I've been thinking about you a lot lately, wishing you were here to answer my questions and point me in the right direction. Sometimes I momentarily forget you are gone and I find myself wanting to tell you something or ask your advice.
Today is your birthday and so we find ourselves once again filled with memories. Even the happy ones can leave us feeling teary, with a lump in our throats. We know you are safe with Jesus and that is an incredible comfort in our sadness, but we still miss having you here with us. Our time flew by all too fast and sometimes I feel as though I hardly had a chance to say good bye.
Every once in a while when I am at the house, I pull out your old diaries and read several pages before tucking them back into their hiding place. I desperately want to take them home and read them cover to cover, but have thus far resisted the urge.
I still hear your voice in my mind, see your smile, and hear your laugh. I love listening to you sing and play your instruments and I am incredibly blessed that you made those tape recordings for us to treasure. Deep down I once again wish that I had learned to play the guitar or harmonica. We'll be visiting the nursing home tonight, trying to bring a bit of encouragement to those folks you held so dear. I find myself falling in love with them a little bit more each week.
We are doing our best to take care of Mom for you. Sometimes she is quiet and I'm not sure what to say to her, but yesterday we were visiting and I asked her about some of the stories she used to tell us, stories from when she was a child and stories from your days together. Her eyes brightened and we laughed as she remembered those days. She was happy and I found myself feeling relieved. I hope she might take the time to write down some of her memories for us. I think I might buy her a journal. I'm sure she misses you so much more than she ever lets on.
As we remember you today and celebrate your life here, you will be spending your first earth birthday in eternity, a new life. I can just imagine the party you might have with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Art, Danny and all those gone before, and though I don't really think there are birthday parties in heaven, the thought did make me smile. Maybe I'll have to make you a cake (or would you prefer elderberry pie?).
I love you, Dad, and look forward to that day when we will meet again.