In thirty-nine minutes, it’s my dad’s birthday.
He would have been seventy-four.
If he hadn’t gotten sick, I’d probably be in Florida right now. And I’d call him tomorrow, like nine hundred times, to wish him happy birthday.
But I flew back to New York the day he was diagnosed. And here I remain. For now.
I still hear him in the back of my head. As clear as ever. Behind my ears. As I always have.
Not in words exactly, but in silent feelings. I can feel his feelings. And they guide me through decisions and situations. Although, obviously and unfortunately, I can’t call him after the fact anymore.
And I hate that.
When I was young my dad told me I shouldn’t use the word “hate” because it’s too strong of a word.
Well dad, I really mean it this time.
More so than I ever.
Because all I can do is sit here, listening to Brubeck – your favorite, while writing to a few good people who are now reading these words.
So what would you like me to pass on to them?
You’d often say there are three sides to every story – my side, your side and the right side. The truth.
So, what’s the truth here?
It feels like, behind my ear, the truth is that only love is real.
But maybe that’s good-ol-fashion bullshit.
Because the fear, and greed, and evil in this world, sure as hell seems just as real.
Ahh, I got it.
I can hear you more clearly now dad.
Love might not be the only thing that’s real, but it’s certainly the only thing that matters.
And I love you.
And miss you.
And I love you too, dear readers, for being here with me in this moment.
I’m truly grateful for you – and that’s the truth as well,
Happy Birthday Dad.