Thursday, April 30, 2009


Today is my birthday. I enjoy my birthday and always have. This one was nice enough as birthdays go. I received especially warm hugs form the children first thing with their sweetly voiced warm wishes. There are few better ways to start a day than this.

This birthday (37 for those who want to know) however brings a new milestone for me. This is the first year I have been without a father on my birthday. I know the inevitable first year after the death of a loved one is supposed to be the worst. My brain processes this and recognizes the data, but the painful reality still cuts deep into my heart.

My father always went the extra mile on a birthday to make it special when he could. I had parties of some sort every year. I remember turning five in Alexandria, VA having cake in the backyard and opening a kimono from Japan. For fourteen, homemade pizza party and a scavenger hunt, I am not sure which team won that one. When I turned sixteen he planned a party at the house and had the games and timing planned down to the minute. There were a number of years in a row that he was running a training program for Whirlpool in Michigan, away from home and unable to celebrate with me. He still made sure I knew how much he loved me on those days.

Last year on this date I began my day with my father in Houston. I had flown down the week prior for a meeting with the oncologist and we anticipated a bad report. We were correct in our anticipation and the meeting was dark and unpleasant. I knew then our time was short. We made the best of the few days I was there and Dad even wanted to take in the Pompeii exhibit at the Houston Museum of Art. He loved museums of any sort and what a treat for me, the day before I turned thirty-six, to spend the morning with him delving deep into history.

As the dawn of April 30, 2008 came my heart was heavy knowing I was leaving Houston that day, returning to my husband and children but leaving my father. I was a woman torn that day between my two worlds, wanting, needing to be both places, and yet unable to wholly be in either. We found a peace that beautiful morning, a few moments of quiet, of serenity, of calm, doing our best to ignore the future we knew was barreling down upon us. The sun streamed in the kitchen window as we chatted and ate our soft boiled eggs, and we just enjoyed the moment, knowing…

On a lighter note for those who need one, my amazing husband surprised me with Eggs Benedict (diet style of course) for breakfast before leaving for work this morning. This is probably my all time favorite breakfast and I was thrilled that he not only remembered, but took the time on a week day to honor me on my birthday.

In spite of running extremely late I had a smile on my face when I arrived at my office. My dearest friend and colleague (yes, I am so blessed to work with my bestest friend ever) had dropped a lovely pink gift bag on my desk AND a cake (yep, full size and loaded with that super sugary icing) in my chair. There are so many things I find bring me great pleasure and a gob of icing happens to be one of them. I also LOVE the Kay Arthur book and the scripture tea.

I have continued to receive birthday wishes throughout the day. The bulk have come electronically, via email, Face Book or text message. I have another homemade cake to eat and celebrate with other friends tomorrow evening, and I do feel truly loved and appreciated today.

Thank you friends for lifting me today…and all the days you know I need lifting.

Dad, I miss you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today, I blog.

I want to be a blogger, I really do. I have authored numerous blog entries, on a gamut of topics from childrearing to missing my dead father to the random weather we have experienced this spring; of course these amazing tidbits of my world have not made it from my brain to the paper (or electronic post as the case may be) but they have been written and edited and discussed ad nauseum with a few close friends. Of course there is a very extensive list of things I want to be and “blogger” happens to be the one I am tackling today.

I think a certain amount of dedication is required to be a blogger, at least to do it well and really wear the title. There are many things I find it easy to really dedicate myself to like God, my son and daughter, my husband, and tasty food. But daily writing is something I have never developed a fondness for. The pretty little diary with the golden lock and the teeny tiny key…yeah I had one…and another…and another. The pages were filled for a day or two and then the beauty of the diary lost its luster and found itself filed away forgotten in a desk drawer. And the “journals” of a college student…seriously, who had time to write in college?

So today, I am momentarily amused with myself and my desire to blog. Why on earth would I want to take on a hobby (lifestyle, habit, addiction, etc.) which is so far outside the realm of my consistent lifelong behaviors? I do not know exactly. But I hope, through the process of regularly taking the thoughts from my head and pouring them out in some recognizably assembled layout, I will slow some of the spinning in my head. Or maybe I will tire of the whole process in three or four days and file this, forgotten, away in my desk drawer.