I was planning to write some kind of tribute. Something happy. Nostalgic and sentimental. I felt confident I could scan some photos, talk about the good times, tell a funny story or two, anything but more cancer talk. Anything but loss, death, grief, because no. It is his birthday.
But instead the words are jumbled up inside, trapped within a knotty ball of discomfort somewhere above my heart and below my throat, but the idea of untangling it all seems more likely to result in heaving sobs instead of an eloquently written tribute.
I just. It hurts so hard. I miss him so much. I want him back.
I want to send him an Amazon gift certificate and talk to him on the phone. I want to hear about the yellow cake with chocolate frosting, his favorite. I want to visit him this weekend and cook for him or treat him to carryout from a restaurant and apologize for how loud the kids are being and for never knowing what to get him for his birthday besides another lame Amazon gift certificate.
Because that's what I got him for his last birthday, and the birthday before his last birthday, before "his last birthday" meant something else.
And yet...no. It wasn't his last birthday, because today is his birthday. And it will be his birthday next November 15th and the November 15th after that.
Today will always be his birthday.
Happy birthday, Dad.
Thank you to the American Cancer Society for sponsoring this post, this day, as part the wonderful, dear-to-my-heart More Birthdays campaign.