Flashback Friday- Happy Birthday, Dad

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I forgot what day it was. I woke up thinking it was Wednesday, and then spent the rest of the day thinking that it was Friday. Just now, I was sitting over on the couch watching an episode of That 70's Show, all relaxed and enjoying the lightning that I could see off in the distance, when I realized- "Wait, its Thursday".

My mind is a little bit absent.

Between the non stop heartburn that I've had for the past 3 days, and my husband working 1pm-3am every night, I'm on the edge of insanity.

But a bright light thats been shining down through my gloomy stress cloud, is that this week, my Dad turned 50.

Remember when 50 seemed old? When you thought that being 50 meant grey hair and going to bed early? ...well its all true. He does have grey hair, and he does go to bed early, but- being old isn't as scary as it used to be. Being old is just being.

Aging is beautiful.

On Wednesday morning, I pulled Eleanore aside for a sing along phone call. And do you know what she said to me, when I asked her "Hey Elie, want to call Gpa and sing him Happy Birthday"? ...she goes, "no Mommy, I want to skype with him".

Pffft. So grown up, little Miss!

So we called him up, asked what our chances of getting a skype date were, and 5 minutes later we were singing Happy Birthday to him, face to face. Just the same way that I used to sing to him when I was a little girl. Like he was right here in the room with us. Because he was.

When I told Eleanore how old he was, she said "thats a lot of numbers". And he laughed. And I laughed.

His laugh, was because he thought what she said was funny. My laugh, was because I was nervous, in realizing that my Dad had really hit his mid life mark.
And then I stared deep into his eyes, because I knew he couldn't tell that I was. I looked over every inch of his creased face. It was the same face that I grew up with. The same face that protected me. The same face that loved me, when I felt like nobody else did.

And I missed him.

He said he was going to spend the day with my Mom on the Oregon coast. I asked him to pick up some sea shells for the babies, and maybe a post card or two. What I really wanted to ask though, was "Pick up sea shells for me? Send them to me? Walk on the beach with me". ...it was all very selfish. But in that moment, all I could think about was when he was the only man in my life, and I was his only little girl.

One year, when I was 19 or 20, I was working late on my Dad's birthday, and couldn't stand the idea of letting it pass us by without getting a chance to let him know how much I cared about him. So the moment I punched out, I went to the store, picked up his favorite pie (which later turned out to be the wrong kind, my tired eyes grabbed banana instead of coconut cream), and I drove 40 minutes out to his house, getting there just before midnight, so that he knew- I love you Dad. Happy Birthday. All of the lights were off in the house. Both him and my Mom had already gone to bed. I woke him up, gave him the pie, hugged him goodnight, got back in the car and headed home to Portland. It was short, and sweet.

Happy 50th Birthday, Dad!

Hes kind of amazing. To me at least. Always.

So heres what we do. Every week we dig through our memories- old cell phone pictures, polaroids from 1986, something that you pulled out of a dirty shoe box- and we flashback to it. We show it off, and we write about it. We take ourselves back to that place, with as little or as much detail as our hearts are willing to share. Scan it, upload it, copy and paste it from your livejournal (remember those?)- display your memories in whatever way works for you. And then grab out button way down at the bottom of the page there (or link back old fashioned text style), add it to your flashback, add your link to our flashback, and if you've got an extra minute- maybe browse around and read some of the flashbacks left by others. Its just for fun. And really- memories are too precious to be left in an old dirty shoe box.

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