Sweet Time

Posted by Michelle Wheatley on

Today is my dad's birthday. He would've been 69 years old. I would have gotten him a gift that I thought he would like, then he would have told me that I should save my money instead of getting him presents, providing no feedback about the actual gift. Then, he would comment on how funny he thought the card I got him was, which was likely to include a fart joke. What can I say: that was my dad's sense of humor, and I aim to please. Quickly after, he would "pass the phone to [my] mother."

The relationship that my father and I had was not exactly idyllic. It wasn't bad, just that we weren't super close, meaning we didn't share much about our personal lives. He was a Vietnam vet who had experienced a lot and, in trying to protect others from what he had been through, ended up being wound very tight from keeping everything bottled up. I struggled to be open with him. But I know we loved each other, even though we didn't say it often.

Although we never shared a BFF necklace, he is my dad and is a big part of the reason why I am who I am. I can credit him for inspiring me to be independent and to work hard in life...and for having a quirky sense of humor!

I was lucky to have seen 30 of my dad's birthdays and all of his days surrounding those milestones. He used to play a game with us called "Roomover!" when we were little. I'm not sure how it's actually spelled because I had only heard it when he was hastily using his body as a log to propel us from one side of him to the other. He loved kids.

While I am thankful for the time I had with him, I'm sad he didn't get to meet any of his grandbabies. Today, I'm planning to make Jell-O with my son and tell him what I can about his Grandpa. I might even try playing the "Roomover!" game, with me being the log and my son being the person getting playfully tossed around.

How do you celebrate birthdays for the people who you love?


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