On the Anniversary of My Father’s Birthday

Today is the anniversary of my dad’s birthday. He died at age 81, yes, I know he lived a full life, but it doesn’t hurt any less when you lose a parent at a “good” age.  He would have been 89 today.

It sounds a bit silly, that I am still counting, now that he is gone, yet I remember my father doing the exact same thing.  He had a yellow legal pad of the birthdays and deaths of his mother and father, and some other relatives that I cannot recall.  I remember him telling me, “Grandma “T’resa” would have been ‘X’ number of years today.” I never knew her as she died when I was an infant, and have really only shadowy memories of my grandfather who died when I was three.

My son never knew my father and that is a shame because as good as he was a father to me, I know he would have shined in the role of “Grandpa”.

My father died after a long battle with prostate cancer and suffered terribly.  I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis the year he died and despite his pain he always asked me “How are you?”  “How are you doing?”  We seemed to be kindred spirits in our pain.  He “got it”, although I think he would have understood even if he didn’t have a chronic illness.

With things so dire right now, between Grant and I s’ illnesses and our financial situation, I often think how things would have been for us had he been alive.  How much I still need him now.

At his funeral, I was pretty much going through the motions, as many people do when they lose a close loved one, and when you look back on it, it’s all kind of a blur. One thing that did stay with me was something the priest said at the funeral mass.  That God had a room for my father in Heaven.  I pictured Heaven as a kind of modern, sketchy mansion with an endless amount of plain rooms, each with a person in it, and it comforted me.

It still does, I guess.  I try to teach Tyler that Grandpa Joe lives up in Heaven.  He is the grandpa that Tyler cannot see but is always watching over him.  Since Tyler has been alive we have lost two fish and two cats and to comfort Tyler I tell him that they are up in Heaven with Grandpa Joe and he’s got the fish in the fish bowl in his room and he plays with the kitties and they are all happy and don’t feel any pain.

I’m not sure if Tyler sees the picture but I sure do.  Happy birthday, Daddy, in your room in Heaven.

My father walking me down the aisle, his hair growing back after the latest round of chemo.  Thank you for living to see my wedding, daddy, it meant the world to me.

My father walking me down the aisle, his hair growing back after the latest round of chemo. Thank you for living to see my wedding, daddy, it meant the world to me.

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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5 Responses to On the Anniversary of My Father’s Birthday

  1. Lisa Pasquariello says:

    Hi there..
    thanks for your comment on my blog..
    I totally agree that often times social services makes huge mistakes..it’s terrible tragedy when that happens.
    Love the picture of you and your dad..my dad too was ill when i got married although he made it to my wedding he was too ill to walk me down the isle.

  2. Mrs4444 says:

    Sorry for sharing this story after such a poignant post, but it reminded me…I once told Kendall that her grandpa was looking down on her. She was lying on her bed in her underwear and immediately jumped to put some clothes on!haha

    Happy Heavenly Birthday to your dad 🙂

  3. Contemplative says:

    Crying as I’m reading this. Sad tears for the loss, happy tears for the memories. Knowing you, your situation, and having the privilege of knowing your dad, a most treasured tribute here.

    Love you all!

  4. Tendai says:

    I respect your tribute to your father. He must have been and still is a wonderful man.

    My dad would be 77 the end of this month and I still count every birthday, the day he died, the funeral, etc. He would have been an awesome grandfather, even better grandfather than he was a father and he was GRAND father. I miss him and he died suddenly by a drunk driver that I never even got to say good bye. He died on Good Friday. But I am comforted by the fact that he performed the marriage ceremony for my wonderful husband and I. Also I have a good feeling that he knew my son even before I got pregnant with him and is watching over us and rooting for us to succeed.

  5. Mrs. Tuna says:

    My mom died 18 months ago, she was only 67, I miss her every single day. But now I can think happy thoughts too.

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