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A Bit of Burgos by Dale Burgos


by Dale Burgos

Elizabeth & DaleWe all have them – significant times in our lives that we celebrate or remember to our dying day. I have a few milestones in my life. How many do you have?

First: an observation. In the US, they spell colour without the ‘u’. What about the pronunciation of “roof.” The way they say it, it sounds like “ruff.” Seriously, we live on pretty much the same plot of land separated by an invisible border, why are we so different? Which brings me to my thought. In Canada, should we call milestones “kilometrestones,” instead? I may be on to something here…

My earliest memory, or milestone, is of me trying to walk. It first started out as a dream where I struggle to stand up, but my legs would not cooperate. I remember stumbling, trying to reach a ball, and as soon as I get close, someone pulls the ball away. I believe it is because of the feeling of helplessness and frustration that this memory is etched in my brain.

Depending on whom you ask, a dream therapist could suggest that these dreams are normal and that the dream actually means that I am currently struggling with something in my life. On the flipside, articles online could tell me that the dream actually means that I’m hungry for a Fatboy burger from VJ’s Drive In on Main Street. Whom do I believe? For me, I know it isn’t a dream, because after delving deeper into my memory, I see my dad is the one pulling the ball away– and laughing. (Thanks, Dad). I eventually get the ball – that was my first milestone.

Another significant moment for me was my 16th birthday. This represented a time of my life where I could finally get a taste of freedom – I got my driver’s license! My dad brought me to the McPhillips Street MPI centre. I remember nailing my parallel parking and getting only three demerits on my first attempt at a road test. I was going for a perfect score, but seriously, I was just glad I didn’t fail. That very same day, I picked up a couple friends and took the car out for a spin. I needed gas, so I pulled into the ESSO on Jefferson. I got a bit excited and overturned the steering wheel causing my front driver’s side tire to drive over the curb beside the gas pump. Embarrassing yes, but did I care that my friends laughed at me? Nope; because they didn’t have their licenses yet. So there!

I would be remiss (and in serious trouble) if I didn’t mention the day I met my wife, Elizabeth. I remember my heart skipped a beat that day. That was 18 years ago! Married a few years later and still making memories. So many, in fact, we need to keep a journal.

The births of the little Burgos kids were easily my next milestone memories. Dale Jr. in 2003, Gavin in 2004 and Bella in 2006 – all Winnipeg babies, who were born at St. Boniface Hospital. My memory has been a bit jumbled up and I have forgotten which precious moments belong to which kid, as they entered into this world. Thank goodness for video cameras!

This year, Dale Jr. celebrates his 16th birthday. Will he be getting his driver’s license? Will he do better on his first attempt of getting gas with his friends than I did almost 30 years ago? Maybe that will be one of his kilometrestones.

Dale manages the communications department for a school district in B.C.

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