Happy Birthday Daddy

It’s my father’s birthday today.  He passed away several years ago but I like to spend time sifting through my memories on the day he came into the world. I remember observing my father from a distance the morning he was scheduled for bypass surgery back in September of 2002… It is a chilly Northwestern morning as I watch him adjusting his suspenders in the bathroom mirror, he reaches up to smooth his unruly gray hair, and I am charmed by the familiar gesture. I consider my dad a handsome man with a mischievous disposition. He has a gregarious nature and could charm the skin off a damn snake if necessary, but I got his eyes, and I believe we view life through a similar lens.  I call this the blessing of the second born. (My older sister got his organizational skills)  I notice that life has chiseled away his youthful features, like the faces of Mount Rushmore, I marvel at this monumental man. He catches my eye in the reflection of the mirror, casually holding my gaze, as a lifetime of knowing passes between us. He gives me a little wink and I tear up unexpectedly. It feels like a band is squeezing my chest and I’m finding it hard to breathe. My sister hands me a Styrofoam cup of coffee, breaking the spell, “come on, it’s time to go,” she says... Today I am forever grateful that he was willing to risk death just to add a few more years to his life. I would give anything for one more day with you. Happy birthday daddy!