Today is November 22nd, 2005. To everyone else in the world that's the date. An oridinary and rainy Tuesday in November just before Thanksgiving. To me, it marks my Dad's 59th birthday. Or in better terms, what would have been his 59th birthday. Seven years, 10 months, and 16 days ago my father passed away. A moment that took me almost 5 years to come to terms with but still lingers in my mind daily.
Unlike other birthdays there won't be a card, a cake with candles or presents. If I were closer to home I could go visit the cemetary with flowers or do like my brother does and pour a shot of whiskey at his grave. Maybe I'll do that this weekend when I get down there. But instead I go through work with a smile on my face, joking with co-workers, putting together proposals for clients all knowing that deep down inside today SUCKS!
Inside it hurts. Inside I'd like for him to be here to celebrate with us but reality sets in. If my father were still with us today what kind of condition would he be in if he were still fighting cancer? Would be his old self, like he was before he got sick? or would be like he was in the final years? Either way he's my father and I would only love him more. But when looked at realistically, my father suffered. he suffered a long time fighting a disease that woudn't go away. He didn't fight alone, my Mom was there every step of the way. When he wanted to give up she kept fighting. Mom was the reason he lived and fought so long not medicine or doctors or anything else. It was her determination to make sure that the man she married and loved her whole life was given the best support.
How am I going to celebrate his birthday though? It depends. Usually I'll have a beer in his honor but today seems harder than all the others. No one seems to be around today. Melissa has been too busy, friends aren't around and work is calling. So its more stressful. I thought abuot him this morning at the gym. Said an Our Father before working out, wished him a happy birthday when I woke up. But tonight will be harder because the only thing around to distract me is the TV and a fridge full of beer.
Maybe it'll get easier as I get older, but i doubt it. When my kids won't know their grandfather and can't understand the man I speak about until they are much older. But that's years from now. All I can say is Happy Birthday Dad. Wish you were here but understand why you couldn't make it.