I will always remember your birthday. Mainly because it was so important to you and it was drilled into my brain! If it were up to you, we would stop everything and celebrate you. All day long. Bonus if your birthday fell on a weekend and we could celebrate for more than one day.
I am not judging. I am like that, too. Always have been and I suspect, always will be.
Dad, you would have been 74 years old today. It's hard to grasp that you are not here telling us where you want to go for dinner.
When I think of you now, I mainly remember the good. This fact is pretty shocking considering most of it was not good. You were hardly the ideal father. I used to think no one was in the day and age. And then I saw the dads of my friends and realized that no, it was just you.
Did you love us? Absolutely. Did you love yourself more? Absolutely.
Now that I am a parent, I am navigating the waters of what comes first...my child, my family or me. I am learning that if done right, they all come out on top. It's hard, do not get me wrong. Sometimes I even make the wrong choices. But I try to learn and grow from them.
I was at an event a few months ago and had one too many glasses of wine. I called the bartender "young fella". Then I almost choked on my laughter as that was such a "you" thing to say and I had to think that somehow you knew I had said it.
I still look like you. I thought the fact that we were both "big boned" is what made us look alike. Now, all those pounds later, I discovered that no matter what I weigh, I still look like you. I like that.
I am not sure what I believe about the afterlife. I am not sure if you are singing in a Gay Men's Chorus right now and telling your stories to anyone that will listen. I am not sure if you are with your sister or your parents or if you would even want to be if you could. I hope, though, that if you can, you can put Allie first for a little bit and check on her. You should know her right away. She looks like both of us.
I miss you and I wish you the peace in death that you were unable to find in life.
Happy birthday, Dad. I love you. Always have. Always will.