Reflections On a Birthday
See the fellow at the top of this page?
That’s my dad. And today it is his birthday.
There are days when I wish I could freeze time. Not in its entirety, mind, but more in terms of moments, of memories, of people. I want to always have family get-togethers, to have my parents be only a call or text message away. I’d like to store up all the laughter – of a food fight that almost (really) happened, of trips to Disneyland, of bad jokes appreciated, of bad photos and not-great (in hindsight) fashion choices.
But I can’t. Not with the good, nor with the bad, or with any of the middle of the road moments, either. Time marches on for us all, even as we reach for a brake pedal that’s not there.
Up until a few short years ago, Dad lived on the same land he grew up on. He was – is still, really – a farmer. He tilled the land, raised cattle, rode horses; saw possibilities in the wide-open space he called home.
He married a woman who came to love that space as much as he did. And together they raised three daughters. And had far too little time with their son. They loved, they fought (as we all do, really), and they kept moving forward as best they could. They’re doing it still.
He is stubborn. He is proud. He values hard work and loyalty. He is a good businessman. He’s not always very patient. He is smart. He can be gentle. He loves his grandchildren. He’ll make impromptu heartfelt speeches. He can be frustrating and endearing, mischievous and fun. He’s not perfect. He is generous. He is more than a label or a handful of characteristics or pieces of his history.
Today, yesterday, tomorrow, though, he is my dad. And I love him.
Happy birthday, Daddio. :)