma  and family/caregiver support. 

To help support the wonderful services offered to our youth in this community, Bradshaws has made a donation to The Huron-Perth Centre for Children and you can too! Volunteer or donate to Huron-Perth Centre for Children and Youth.

Hannah's Mom Janice was past president of the Stratford Zonta Club which awards a bursary annually in her name for a young woman entering the trades. The Janice Bantle Memorial Award ~ Women in Trades Bursary is presented annually for young women entering a recognized skilled trade program. Priority is given to those entering “non-traditional” skilled trades and awarded through the local Zonta Club of Stratford which empowers women through service and advocacy.

This post is dedicated to Hannah's Mom Janice Bantle who would be so proud of her daughter, and to all the great Dads out there like Ron who are selflessly empowering their kids to live productive, happy and healthy lives.