It was the sudden realization that my dad would be turning 65 this October if he were still alive. He'd be eligible for retirement, and he'd be able to take it easy and probably drive my mom up the wall if actually DID decide to retire, although I suspect that he'd have a tough go at not
And I can only imagine the fun of the retirement party.
What would be more fitting, then, than to have a sort of retirement party for Dad's birthday, right? Such a great idea, although I'm not really sure what happens at retirement parties. I suspect gifts like sock garters, sandal-sock combos, and velour track suits are given.
Celebrating my dad's birthday is something that I've always tried to focus on, rather than the day he died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. The difficulty is that both happened in October. As was my parents' wedding anniversary. It's nearly impossible, then, to separate the days. Death Day is far too close to Birth Day. I've re-christened October as Sucky McSucksalot Month, as my heart is truly heavy during this month - in the span of 16 days, I mourn the loss of a beautiful life, I mourn a marriage that was torn asunder by that treacherous third party, and I mourn a birthday I can't truly celebrate anymore.
During a "Dad moment," I don't just cry. My heart tightens up and tries to claw its way up my throat, which start burning like I just swallowed fire. If I don't have something like controlling a moving vehicle to distract me, the rolling tears will turn into ugly girl crying - red, puffy eyes, snotty, running nose, and ragged breathing that can lead to hyperventilating if I'm not careful. The grief that washes over me is powerful enough to knock me to my knees, where you'll still find me asking "WHY?"
I would love to honor my dad and the amazing work that he did in his 51 years. I'd love to raise my glass and toast his accomplishments and tell him, even in just a symbolic gesture, that he can finally take a break and just relax for a bit. Maybe he could finally finish the house remodeling project that he started when I was about HRH's age.
I'm just not sure I'm strong enough.