Today would have been my dad’s 65th birthday today. But it wasn’t, because he passed away on July 19th of this year.
My father and I weren’t particularly close; he and my mother divorced when I was 6 and although I saw him regularly, we never had much in common and he wasn’t a particularly social person. I hadn’t seen him for nearly 3 years when I got the call that he was going into hospice care, but within days of receiving the news I flew to Connecticut to see him one last time.
While I was visiting him there a woman with a cart full of art supplies came by. She was some sort of art director or art therapist or something at the hospice. She told me I should make something for him, which kind of didn’t make sense since he was highly drugged up and, although I didn’t know it at that moment, had about 12 hours left to live. Still, my desire to express myself through art and distract myself with a colorful project won out, and I made a cut-paper piece that I ended up being quite please with. I showed it to him after I’d completed it, though I don’t know if he really saw it. We hung it up behind his bed, where I’m sure he never saw it again, and I don’t know what happened to it, but I did take a lone photo with my iPhone. Behold:
So, Dad, happy birthday to you wherever you may be. It was odd not buying a birthday card for you. I’m sad you won’t be around to say happy birthday to me in a couple of weeks, too. I miss you despite all our differences. I think of things I want to email you about quite often, and then remember that you’re gone.