Today would have been my Dad’s 70th birthday. What a milestone that would have been. Only he died almost 6 years ago aged 63.
It’s funny, this birthday has been a long time coming really. I remember my Mum suggesting last year that we all get together to ‘celebrate’ it in some way. And it still felt a really long time away. And then she booked a restaurant local to her a good couple of months ago, and it seemed mad to be doing it so early (it gets busy apparently!). But now the day is here and it has completely flown around.
And yet it wasn’t the first thing I thought of today. In the busy world of being a parent myself, my first thoughts was about my boys. About the day ahead, putting some washing on, making tea and making their breakfast. And then as Zach was walking from the kitchen to the front room with his breakfast, he started singing happy birthday. Not because of my Dad, but because he had put a smiley face of fruit on his Weetabix and it must have reminded him of candles on a cake. And at that point he reminded me that it was dad’s birthday. And I felt a little sad at that point as my thoughts started turning to the celebrations that would have been, had we not cruelly lost him.
I wonder what we would have got him for a big birthday like that. It would have been something special. Maybe something big that we all chipped in for.
And I wonder how we would have celebrated. Would we have thrown him a party? Invited the family down, secretly contacted all of his friends.
Or would it have been a more simple affair? A special dinner, with just us lot together.
And I wonder what he would have looked at aged 70. My Dad never really seemed to age, but adding on 6 years to the last time we saw him healthy, I’m sure there would probably be some noticeable differences.
But we will never know. We will never know how we would have celebrated. We will never know what we would have bought him or what he would look like now.
Instead, when we sit at the restaurant dinner table later today, eating a meal, chattering away and trying to keep the kids from going wild, there will as always, be that one missing person.
Happy 70th birthday Dad. You are still so sorely missed every single day. We shall raise our glasses to you today, wherever you may be.