A Note to My Father on His 74th Birthday
It’s 12:25 am, so you are probably sitting at the kitchen table having your late-night snack.
And while could probably call, I didn’t want to wake up mom.
So I had to write you a quick note because I didn’t want you to think I forgot your birthday.
Because I didn’t.
But by the time I can talk to you tomorrow, it will be late afternoon, so I just wanted to tell you a few things.
Last week, I went out to buy you a gift.
I bought you a Syracuse University stadium blanket.
You know, the kind of thing that you can cozy up under when you watch SU sports on television.
I talked to mom and she said that you have many blankets and that it would be a waste.
So I returned it.
Because I know she is right.
You wouldn’t really want a blanket.
Then mom suggested that I buy you sweatpants.
She told me your size and a brand name and even where to go.
And I thought about it, but seriously… sweatpants?
I couldn’t do it, Dad.
You mean more to me than sweatpants.
Even if you can really use them.
Because you can buy your own sweatpants. And every time I try to buy you pants, you end up having to return them for a different color or size or style, so what’s the point?
And anyway I know that what you really want is for me to be with you on your birthday.
To cozy up with you under one of your many warm blankets, probably on the couch in the sunroom.
To sit at the kitchen table and share a tangerine and a few
dozen handfuls of peanuts.
To talk about politics or do a crossword puzzle until we finish it.
Even if that means staying up way past midnight.
But I can’t be there, Dad.
I just wanted you to know that I know what you want.
You want your family.
Your children and your grand-children.
I will talk to you later, okay?
Your only daughter
How do you show you love and appreciate someone when you can’t be near them?