I wish you were still here. I know it’s been a long time (30 years in fact) but I still miss you almost every day. As I do most years, I took a flower to the beach and thought of you. This year I drew a heart and 80 and placed the hibiscus in the middle. It is after all your 80th Birthday today. It’s such a shame you couldn’t have shared the spectacular sunrise with me. It’s even more of a disappointment that you didn’t get to wake to any of the sunrises of the last 30 years. Today’s was particularly beautiful, as if nature had painted me a perfect picture to remind me that you’re still here in some way.
I guess it’s okay that you may sometimes return as a sunrise, rainbow, an owl, a song that skips (like an old record) or just a wisp of my hair (I’m sure you’re touching me). But let’s face it I’d rather you were physically here. I miss your arms around me and that smell of you that is only you, male musky and a hint of cigarettes. I wonder what you’d be like at 80 years old. A handsome old man with grey-blue eyes shining through an aging face, filled with laughter lines. I’d like to think that the laughter could have returned to you.
You would have been a wonderful grandfather and great-grandfather. You denied yourself that privilege but you also denied the kids. Just imagine the richness of them having you in their lives. You would have been the grandfather with lots of patience and words that may have been few, but always wise and kind. The hugs you would have received from them all would have cheered you right through old age. I know that didn’t happen. I wish it had of.
I’m now three years older than when you left. Imagine me older than you. It’s weird. It’s also odd to be thinking that you’ve been gone for so long, but sometimes you still feel so vivid to me. This morning at the beach I pictured your smile exactly how it was. When I got home I pulled the photo from my wallet and scanned it for this post. You’re squinting a little but you look happy and I like that. I just imagine you happy. So Happy 80th Birthday Dad. I love you so much.