Today is my father’s birthday. And even though it has been over 9 years since we’ve talked over the phone – I’ve heard his voice many times lately.
I loved to make my dad laugh – to see his eyes sparkle as I told him about something funny that had happened at work or while I was dating. He was a great storyteller – and we used to love to have secret jokes together.
I remember the time when I was 8 and we went up on the garage roof and just sat together, watching the blue-black sky of the early night and bright off-white of the moon. He put his arm around me so I couldn’t fall – and I felt so fearless. I could have stayed up on that roof with him forever.
My dad always made me think – to consider my paths. In fact, his death was a motivating factor in my divorce. I cringed that he died thinking that I had hitched myself to the man I did. I wanted him to be so proud of me and to not have to worry. I still want him to be proud – and as I meet men, I often imagine what my dad would think of them. It has saved me from several bad choices, knowing they wouldn’t meet his muster.
If I could call him on the phone today, we would most likey talk of “walking briskly” and movies we had seen. We’d talk about future plans to get together and eating habits and people we both knew. And I’d tell him now what I tell him in my heart each day: I love you and miss you so much.