Today is your birthday. Another birthday you didn’t live to see, but it’s yours all the same. I know you’re in heaven living it up right now (don’t get put out for having too much fun). Another year we don’t get to hold you close and tell you just how much you mean to us. It goes without saying that we miss you.
Every year, I tell myself that this is the year I won’t let my sadness get the best of me, that I won’t just curl up in bed and hide from the world. Every year I lie to myself. I’m currently in bed as I write this; I don’t see myself moving.
I have your Chicago Bears jersey hanging on my door, just waiting for me to put it on; I don’t know if I really have the strength for that. It might be too much, to see your jersey and not see you, not hear your shit talking. Too many reminders.
You left us seven years ago, but your presence is still very much felt. Every time I hear a Spinners song, everytime I smell cigarette smoke, everytime the Bears are playing. You are felt. You are missed.
I never told you how much I loved you. I never told you what it meant to me, to have a man with no bioloiogal ties to me manage to love me like I was his own. Out of all nine of us, you never made me feel any different. For that, I thank you. Thank you for being there, when my own father couldn’t be bothered. Thank you for dealing with my horrible teenaged attitude. Thank you for holding me through my first heartbreak. Thank you for loving me.
I finally learned how to cook, daddy. You would be proud to know that I haven’t blown up a microwave since that first one you had to replace after Thanksgiving. (Your youngest still teases me about that.) I even know how to bake now; if you were here, you’d be eating a hunk of coconut cake made just for you, like your mom used to make.
No, no grandkids from me yet daddy. You have enough of them already; they are a rowdy bunch. I love to see them coming, I see glimpses of you in them all the time. RJ likes wrestling just as much as you, and Kenzie just loves music. It’s a shame you aren’t here to throw them around like footballs.
I guess I say all this to say, I miss you daddy. Every day, but especially today.Thank you for being there. Thank you for showing me a real man and real unconditional love. Happy birthday daddy. I love you.