My Dad’s Birthday

December 20, 2007

Today’s my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 88.  It’s been eleven years since we lost him and I still think about him every day.  And each time I do, the memory of him brings a smile to my face.

He was an easy man to love — great sense of humor, terrific smile, infectious laugh.  He became friends with pretty much everyone he met.  He only got to know my older daughter briefly before he died; he never met the younger one.  He would have adored them both, though, and they would have been crazy about him.  He also never got to see any of my books in print, and I think he found it a bit strange that I wanted to spend my life writing what he thought of as fairy tales.  But he would have gotten a kick out of seeing my career progress.  I can see him shaking his head and saying, “They actually pay you to do this?”

He would have been fascinated by cell phones and mp3 players — he loved gadgets.  On the other hand, my siblings and I tried for years to get him to buy a computer and he always refused.  “When would I ever use it?” he’d ask.  To which we’d say, “All the time!”  But we never convinced him.  He would have been disappointed by the baseball steroid scandal.  He would have gotten a kick out of watching Tiger Woods play golf.  And he would have despised this President and his immoral, illegal war.

He worshipped my mother and spent the last few years of his life helping her cope with the illness that eventually claimed her life.  He stuck around for a while after she died, but his heart wasn’t in it.  His father lived to 103 — outlived him, actually.  His mother died at the age of 91.  But without my Mom, Dad barely made it to 77.  Love is a powerful force, and so is grief.

This post isn’t intended to elicit sympathy.  Far from it.  I miss my Dad a lot, but it’s been years since we lost him, and at this point my memories of him are joyous and fun.  Think of this more as a birthday card, and a way for me to tell you a bit about my father.

Happy Birthday, Pop.  I love you.

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One Response to “My Dad’s Birthday”

  1. Jim Coe said

    Very sweet, and right on the money. You read my mind today. I miss him too.

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