July 29th

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Though he has been gone now for almost 6 years, hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of him.  Today is no exception.

It started this morning when I picked Kate up from basketball camp.  I could still see my dad in his suit and wing tip dress shoes standing in the corner of the gym watching me play.  He would be so excited to know that his Kate was beginning her own career as a basketball player.  If he were here, he would be screaming for her to “shoot it!” and getting technical fouls called on him from the sidelines. 

I was thinking about the birthday dinners my mom would make for him each year.   My dad would take his shirt off to eat his corn on the cob so that the pound of butter he put on each ear wouldn’t ruin his shirt.  My aunt Sue would bring over a batch of homemade ice cream that she made especially for “Donny”, and we would watch as he gave himself a brain freeze —over and over again. 

I thought of my dad today when I found out that my friend’s mother-in law was dying.  I remembered the last few months and the last few moments I spent with my dad.  I remembered the phone calls and the arrangements and the friends, family members, students, and players that lined up down the street in Bellbrook to pay their last respects.   

I thought of my dad tonight when I drank multiple Cokes at the restaurant where Jeff and I ate dinner.  The memories of Coke cans rattling around on the floor of his old car as he drove back and forth to the Junior High made me smile.

I thought of my Wade, and how much fun my dad would have had with him.  He never got the chance to meet him or my little nephew Henry.  My dad would have enjoyed watching his boy with his own little boy.  Greg is such a good dad.

He would be so proud of Ami and her husband Jim for starting up their own business.  And though he would have wanted her to wear her life jacket INSIDE , he would have loved her house on the lake.

I thought of my mom tonight.  She had all 3 grandchildren at her house today….. her new house….the one my dad grew up in.  It was a beautiful evening, and they played outside until dark.  It was a nice way for her to spend her day.  She was surrounded by laughter and giggling.  I know my dad would have loved that.

It’s hard to imagine that he’s been gone for almost 6 years.  It seems like just yesterday he was tucking me into my bed and telling me “goodnight”.   How I’d love to hear him call me “Suzanne” just one more time.

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