Forgetting Birthdays

*Just a note that this was written last week on October 22. I never got a chance to post.*****

I think this is one of the hardest things about losing my parents. I am so immersed in my little world of a family of five that I simply forget. I mean, not really fully forget. It's always there in the background. The birthdays to celebrate, memories we could have been making, holidays we should have spent together...

And the background affects the forefront of my mind, even if only subconsciously. Nonetheless, it affects it.

I have these moments when I stop and try to understand my melancholy moods and my short temper. There are often many reasons for it as I am a melancholy in temperament. But more times than not, when I stop long enough, I realize what is wrong. Grief. Stupid grief. Grief that is there because my parents are not there. Grief that will never. go. away. Because my parents will always be gone.

I have these moments when the sadness is so deep, and so present-I can't wrap my mind around the fact they are gone. It seems so strange that something you think you become accustomed to can be something to which you never really are accustomed. I think you simply must learn how to live without them, and it's weird and it doesn't fit right, but you don't fight against it. That would make it too painful. It's simply acceptance.

It causes days like today to hurt badly, though, because you know that if you lived life with them here - it would be in the forefront of your mind - not the background. But because you have had to learn to live without them, it's in the background fighting a million other things that are actually tangibly and physically present in front of you. And unless you are intentional to take the time you need to remember, sometimes it just doesn't win. I never take enough time. I let everything else win, and everything else is less painful anyways. But all of that just makes it worse. Harder.

So, yeah, it's my dad's birthday. And, although, he is so near to my heart. And I miss him desperately-everything else physically here fought for my attention.

So, I take a few moments here, because I have to. I have to have a moment to honor and celebrate my dad. Even though I don't have a phone call to make, a gift and card to rush into the mail, no cake to eat or dinner to share. Just memories and pictures. But it is still important. I have to remember, because if I don't, then what. Then there is a little less of him in my world, and I can't handle that. And I can't let that happen.

That is inevitable. Happening every day of the 7 years he has been gone. Less of him in my world. So much time separating us. Life is so different. He wouldn't recognize it, and in some ways, would barely recognize me. I have changed so much. For the better...and that is hard too. To feel as though I barely know him, and he me.

Happy birthday, dad. Right now I am rocking your baby girl you never got to hold. I said good night and gave kisses to my sweet boys you never got to wrestle and tickle. And did you know? I am saddened and embarrassed to admit it, but I didn't mention it was your birthday. Mostly because it is just so hard to explain what that means when you are not here and they have never met you. I do explain it, and I do tell them about you. But tonight I didn't have the energy. I'm sorry. But it doesn't change the amount of love I have for you. The gratefulness I have in my heart that you were born, and part of your purpose was to guide and love me. Thank you for showing me the Father's love. Thank you for being imperfect, so I know that my kids will probably turn out alright despite my own imperfection...because, well, I turned out alright. And my sisters did. Thank you for loving mom through her own imperfections and staying committed and faithful even in the hard times. So, I know that it's possible to always love and be committed to someone despite imperfections and faults. Because we all have them. Thank you for struggling in your faith, but loving Jesus wholeheartedly - so I now know that grace and love is everything and so much better than getting it right all of the time. I celebrate you, dad. You were amazing, one of a kind. Tenacious, stubborn, strongly independent, kindhearted, generous, passionate, and more. I love you and I honor you today.