No matter how hard I try, memorable dates still keep repeating themselves year after year. Anniversaries, birthdays, and other events, whether they are noted on my Google calendar or not are still embedded in my brain.
Today would have been my father’s 73rd birthday.
Birthdays were always a fun time in my family. At some point, after my brother and I grew out of parties and presents, we still converged upon my parents’ house to have dinner and cake.
The cake was always a Carvel ice cream cake. It was kind of funny to watch the cakes shrink in size over the years. As the price went up, the size shrunk.
Along the way, we developed a tradition where all of us (¾ of whom were decent singers) would sing probably the most atrocious version of “Happy Birthday” that anyone has ever heard. Although we could sing, we would somehow find a way to disguise our voices to sound like the most tone-deaf singers you could ever find.
I remember the first time that I brought my wife (then girlfriend) to a birthday. I think that I probably spent some time during the car ride explaining what would happen so as not to shock her. Thankfully, my explanation was good enough that she didn’t run away. It probably helped that she comes from a family with a wicked sense of humor as well.
The tradition hasn’t been well carried on with my own children, so I miss it terribly every time that a birthday comes around, especially the birthdays of my parents.
Today, I remember my father. He wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t athletic. He wasn’t even always funny. But I loved him dearly!
I can’t even begin to express how grateful that I am that I was blessed with him as my father. He did the best that he could with the shoddy example of a father that he had. He gave himself to his church and to his family. He sometimes worked too much. He sometimes got uptight. He wasn’t always the most patient of people, but he loved in a way that he could only have learned to love from his heavenly Father.
I miss you and love you, Dad. I am proud to be your son and to be a living legacy to the love that you showed to me. I can’t wait to see you again! Happy birthday!