Today My Father Would’ve Been 61

Today is my father’s birthday. He was born in 1953 and would’ve been 61 years old today. He passed away six years ago from cancer.

What He Has Missed

  • Me buying a Mazda Miata, a car that I loved. He would’ve called it a golf cart and said that I was too big for it and it wasn’t practical. But then he would’ve helped me replace the battery and give it an oil change.

  • My marriage. We didn’t have a wedding—Mom is still mad about that—but I think that he would’ve liked my wife. Her dad and mine would’ve gotten along well.

  • My moving to Indianapolis from Pittsburgh. He was born, raised, lived, and loved all in the same town in PA. He understood that wasn’t the life for me, and would’ve supported me.

  • My daughter. I can’t think about him missing out on her smiling face without crying. I saw how he was with his grandson, so I know that he would’ve been a great grandpap.

What Isn’t Gone

My father’s influence is still inside of me, and I think about that from time to time. Especially now that I’m a parent.

  • “Never bring a weapon to a fight that you aren’t prepared to use.” This was some advice I got from him as a child. I eschew the violence in it, but I’m reminded that you don’t threaten if you don’t intend to follow through. So when I say that I will do something, I do it.

  • “Even a blind squirrel finds a acorn once in a while.” I never mistake luck for skill.

My father wasn’t the touchy feely type. He showed his love in his actions. When he offered to change the oil in my car it was his excuse to show me how he loved me.

I think about that as I do things for those who I love. I’m terrible at special occasions. Day-to-day though, I’m attentive, I care, I listen, and I treat those I love like gold.

I miss him.

UPDATE: So even with my dad gone I continue to forget his birthday. Turns out that it was actually a few days ago on Sunday, 16 Feb. Honestly, I think this is a true way to honor him.