My father would have been 85 today if he were still alive. What would we have done today? For sure a family get together. He would have wanted to see his 2 grandchildren. Maybe he would have come to my house. Maybe he would have still lived in his house. If he did, we would have gone swimming. Maybe I would have taken him golfing at some point in the last week. The heat has been ‘oppressive’ though. He liked to say that about the heat. Especially near the end. Especially as it pertained to golfing in it. He would have been 85 so we would have had to go easy. He would have only looked 75. I would have only looked 36. Maybe by now I’d be able to beat him. To be honest though, I’ve stopped playing, but if he was alive I probably wouldn’t have stopped playing…… I was talking about him with my wife this morning. It’s funny what people remember. I don’t know how it got to this, but I remember when I was my son’s age, and my dad used to come home from work. I used to drop whatever I was doing and run to the front door to jump into his arms. He was always clean shaven, always with a suit, and one of those beige overcoats. Still smelling a bit like whatever mediocre aftershave we got him for his birthday and a little bit like smoke, not because he did, but everybody else smoked inside back then, and it would get on his clothes. He looked official. He’d probably have a briefcase or some groceries in paper bags (that’s how old I am…. that wasn’t even to save the environment, that’s just how they bagged your groceries, but then plastic bags came out…. not all new tech is better). He would say “HELLO HOUSE!!”. He was friendly in a way I still can’t imagine. We’d go upstairs together and I’d sit on his bed and talk to him about sports while he got changed into what I can only describe as ‘business casual’. This man didn’t really wear shorts or track pants. He would put away his stuff so neatly (I swear to god if I didn’t look just like him, you’d never know we were related in some ways…..but in others…..), and then he’d pull a chocolate bar out of his drawer. Probably from Christmas or Father’s Day or something. It would be one of those big ass Fruit & Nut bars (Cadbury??). He’d break off a square and eat it, and if you were sitting there with him, he’d give you a piece too. Then he folded it back up and put it away for tomorrow. Who has the patience for that?? It was a small indulgence for a man who didn’t drink or smoke, but ate cookies like a fiend (not for mess like cookie monster, but the sheer quantity was unreasonable at times)…….. We went on a Sunday drive today. I used to hate that. My dad LOVED a good Sunday drive. All of us hostages in his car after going to Church or some other thing. He wouldn’t tell you where he was taking you, or when you could expect to return. You were probably wearing uncomfortable clothes, and there were no gaming systems or portable DVD players in those days. He was a country boy at heart that married a city girl, and stayed down here, but if he got a chance to look at some trees or horses or barns or something, he was doing it. He didn’t give a shit what we thought about it. Crazy thing is I love driving around now. I blame Covid a bit. I mean as a family we’ve become way more in-touch with nature as we stay as clear from crowded spaces as we can. There’s no denying it though. I like a good drive in nature. I don’t know how my son stands it. Every time I’m driving along some country road and I say “Look, Horses!!!”, I’m slowly becoming my father…….. 85 is a milestone birthday. I wonder if we would have tried to take him to a restaurant. Maybe a nice little patio. We took him somewhere nice on his 75th. I chose that day to give him a sappy card for the first time in my life. I’m famous for finding the funniest card possible for every occasion, and almost nothing is off limits (fart jokes, ageism) as long as it’s hilarious. I also get that I do that more for me than I do it for other people because maybe I find ‘tender moments’ uncomfortable, or maybe I just like a good laugh. For the occasion of his 75th birthday I decided to get a card that said a bunch of really nice shit in it. He opened it and read it, and he looked up, and he looked like he was about to bawl, and for sure if he did, I would start to bawl too, and we can’t have that, so I said something funny, and he laughed instead. PHEW! I know if you’re reading this in 2021, and you know my dad died a year later, you’re probably thinking ‘why didn’t you just have a cry with your dad in a nice restaurant?’ I can’t. I don’t know why. I’m sure it’s not healthy, but I just can’t. No regrets though. I’m glad I got the opportunity to get him the sappy card for once in my life, and I meant everything that it said, and he knew that, and that’s why he almost cried and that’s why I almost cried, and we both laughed it off like a couple of guys. It was perfect.
Enjoy your B-Day in heaven Dad! Hope the heat isn’t oppressive 😉