I’m a little late with this post, and frankly, I wasn’t sure I was in a place to write about it again. Those with me from the beginning of the blog, know my writing surged the past few years in an effort to understand Dad. He passed away in 2007, and years later, I was still struggling with who he was. Through writing the book, I revisited the day he died, and a “jiggen'” burning incident in between.
I didn’t find the answers I was looking for. I don’t think I ever will.
But somehow, I came to a different feeling about him these past three years. From when I started the book to now, I finally think I know what it means to forgive. I forgive him for his perfectly imperfect life. I no longer think back to all the mean things he said or did. I simply love him and miss him.
Two days ago, he would have turned 64. The day came and went and I wouldn’t even have known it except…two days ago was also my little brother’s son, Alex’s birthday. I remember when I got the phone call. I was on orders for the Army and I was studying some dry ass manuals about loading cargo for transport. I was in a hotel by myself, papers and binders spread around the bedspread. My phone rang and Mom told me Ricky’s baby had been born, and it was a boy.
I’ve said this before, Ricky was born to be a father, and to have it all come full circle with the birth of this precious baby on the same day as Dad’s birthday was the saddest, yet happiest thing I could fathom.
Months later I was able to meet the little guy. Boy oh boy was I nervous. I expected to be weirded out because me and babies have a history of barely tolerating each other. Those smiles and baby rolls though. This pure miracle existed, because Ricky existed, because Dad existed.
The best and worst parts of me came from Dad. Stardust out in the universe somehow managed to make it’s way to the world to create just the man that would become my father, and that’s pretty unbelievable.
Happy Birthday Dad.