Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad...

This is a really silly photograph of my dad. We'd gone up to Tillamook for Thanksgiving in 2007. My folks had moved up there for my dad's new job. They'd never lived that far away from all us kids before. It was difficult for them, but as my mom said later, "It made us rely on each other in new ways that we hadn't for a long time". We'd toured the Tillamook Cheese Factory. My parents had actually been saving this thrilling adventure for when we all got up there--it's a very small town. But back to the silly photo. It's perfect. He was a total ham. He was light-hearted, loved to laugh, was always encouraging, and looking on the bright side of things. He listened. He wasn't perfect, but on the whole, he was a wonderful dad.  

Losing him is always hitting me in new ways. I remember about three weeks after he passed away when it struck me that that was the longest time I'd ever gone without speaking to him. Only I never would again. Now, a little over two years later, I think often about how much he loved me. How he was one of the few people in my life to love me unconditionally, who really knew me, got me and had always been there. Good parents are a gift from the Lord. And my dad was a HUGE gift to me.

We went out to dinner in honor of him last night and shared a few stories about his past birthdays. Most of the gifts we gave were "Best Dad" t-shirts from Montgomery Wards, golf tees and balls, or we'd chip in a little on a new club he'd been eyeing. 

But one year was awful. The worst. I realized around 10:30 at night that I'd completely forgotten to call him on his special day. I felt terrible. By then it was way too late to call because I knew he had to get up incredibly early for work the next morning. The next day I spoke to my mom. NO ONE remembered his birthday. Not one of his kids--and there are four of us. I don't know that I've ever felt worse about disappointing him. I called the next day, only to make it worse, because I felt so bad that I cried on the phone while apologizing and telling him Happy (Belated) Birthday. He was great about it, totally brushed it off, and made it seem like it was no big deal--which as you know how those things go, only made me feel worse!  

My dad would've turned 54 years old today. How I wish he was here so I could tell him how happy I am to honor and celebrate the day he was born! So Happy Birthday Dad! I'm loving you, missing you, and thinking of all the things I'd say if you were still here. 


The Healds said...

I am sitting here crying as I read this special post in honor of your dad's have a way of wording things so perfectly...You're dad was an amazing man!

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