My dad turned 60 two days before my wedding. His birthday was overshadowed by my big day, but my dad never wanted anything to be about him. His focus in life was his wife and his children. He was happy to let his birthday go by without celebration. We surprised him at our reception with a cake for his birthday. I love the look on his face as he was surrounded by his family. He was looking at my mom in surprise as if to say, "Did you know about this?"
Seven years later our family is different. My brother and I both have children. My youngest brother is now married. We have new homes, new jobs, new responsibilities. In the last days of my dad's life we were blessed with time to talk to him and leave nothing unsaid. Right now I can't remember everything that we said. We just talked. If you know our family that's what we do. Talk. Generally very loudly.
I hope we told him that he raised an amazing family. I hope we told him that we owe all of our success to him and our mom. I hope I told him that I am so glad he got to meet his grandson. I hope I told him that I am so proud to be just like him.
Every day should be a celebration. I know it's hard. I know life bogs you down, and it feels like too much. But it could be the last birthday, the last dinner, the last time you're together. Today my dad would've turned 67, and as sad as I feel, I will celebrate. I'll wear a cocktail dress and sequined heels. I'll drink champagne. I'll raise my glass to Dad and thank him for the ability to do all of these things. Happy birthday, Dad. Thanks for the reason to celebrate.
|My all-time favorite picture with Dad|