Happy Birthday, Dad!

10584076_899241176756801_5919832453420038536_n(Caveat: This post may evolve…nothing is ever final.)

Over a year ago, my oldest brother took on the challenge of organizing my Dad’s 80th Birthday. We (there’s seven of us) all dutifully agreed that we would gather for my Dad’s 80th Birthday celebration on July 25th, 2013. Plans were made…travel arrangements to the destination, how the weekend would unfold organized, and we were all excited.

About a month before the festivities, my Mother gently brought to our attention that is was my Father’s 79th birthday…rather than the 80th we thought we were gathering for at the end of July. What? None of us realized that? Despite, we all agreed we would join together to celebrate Dad’s birthday in grand style…79th…or 80th.

As our clan gathered, we all enjoyed a good laugh at the prospect that we were a year too early to celebrate his 80th. It wound up being a bit of a running joke throughout the weekend. The day came…friends and family gathered…celebrated…and my Father assured us he would be around for celebrate “next year.”

On June 17, 2014, the “old man” left this earth…in the physical form, at least. He didn’t make it to the official 80th birthday. Rare…for a man of his word.

All of it still remains too raw to articulate here. Suffice it to say, he has left an indelible imprint on the people he has touched. His family…his friends…and a wide swath of people his path crossed. He showed all of us the love, strength, and support that we all carry out into the world.

As I move through the process, a friend offers this piece of advise… “Hopefully, throughout life, you continue to move through the process. May you always remember.”

If you’ve had a loss…may they always be with you.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Early to bed…(a kiss on the top of the head.)

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