Today you should be turning sixty-six. It seems like way more than four years since I got to tell you happy birthday. The last time – way back in 2011 – I bought you Stephen King’s 1963 and a coffee mug that said “Grandfather” in anticipation of you assuming that status in the next few months.
I don’t know if you ever read the book. It’s mine now and I haven’t read it. I just can’t. I don’t know what happened to the mug. I couldn’t take that because you never got to be a grandfather.
It still pisses me off sometimes – today more than any day. I don’t know why your birthday hits me harder than your death day, but it does. Maybe because today is supposed to be a day of celebration and no one expects that on a death day. Maybe because I can overlook your death day with the anticipation leading up to Alvie’s birthday – which you missed, jerk face.
Maybe because this time of year sucks anyway. It’s so dark and I know you hated it even more than I do.
I can’t remember the first birthday gift I ever got you, but I remember the year we got you a cribbage board for your birthday and I totally gave away the secret several times over. I’m not much better at keeping secrets now than I was then, but I like to believe I’m a slightly better cribbage player.
I did nanowrimo again this year. This book is a good one and doesn’t have as many scenes that I’d have to excise before you could read it. I wish we could talk about it because I think you’d really like this one.
I miss you so much today and I would like to kick you in the ankles (which I know wouldn’t hurt too much because they’d be protected by the ubiquitous cowboy boots) for making me cry.
So this year for your birthday I got you a bottle of wine (I’ll pour one out for you – into my glass) and a donation to the National Brain Tumor Society.
Love you Dad.
– your favorite eldest daughter