I originally posted this last year, and with your indulgence, I’d like to repost it again with a couple of minor updates.
August 17th is my dad’s birthday.
Happy birthday dad.
If you were still with us, you’d be 100 this year.
First you were my daddy. Then, you were my dad. And ultimately, you were my friend, and my advisor.
I loved the relationship we had at each phase along the way, but I cherish when we were friends as adults.
Unfortunately, you left us far too early. You were only 70. That’s only 8 years older than I am this year.
You missed watching your grandchildren grow up. You’d love them dad. They grew up and became such wonderful women and great moms.
And now you have four wonderful great grandchildren – three beautiful little girls, and one fine young man. You’d adore them, and they you.
Chelsie was only a year old when you died. She doesn’t really remember you, of course, but she hung your picture in her bedroom all of her growing up years. For some reason, she insisted that you be there with her.
Dad, you always loved photography, and that’s where I got my interest. Remember, we took some classes together during the time you were struggling with cancer? Those are cherished memories for me, working beside you in the darkroom, watching the magic of images pop up on the paper.
You never got to see me turn that into a career. I wish you had. That would have meant a lot to me.
Dad, you taught me the value of hard work. You worked two jobs much of my growing up years just to support our family. We were never particularly well off materially, but we sure were rich in the things that really mattered.
You taught me the importance of kindness and doing things for others, without a thought for the impact on you. At one time or another, you took in three of my cousins, and took care of them for an extended period of time. One, we even turned into my brother, for which I’m eternally grateful because had you not adopted him, I’d have been an only child.
You’d be very proud of him, dad. He’s so much like you in so many ways. You and mom did well with both of us.
You dealt with your illness with such grace, and you never once complained about it. It even brought you and mom closer together. I’ll never forget that time in your life. It was a time we could all pay back just a little all the care you took of us. Even being sick, you still got great joy from your grandchildren, and from life in general.
Dad, there isn’t a day goes by I don’t think of you. You left a wonderful mark on the world, and your footprints on the hearts of many different people.
Happy Birthday Dad. And though I don’t remember saying it much when you were alive – I love you.