Had my Daddy lived he would have been 86 today. He wasn’t much for fanfare or big celebrations. How he loved his family, though, and so he would have suffered through a loud obnoxious gathering of hooligans to celebrate. If we were having a cake for him I would be scrambling to find birthday candles and end up settling for one large home decor candle as a stand in. We’re fancy that way.
I miss him terribly.
His logical way of looking at an issue, his quiet reassurance that everything would be ok ending with the famous statement, “at least nobody got hurt”.
One time I was able to use that line to my advantage.
When I first got my driver’s license there was an incident with the nearly new family car, backing out of a garage and a side view mirror that was rendered unusable. I knew he would be, ahem, less than pleased with the fact that the side view mirror was dangling in a peculiar fashion. So I did what any red blooded American teenaged chicken of a girl would do. I wrote him a note and left it on his chair to be found when he got home from work. I pulled out all the stops, filled it with flowery language about what a great daddy he was and assured him that “nobody got hurt” which, I reminded him, was the gold standard to which we all aspired. By the time he got to the end of the note he was so relieved that it was “only” the side view mirror that all hard feelings were averted. Phew!
He would tease one of my sisters (who will remain nameless). Oh wait, I’ve told you about my one and only sister before-Karen. If she made a sandwich and walked away for a minute he would nibble the tiniest corner and sneak away. When Kar would see this she would try and get him to confess but he always said it must have been a mouse. She did not find this as amusing as I did but then I am a mean older sister.
And so this is a bittersweet day. Happy because he was part of our lives for many years but sad because I can’t go talk his ears off.
Coupled with that, tomorrow is the anniversary of my Mom’s death. Missing her and yet grateful for her as well. Thankful that concerning both of them I have no regrets.