Everybody has a different experience with their family members. Some people miss their dad a lot. Some not. Some miss their mother. Some not (I’m one of those).
Every year this was that day I wished my dad happy birthday.
When I was a child that was awkward, every July 21st.
We weren’t close.
I bought him a card and gift – a lot like father’s day, obligatory obligation …
We grew closer when I grew up, left home, got married.
From then on, that bonding that was missing in childhood evolved to friendship, almost like younger brother/older brother in some ways.
For many years we worked together. He, working for me those last fourteen years of his working life – in contrast to those summer jobs in high school when I worked for him.
We weren’t sappy-close, but close we were.
Recent years were closer than I might have ever imagined – focused a lot around his health, his doctors, his appointments, his issues, his life, his lifestyle, his things, his needs.
He needed me.
I was there.
Just as he had been there for me from birth to eighteen – not in my face, but there.
He took me to things, picked me up from things and came out to watch. Outdoor hockey rinks in bitter cold, ball diamonds on summer nights.
Every year, not that I would ever forget, on this date my calendar reminds me to call him, to wish him happy birthday.
I can’t do that any more. His birthday days are over.
As are my reminders to call.
I miss my dad.
I miss him every day.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 13C/55F, overcast, cool, Magpie’s all chirping like they were holding a convetion (Gusta walking at her ‘resort’). I walked alone, familiar route – feeling strange without having a pull on my arm, tug on that leash – walking straight for a change, without pockets stuffed with plastic bags for ‘pick-ups’. Heading to airport shortly for trip to Colorado.
mark, i was a big fan of the space program & followed it religiously as a kid. i am 5 years younger than you, so i was 12 when that first moon walk happened. my Dad's birthday was yesterday. he passed away at age 69 in 2001. he would've been 82 yesterday. i was very close to him. here is a link to my facebook tribute to him that i wrote yesterday: https://www.facebook.com/john.mark.hancock , MH, Knoxville, TN
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