Every year around this time I start to think I’m forgetting something. Doesn’t this part of February mean something?
This year Mardi Gras happened this week, but no, that’s not it. There’s Valentine’s Day but that’s not it either; I’m a hopeless romantic so I always remember that day.
Oh yeah, I know. My Dad’s birthday is/was this week. Even though he died eight years ago I still think about him around his birthday. In fact I remember it better now than when he was alive. It seems I always got cards and presents to him late. A few years ago I found the card I meant to send him on what turned out to be his last birthday.
There are reminders of him all over my house and my life. I have a few pictures of him on bookshelves. My garage is filled with many of the tools and tool boxes he always intended for me to have after he died. Some of those tools are gifts I gave him on various birthdays.
I am reminded of my Dad every time I look in the mirror. I have his mouth and his eyes and sometimes his attitude. I have his problem-solving mentality and occasionally I have his judgmental approach to things. I don’t like that last one but the rest of that is fine.
Fortunately I am way past the point of trying to seek his approval of things. I still felt that way sometimes for a few more years after he died. I know he did not approve of major parts of my life and I was OK with that because I felt that he respected me for charting my own path. He knew I analyzed things the same way he did but I came to different conclusions.
Maybe I’ll buy a cake Friday and sing Happy Birthday to him.
(He was in his 30s when this picture was taken)