You would be 80 today. And I would bake you a coconut cream cake, and we'd joke about the number of candles and burning the house down before you could make a wish...
It'll be 2 years in May since you've been gone. It's hard to believe it has been that long. I stopped by the other night, with Bradford pear branches in hand. Did you notice? Did you know? I still wonder about that. Do you stop by to see us ever? Do you kiss us goodnight sometimes? Do you hear my thoughts, see our tears when we miss you so much we can't stand it?
I know, we shouldn't be crying over you when you're so much happier now. I know. I remember you talking about your funeral before... before it was feasible to me, to any of us that it would actually one day come. You wanted us to be happy, you wanted a celebration. Just like mom wants too. And we all laughed, of course we would do that. Yeah, that didn't happen. :) We cried and held each other. I fumed and felt angry at God for the longest time. And at the "church" people who we had known for years that turned out not to be so Christian like. I am still learning to let go and forgive all that anger.
I can see your face sometimes, in Matt and Eddie and mom and Aunt Mary. They all have your steel blue/grey eyes. And that twinkle. And I really think Matt is getting your laugh. I wish I could see something of you in myself. I thought about that the other day, and I really think I inherited your strong will, your tenaciousness. Definitely your stubbornness. Patrick could attest to that. I think you would like him.
I miss your hands most of all. How they were so rough and strong, but they could be gentle and heal any hurt. I loved holding your hand. I loved when you'd pinch my cheeks, or let me lay my head on your leg and you'd stroke my hair until I fell asleep. I miss that. I miss you.
So, happy birthday my beloved Papa. 80 years young. Stop by some time, blow a breeze my way, visit my dreams. I love you still, and I will always remember.