09 August 2009

Happy? Birthday.

Today is my dad's 53rd birthday.

I remember his 51st birthday. It is, in fact, seared into my memory more clearly than almost any other day of my life. That was the day we found out he had a brain tumor.

I remember his 52nd birthday as well, although not quite so clearly because it was a good day. My mom had made a banana-flavored cake and my dad had finally found a good pair of non-bulky cargo pants at Mervyn's. We talked about the year before and how this birthday - and every birthday after it - were, by default, better than the year before, because what's worse than a cancer diagnosis?

We found out the next day: a terminal cancer diagnosis. They gave him three months. He got three weeks. And suddenly my dad's 51st birthday seemed like a great day, because he had been alive. Now every birthday after his 52nd is, by default, worse, because it means that nearly a year has gone by without him, and there are days when that thought alone is almost too much to bear.

I hate that all these thoughts come up on his birthday. I hate that I can't just take this day to be happy that he was born, happy that I had him as long as I did. I know there are people worse off than I am, people whose fathers died younger and more tragically than did mine.

But he was my daddy, and he is gone, and I miss him, and today is his birthday. It's hard to think of anyone, and anything, else.


jgirl said...

understandably your thoughts are going to go back to these memories year after year...I'm not going to pretend to understand your loss or grief of losing a parent, especially since you are so young still. I will say this though, knowing that you have the opportunity to see him again on the other side should be used as a comfort, not a dulling tool mind you...for this I imagine is impossible. Jill you are the best...no ifs, ands, or buts. Don't you forget it!=0)

Michelle Anita B. said...

So I enjoy following your blog(s), but I'm lazy as hell and when I finally come around to reading them, I've got about 10 or so to go through. So that explains the late comment.

I'm really sorry about your dad =/
I was 16 when my dad died in a motorcycle accident; his birthdays bug me, the death day (of course) bugs me, everything and anything just brings all of my memories and emotions back. I'm almost 19 now, and it doesn't get easier. The only advice I can think to give is to accept grief. It's a shitty hand to get dealt, but part of what makes us human is our ability to convey emotions. So convey away.