Happy Birthday, Dad

I’ve often hoped I made my dad proud.

Today is his birthday – the 19th we’ve celebrated without him.

I wonder what he’d say about his grandsons; the way I’ve raised them, who they are. I can almost hear his laugh, as if he was sitting in the room with us, listening to their perspectives, quick-witted comebacks, and thoughtful responses. He would adore them, I know. They didn’t have enough time together, that’s for sure.

I wonder what he’d say about the woman I’ve become. I’ve travelled some difficult roads. I’m sure he’d be as supportive and wise, as loving and kind as the day, when as a girl, I asked him if he’d ever been disappointed he didn’t have a son.

I loved the time with my dad. My favorite memories often in the truck, driving around the farm. It was a different time, vastly different than my life now. But, if I close my eyes; it’s a spring day on the farm, forty-five years ago, and I am right back there with him.

I loved the way he talked with people. As a kid, I hated standing there while he talked f.o.r.e.v.e.r….But now I see there was something powerful and beautiful in the number of people he would run into who wanted to stop and talk with him.

I didn’t appreciate the magical ways of my dad when I was younger. He was open to so many things, questioned everything, helped anyone. He was active in the community and provided for his family on a farm that wasn’t forgiving. But what stood out was his ease, and an endless abundance, and his presence that just felt comforting.

I am proud to be his daughter…and as much as I started saying I wanted him to be proud me…this has diminished, because I am proud of myself. I’ve been doing a lot of hard work to heal and become the person I believe I am and I think he would appreciate this in me.

I hope he’s smiling and thinking, ‘atta girl’.

Happy Birthday, Dad.



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