Happy Birthday, Dad


Its funny how the more things change, help the more they stay the same. Last year I wrote a post to my dad on his birthday. Today is his birthday again, so I wanted to update last year’s letter.

Here we go:

Dear Dad,

Another year has passed, and now for the second time in my life, you aren’t here to celebrate your birthday. Lots has been going on since you left last year. I told you about a lot of it in the letter I wrote on your last birthday. Since then we had a little boy join our family. Last year at this time, we still thought we were going to be having a girl. I’m sure you thought that was pretty funny, tweaking the ultrasound so it looked like a girl. Boy were we surprised in the operating room when the baby was born! (Pun intended; I thought you’d appreciate that one, Dad.) Life has been crazy yet amazing with a little boy. You know, he is just like you in a lot of respects: he loves a party. If he should be going to sleep, but he can sense that something more fun might be going on around him, he’s all for the party. He can be feeling kind of crummy (he is teething; four teeth simultaneously) but as soon as he sees a new face, he is all smiles and giggles. (Actually, he makes this parenting thing look pretty easy.)

And like last time I wrote, Christina is expecting again. We haven’t told tons of people yet, but I guess the cat is out of the bag. She is due in March, though I kind of hope the baby will come early and be born on Leap Day, Feb 29th (can you pull a few strings for us that direction?

<smile>).

Christina graduated with her Master’s degree in Second Language Acquisition and she started working from home as a contractor rating language learners. I’m at the same job as last year, and I’m loving it.

We love our new condo. It seems crazy that it has already been a year that we’ve lived here. Time seems to have flown in some regards.

As you used to say, “Life is good.” And it is good. But we miss you.

Mom, Wendy, Rick, Christina, Nathaniel and I got together to celebrate your birthday today. We went to the same restaurant as last year: Sizzler. I didn’t order the Malibu Chicken, sorry.

I remember sitting in that same Sizzler a year and a half ago with you when we told you we were expecting Nathaniel. We talked about that day while we were there today. Well, since we’re expecting again, do us another favor and keep this next one as safe and healthy like you did the last one.

We were out at your gravesite recently. It is beautiful. When I first found out you had picked that cemetery, I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled. It broke with the Salt Lake cemetery tradition, you know. But now that I’ve seen it in all four seasons, I recognize how beautiful the location is and how peaceful the setting is. I really enjoy visiting the site. You did a good job picking it.

The grass has grown over the scar that was left last year, not unlike how time is helping heal over the scars left in our hearts. I still miss you a lot. I miss seeing you wave to Nathaniel. I miss having you there to talk to. So often I have questions, and I think, “Dad would know the answer.” But those answers will have to wait, for now. Hopefully you get a chance to peek down occasionally and see your grandson as he is growing and learning. You’d be a proud grandpa.

Yes, another year has passed, and while many things have changed, so much has stayed the same. Maybe with another year the pain of missing you will start to diminish. And maybe not.

Thanks for watching over me and my family. I’ll try to do things right—like you would have done them. I’ll try to follow your example and be the kind of dad to my kids that you were to me. If only I could be so good, they would be very lucky indeed.

I suppose that is the best birthday present I can give you: let your example shine through me. I’ll try to do you proud.

Happy birthday, Dad.


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