This is my Dad:
Right there, in the middle, holding onto a prize winning tuna. Weathered skin, salt n pepper hair, prescription sunglasses, same white t-shirt/Wrangler jeans combo he wore for most of my life. Today, November 7, is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 69. I say would have been, because he is not here to celebrate this year. He will not get one year older, he will not answer the phone calls with surprise that we remember, he will not pretend that HE didn’t remember, he will not make a joke about his age. He won’t do any of these things today, on his birthday. Cancer made certain of that almost 2 years ago.
This is a hard day for my siblings and I. Truth be told, everyday has been hard in some way or another since he died. At first, when the loss is fresh and blinding, it’s the big things you think about, the major life moments he won’t be here for: the birth of my first child, the birth of anymore grandchildren, holidays, birthdays (his and ours), my brother’s wedding. But once the pain settles in, becomes a part of you like your heart or a limb, you start to miss the little things, the insignificant minutiae of everyday life that you didn’t even realize was important, until it was gone. Picking up the phone to share a funny story or something you saw on tv, the sound of his laughter when it really got going, the look and feel of his hands, smooth but rough. I miss every single thing about him, and I miss every single way he made my life better.