Happy Birthday

Happy birthday Dad!

For as long as I can remember you were the first person I would call on our birthday. We would both wish each other a happy birthday and often sang the traditional birthday tune in an off key rendition that only we [and our family] could appreciate. So happy 66th birthday! The age that you could officially retire (even though you had been for years now) you went off to the ultimate retirement home! Please give Jesus a hug for me.

I think about you often Dad. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you, but those moments in the day when I don’t something still feels amiss or off. Its like something is missing, and I have the physical feeling that I did something terribly wrong. You know when you feel guilty and your insides feel tight, and there is that quiet pressure near your sternum waiting to bubble up. Though I didn’t do anything wrong, something did go terribly wrong. That’s what grief physically feels like. You would know having lost your mother when you were 11 and your dad in your 40s.

I am so blessed to have so many amazing memories to hold on to. Like little birthday presents I unwrap these memories and remember. Sometimes its remembering a look you gave me, they way you danced, an experience that we shared, or a quiet embrace. You were such a gentle soul.

Mom, Missy, and I (and later some others) are off to tour the local Vineyards today!  The idea of having dinner at home and only singing happy birthday once was too raw – but because of my love of wine, and yours too – we will be going ’round to the wineries and raising a glass today and lighting your candle along the way. (Check out the photos on Instagram by searching #vineyardbday, and #partingGlass)

Our family holds deep Irish traditions, so I raise a glass high to you dad! You were the best. Your entire life from what I could see was built on making others feel loved and welcome. Truly you were a man after Gods heart, and an imitator of Christ. I miss you every single day dad. Oh how I wish you were not handed the parting glass! I wish I could take it back and have another year with you, another moment, another breath. But come fell to you – the parting glass. You’re never forgotten, and always treasured so deep in my heart.
I raise my glass to you with this song. An old Irish hymn that cries out from the grave.

Happy Birthday Dad. Today I spread my wings and fly out of the nest – all on my own. Thirty-Four years and I am soaring Dad. I can’t wait to see you again. May it be just a breath between now and then when we sing in merriment again!

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Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.

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