Happy Birthday Grampy!

Today would be my Dad’s 65th birthday.  If he were alive I know we’d have a small family birthday party for him with a cake and his favorite meal, complete withgifts and almost a whole day of visiting.  We’d watch him feel and shake his gifts and try to guess what they all were before opening them.  We’d make of video and take photos to capture the memories from the day. 

 If he were still alive.  

The last clear recollection I have of such a day was on his 5oth birthday.  We bought several of the usual over the hill joke gifts and laughed and made a video, a video that I still watch when I struggle to remember the sound of his voice.  He died in November of 2003 and this is the eighth birthday we’ve had to celebrate of his without him actually here.  The first several years we were still grieving and it was more emotional, but gradually it’s shifted to honoring him and celebrating him and the memories we will always have in our hearts and in our photos and videos.  When we talk about him now we are able to smile more instead of fight back tears, or ultimately, cry because he’s simply gone.  Forever.  We can’t make new memories or hug him or kiss him, but we can hold onto the pictures and play the video tape from that 5oth birthday celebration when we need a physical reminder of the time we had with him.

I still write his birthday on the calendar every year.  I talk with the kids about how we can celebrate and acknowledge his birthday and of course we talk about the food and cake and other ways we could honor his memory.  Some of the things we came up with were to make a donation to charity in his name, prepare his favorite meal, bake a cake, plant a tree, visit the cemetery where he’s buried, or flip through photos and maybe watch a video.  We are definitely going to bake a cake (or cupcakes) and since his favorite color is red it makes perfect sense to make a red velvet cake.  We are also going to look at old photographs and hopefully smile and maybe laugh while we all recall some pretty special times. 

Happy Birthday Dad.  Happy Birthday Grampy.  We love you and miss you.  Always.

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