Happy Birthday Dad

| by Paula Jones |

Since you’ve been gone,
There are so many times I have felt lost.
It’s spring again here
And I miss you.
One more year has passed
And you are another year older.
Yet, you do not care do you?
I think of you often this time of year.
You never really said,
Yet I think it was your favorite.
Do you think of me?
Remember the time you yelled at me in the garden?
I was stepping all over your precious baby beans.
I only wanted to help.
You loved your garden.
The neighbor made you a special chair
Just to sit in the middle of it.
Do you remember that chair?
I have it now.
It sits by my garden come spring
And stays all summer.
I remember you.
Everyone still remembers you.
They speak of you with such fond memories.
You never met a stranger.
I can remember sitting in ninety degree heat in a smoldering car,
Waiting on your conversations to end with some random stranger.
Mom was so mad at you.
She always was for some reason or another.
Your differences far outweighed your similarities.
You still managed though, didn’t you?
Married all those years.
She misses you.
Although I am certain you are aware,
She still despises you at times.
You were hard on her.
You were hard on all of us.
That is something most do not know.
She is also still angry that I am your daughter.
She says I turned out a little too much like you.
She thinks we all love you more than her.
You know mom,
No amount of convincing.
Why do we love you so much?
You were so stern with us, so distant.
You taught us that distance.
Do you see each other?
My oldest brother and you.
Do you get along?
Now that you are there,
Are you finally friends?
I hope so.
Because he always needed you.
I think the other one misses you as much as I do.
I wonder what it would be like now,
If you were still here.
My past life is gone.
I have moved on to a better one.
You would have been so proud.
I know you would.
Was it my stubbornness that kept you so quiet?
I know you wanted me to move on long ago.
Was it mom?
Or more to the point her religion?
Was it me?
Was it because I am too much like you
And would not talk about it?
I am angry with you because of that.
You should have talked to me anyway.
You would have cornered my brothers
And made them listen.
Was I so different from them?
That is one mistake you made dad.
Not that you seemed to make too many.
Only lessons learned, right?
You should have spent more time with me.
What is this garbage about you raising the boys
And mom raising the girls?
We had more in common than she and I did.
I needed you.
You could understand me.
Well when you took the time to see me for me
And not mom’s me.
I still miss you though
And wish I had listened more closely.
Those times we did talk.
Those moments that you did take the time to see me.
I need your advice right now
And I can’t hear it.
Sometimes I have heard you,
Even though you are there and I am here.
I am trying to listen dad.
Trying to be still and hear your voice.
Trying to decide what you would do.
I know you still have the answers.
All our answers.
What would you think right now?
What would you say about my new family?
My blended family.
What would you think of your grand-children
And your great grand-children?
All of your grand-children have moved on.
They are all grown up with lives of their own.
You know this don’t you?
I just wish I could hear what you have to say about it.
I know my brother does too.
He wants to know what you think
And I am certain he wants to hear your advice.
We all want to hear your voice
And feel your presence.
You always made it seem
As if everything would be alright.
You always had the answers
And if you didn’t, you created them.
I still miss you dad.
I know you had your demons
And that you were not a perfect man.
I know you came from an imperfect world full of abuse.
I know that is why you could be so distant.
I was there for part of your demons
And I know others were there for even more.
Our past molds us
And your past molded you
Just as mine has molded me.
Still you persevered
And you taught your children to do the same.
We will.
We will still try to hear your voice.
And there will never come a time
That we will not ask ourselves
What dad would do.
We still miss you dad.
Happy Birthday.
Wish you were here to celebrate it with us.
Please keep watching over us.
I know you are.
Love you always.

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