Update 12 | Happy Birthday, Dad

🎈 Immediately after I wished Dad ‘Happy Birthday’ while sitting alone on my porch, a single leaf slowly fell to the ground from the tree across from me.  🍁

I tried to see beauty in the symbolism.

But it doesn’t take away the melancholy silence of the moment, knowing I won’t get a response.

Today is when I would take him out to breakfast at “our place”.  

Just us, a father & daughter date.

I don’t know why since I’m almost 40, but every time the bill comes and I slide it toward me, I still feel a sense of pride as though it’s the first time. A sense of being able to say to my Dad, “I’ve got you” after all the times he took care of me.

I loved just being able to say, “Order anything you want.”   😎

He probably laughed inside knowing the bill was always around $35… but still.

Growing up, when we went out to eat, there was no order of appetizers, drinks or dessert. Just the Main meal (usually split) and dessert only on birthdays.

Opening the menu to be able to order *anything* feels special, and that’s how I wanted him to feel.

On the weekend we would have gone out to dinner with about 15 family members at “our pizza place”.  🍕

Eating the same food we always love from a local mom n’ pop shop, sharing the same delicious dessert my mom would special order.

The kind where they bring it out and all our eyes get bigger. 👀

The thing about special places is they’re really fun when you’re with the person you share the memories with - but without them, it’s just not the same.

So I sit here on my porch, appreciative for what I have, for *who* I have… And quietly mourn the one I don’t.  💔