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Happy Birthday Dad! You would be 67 today. I miss you. I love you. We took you some flowers Saturday. Mom picked out the colors. I know you would like them, because she thought they were what was best. You always wanted whatever Mom thought what was best. Of course if you would have had your way you would have worn red lumberjack shirts with green pants. You would have been a walking plaided- out Christmas everyday.

I miss you. I am graduating in May. I know you would be proud. I wish you could be standing next to Mom, not just in spirit. You were always proud of how hard I worked. I know you will be with me when I go on those first interviews just like you are with me everyday.

There are so many things I miss about you. I miss how you always smelled like Dove soap and Old Spice. I miss how we used to get excited about new pens. I miss how you always wanted to go for a ride. You were always more excited about looking around  than you were driving. It made for some interesting drives. I miss how you used to come in the kitchen and want to snitch a piece of bacon. Then you would under one wrist, hold up two fingers, because you really wanted two pieces.

I miss the way you always got behind the causes  I was into. I miss the way you supported me. No matter what you always wanted to hear about my day. You wanted to know who my friends were and wanted to be sure they were treating me right. God help them if they didn’t.

I wish you were here. I am about to start a new chapter and I could use some words from you. I know Mom is here,  but I still need my Dad.  In some ways that has made this past year harder. I feel like  I have missed you more this year than previous years.

So many things remind me of you. There were a couple of songs that played on the radio when you passed away. One of them was I’m Already There, by Lonestar. It was the last set of lines that never failed to kill me:

We may be a thousand miles apart
But I’ll be with you wherever you are

I’m already there
Take a look around
I’m the sunshine in your hair
I’m the shadow on the ground
I’m the whisper in the wind
And I’ll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I’m already there
Oh I’m already there

 

I know you are my shadow and my guardian angel. I know that you are around me like the wind. It doesn’t make me miss or love you less. It just makes me cry more somedays.

We had a rocky relationship for so long. You were abusive and unkind, and I was a teenager who was just like you. We had the same temper and the same ability to flare quick. Then less than a year before you passed, we were able to heal. I thank God everyday that I had that chance.

You had other qualities too, and those are the ones that I choose to remember as your legacy to me. Your sense of humor, even at the corny jokes and puns, they way you always were there for anyone who needed help. You would give your all for anyone who needed you. Your unconditional love, your love of pens, your commitment to being there for family, and the strength of your faith were all a part of the gifts you gave to me.

I will never not miss you. I will never not love you. I will try and pass on the ideas you had about the way to treat people and to live life.  I love you Dad, happy birthday.

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