Perhaps it is surprising considering how long he has been gone, but I find myself suddenly missing my dad with a sharp sad feeling on this, what would have been his 94th birthday. Now the chances that he would have lived this long are slim, but then, the chance that he would be gone before I turned 30 were also not long, but he was. He died at 62, a long time ago.
I ask him often to pray for me and for the people he loves. I know he prays for my boy, the only grandchild he got to hold. I remember that he noticed how smart my son was, how Moose played with his fingers in the sunlight. Dad wanted to start a tradition of going with his grandson to the Christmas tree farm to pick out a live tree. They shared only one Christmas together. I insisted upon real trees for years and years because of that. My son remembers the real trees but not the reasoning behind my insistence.
But, if Dad could come over for lunch and spend an hour with me on his birthday today, I have a lot of things I would like to talk with him about. I would like to hear more about his Grandpa Duright and his Great Grandma Koerline. I would make him tell me about that little stick'em house on Elm Street. I would ask for all the family stories again.
I would give him hugs and show him that I did learn to be a pretty good cook. I would tell him about his grandchildren. He would love to know them. And the great grands and what a good grandpa my brother is and a great dad my other brother is and little Hannah. He would love little Hannah.
I miss my dad, have missed him most of my life it seems. But he is in a better place. He is dancing and praising God for all eternity and someday I hope to join him and it will seem like this life was so short and that he had only been gone an instant! At least that is the way I imagine heaven to be.