Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

It's my Dad's birthday today. Happy Birthday Dad. The only thing is...he's been gone for 37 years now. He would have been 69 today. I miss him.

I was eight when he died. He had a brain tumor and had survived his surgery, only to hemorrhage a few days later. He left my mom with 5 children, ranging in age from 12 to 6 months.

I like to focus on the good memories. My Dad was the best! He was full of life and made every single day fun! I remember the warm summer evenings when he would be outside with all the kids in the neighborhood, playing kick ball. He was so competitive!

He had horses too. There was one special day when he took only me to ride. A couple of boys who lived across from where he kept his horse, ran over and asked for rides. But my special Dad, said he was sorry, but this day was for his daughter.

Another sweet memory, are the times when I would wake up scared in the night, and Dad would hold me on his lap, play with my hair and tell me I was his "pretty" girl. I felt so safe!

I often think about how differently my life would have been if my Dad had lived. My heart aches when I see grown women with their fathers. They're so lucky.

His birthday has always been especially hard for me. My birthday is tomorrow. As a child, we would share a cake. And share our birthday. And it meant so much to me. What makes it worse, is our birthdays fall in the week of Father's Day. It makes me miss him all the more. Today, as I have done for several years, I will bake a cake. For both of us. And I will talk to my dad, share my life and my worries. And I know he will hear me. And I will feel him close.

Daddy, if you see me, please know how much I love you. I am proud of the person you were. Because of you, am the the person I am.

I miss you, Daddy.

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