Thursday, March 21, 2013

today is daddy's birthday

today is my daddy's birthday
a young 58 he would have been
i always loved having my birthday right next to his
he and i were even born in the same hospital
oh hospitals...such a dichotomy of life paths

last year he was in the hospital for his birthday
my daddy
the most kind patient that hospital has ever seen
they loved him and cared for him
he always had a smile on his face no matter the poking or prodding that was being done
he laughed and made others feel at ease
he is my champion
my hero
life without his counsel, without his phone calls, without his funny faces, without his quiet example
just isn't the same
i am tremendously grateful that i have felt his presence close to me many times since his passing
and have felt his love and guidance through the kindness of others

because of my belief in the eternal nature of souls
this separation does not seem finite
it is a new feeling i am becoming accustomed to
a sense of him being on an extremely extended trip
a temporary separation
but i'm ready for it to be over
i'm ready for him to walk through that front door and yell 'AY-O' like he always did

last year we wanted daddy to feel of our love even though he was separated from us
because of the nature of his condition and the floor on which he stayed
the grandchildren were not able to all go up and see him
we decided upon a parking lot display of love and song

each grandchild held a balloon
they missed grandpa and most didn't quite understand why we couldn't just go up to see him
the older ones who had a better concept of time understood that grandpa had been in and out of the hospital many times and that he was sick
felicity only 2 had realized it as well, calling the hospital 'grandpa's house' which stabbed at my heart to hear

the kids were happy to be able to be together and do something for grandpa's birthday
for many children, birthdays are the most important event of the year
or at least the most talked about one in our house
they plan them from the day after their birthday to the day of

we gathered in the parking lot below his room
our brightly colored balloons blowing in the breeze
the grandkids holding their banner decorated with outlined handprints and colored in words reading
'happy birthday grandpa'
we called grandma who was beside him in his room and put the phone on speaker so he could hear our birthday song
although we could not see him behind the heavily tinted windows and glare of the bright sun
we knew he was there looking down upon us
face turned red
fighting to hold back tears with that face we know so well
nurses also stood there touched by our family's love
they knew this man was loved, adored, revered 
that they must have known

all of this happened in a matter of minutes
but as i look back on those few moments they speak to my grieving heart
and show me the reality of my todays

now as we are down below with our offerings of crayon sketches and shiny balloons
my daddy looks down upon us and smiles
though we can not see his face
i have not a single doubt that that is true
oh how i long to see his face
to walk and talk with him even in a dream if that is all i can have at this time

i pray that through our expressions of love for my Daddy
my children will hold such memories in their minds and hearts

happy birthday daddy


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