It’s Saturday October 26th and today I went to purchase my father a birthday card. As I am in the store looking at the cards, I begin to pick them up to read. There are the small cheap funny version, the large ornate versions, and then there are others that play music or have some saying in them.
As I begin to read a few of the cards, it begins to sink in, this may be the last year I buy my father a birthday card. He may not be here next year, at this time, and I won’t be going through this ritual of looking for the right card.
My mind begins to go to places that I just do not want to think about or consider this evening. What do I say in the card? Do I write a message of hope? Of the future? Do I take the time to say thank you for all that you do, you are, and have been? Do I write and simply tell you that I love you and that all will be okay? Do I tell you that I am sorry for not bing, doing, or saying more? What?
The cards in the aisle start to become a blur as the tears begin to drip down my face. I remove my glasses to wipe the tears away from my face. I pick another card. I try to read, but the more I read the more my mind races to places I don’t want to consider.
I just do not want to lose or think about the future. Not a future without my father. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not next month. Not yet. I want to just be in the moment. I want to celebrate the day that he was given to this world, a day that allowed me to have him as a father. I want to make a memory of the 69th anniversary in which my father is alive and I am with him in person. I want to be happy and thankful. I do not want to be sad.
The I think about being small and those times in which making a card meant the most to my father. A time in which life was simpler. A time in which the only worry I had was saying good bye to my father at night before he went to work, seeing him in the morning as he walked in the door before I had to leave for school. A time in which I knew my father would always be there and would be here forever.
I select a card. I run towards the check out. An employee asks if I have found everything. Yes, I am fine. I just want to buy this and leave. I am in a rush.
I buy the card. They place it in a bag. I leave. I get into the car and drive home. All the way my mind is yelling at my all of these terrible things that I just do not want to deal or think about. I turn the music up but it still doesn’t dampen the shouting going on in my mind.
I arrive home. I dim the lights. Turn on the fireplace. The refrigerator is humming. I begin to hear the thump-thump-thump of my heart beating. It begins to slow from a race to an even, calm, peaceful beating.
I then hear the silence of my heart speaking to me that all will be fine. All will be okay. I take the card out of the bag. I begin to write the words that my heart is speaking to me. I ignore the banter.
I sign the card with my name. I write I love you. I end with…..
“…our love and bond is stronger than time, space, and the physical form. It transcends all. I know you will always be with me, watching over me, and beating inside of me.”
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