Today is my father’s birthday. I miss his sense of humor and his wise counsel. When I see how many people live well into their 90s (my dad would be 93 today) I feel a certain longing I cannot adequately put into words. To think I could have had him in my life another 28 years seems unfathomable. To think he would have met all six of my grandchildren and all of his great-grandchildren is overwhelming. I wonder how lives might have been altered had he been a continued presence in our lives. But those are idle wishes of a daughter still missing her father after all these years.
Dad was not perfect by any means. I know that and he knew that. Still, he was such an important force in my life. It is his advice that rings in my ears even today. Perhaps he was not special to everyone, but to me he was everything.
My Dad always had hope. Even in the worst of times, he believed things could be better. I am not here to talk about those times — not here, not yet, not on his birthday. I am here to celebrate a once in a lifetime relationship that I know not all people experience. I wonder what he would have to say about the current world situation? He was a man of extreme faith and I think it saw him through a lot. I think he would have found hope and comfort that many of us are searching for.
Dad had the deepest voice, a loud belly laugh and an infectious smile. He was lighthearted when he wanted to be and stoic when the situation required it. I miss him terribly — on this day especially.
So, Dad, Happy Birthday. You are never far from my thoughts. I still talk to you. I tell you about your six great-grandchildren. They would have loved you. From almost three to eighteen and ready to take on the world, they are quite the crew.
I know you knew how much I loved you and I knew how much you loved me. There was never a question of that in either of us. In so many ways, I wish you were here even if just for a chat on the phone and to sing Happy Birthday. All you ever wanted for any of us was love, health and happiness.
I hope we make you proud.