Happy birthday, Dad

Three generations

I’ve felt off for a few days now.

It started on my drive home from work on Monday. I was angry, irritable, and overthinking a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have been. I felt lost, really. Not depressed, not sad, not hopeless. Just…lost.

Today, I figured out why. My dad would’ve celebrated his 80th birthday today.

Instead of calling him, I called my sister. Found out she’d been feeling the weight of the day as well. Talked it out. And the fog started to lift.

He passed away on the Summer Solstice in 2016. We don’t have proof, but our belief is that the aortic aneurism he’d been living with finally ruptured.

The photograph in the header was one we found in the house as we cleaned it out. On the left is his grandfather at age 17. Center photo was his dad at age 19. My dad is on the right, at 17. To see the resemblance made me break down when she showed it to me. Like so many other things in the house, we let the sibling who had the reaction – the gut punch of grief – take the item home.

Sis and I are as different as night and day in 90% of our lives. Yet we both agreed to preserve our relationship over fight over things. Our outlook wasn’t about who got what stuff. It was helping each other the best way we could to move forward in a new stage of our adult lives.

Childhood disagreements evaporated. Long buried grudges and injuries washed away. In dealing with our parents deaths 7 months apart, we grew up. The differences are still there, to be sure. But they matter less, and we trust each other more.

So, happy birthday Dad. Wherever you are, I know you’re either watching football or playing cribbage. And I’m okay with that.

BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm

One thought on “Happy birthday, Dad

  1. I know this feeling very well, it happens near the date of my mother’s passing. My family seems to have a thing for crossing on holidays; she passed on Valentine’s Day. And my dad on Easter. I sympathize, and send love.

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