My dad would have been 80 today.
That’s as long as his mother lived. His grandmother – the only other person on that side of the family I ever met – lived into her 90s. She died when I was little, and all I remember of her is an old woman in a bed reaching out to me. His mother, my grandmother, I remember much more clearly and if you’d met her you would too. She was memorable in many ways, only some of which would likely be recommended for children these days but so it went. She was a lot of fun.
I have a lot of memories of my dad.
He’s been gone for almost three years now, at least physically, though he lives on in those memories – the ones I carry, the ones his family carries, the ones that others who knew him carry. That’s a form of, well, not immortality, since all of the people who remember him will one day be gone as well, but longevity perhaps.
He lives with me still.
In the coin collection that we built together, that Tabitha and I share now, and the stories that went with it.
In the lessons he taught me that I have tried with occasional success to incorporate into my life and pass on to my children. Never break stride. Treat people well and judge them by their actions. Be there when people need you.
In the moments when I think of things I wish I could still share with him – not big things, not really, as we left none of those unsaid, but little ones. A wheat cent found in change. The Eagles. The latest news.
In countless other ways, large and small.
Happy birthday, Dad.
Thanks for the memories.