Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dad's Day

Today, March 28, is my Dad's birthday.

He would have been 66 today.

I lost my Dad almost six years ago, and it still hasn't fully sunk in yet.

I wonder if it ever truly will.

I still sometimes think, "Man, Dad will love this movie, I gotta tell him about it."

And then I remember he's gone.

I still sometimes think, "I need to ask Dad how to do this; he'll know."

And then I remember he can't help me anymore.

No more advice, no more jokes, no more exploding cigarettes (I still laugh when I remember him sitting at the table with a dazed expression on his face, little scraps of paper and tobacco still falling out of the air), no more late-night Westerns while we have fried oysters and beer.

But then I remember that my Dad does help me, every day.

The things he taught me are still with me.

My Dad was a Vietnam veteran, and he taught me that when a fight is unavoidable, you stand up and fight for the things worth believing in.

He was man enough to know when not to fight.

He was man enough to cry when his first grandson (the only grandchild he'd ever know) was born.

My Dad taught me to laugh. He had an infectious laugh; when something struck him funny, everyone who was with him ended up laughing, too. No matter what kind of mood they were in.

My Dad taught me to work hard, but he also taught me the importance and sheer joy of goofing off and making other people laugh.

It may never truly sink in that my Dad is gone, and that's ok.

I don't think it's supposed to, and I don't really want it to.

His presence is still very vivid and real to me; not only when I remember the lessons he taught me, or the laughter that he gave me and told me to share, but also when I look at my sons and see that he is very much alive in them.

Dad, I'll always miss you, always. But I'm glad that you're not sick anymore, and it helps when I realize that you may not be here anymore, but you're not gone.

Not in the ways that really matter.

I love you, Dad.

Happy birthday.

1 comment:

  1. What a touching tribute. A great way to keep his memory alive. Thanks for sharing.