My dad died last May. Today would have been his 86th birthday. The past few weeks have been difficult leading up to this occasion. I’ve been dreading it. I’ve been sad. I’ve been pensive.
Today, I am choosing to smile when I think about my dad. I’m thinking about how our Christmas tree always stayed up until January 6 each year, both for my dad’s birthday as well as for dia de los reyes (Kings Day). I’m thinking about how he used to say that we were both born on different Christmases. One of us on December 25 and the other on January 6, bookending the season with what he used to call Mexican Christmas.
Today I am smiling thinking about how I learned to dance by standing on his feet as he waltzed around the room. I’m smiling because we shared so much. I’m smiling because deep, deep down, he was a good man, a good father, a good person. He just didn’t know how to deal with the challenges life through at him.
In the end, he had daughters that mourned him; grandchildren and great grandchildren that mourned him; and so many others. And after 85 years of life, mistakes, and challenges, to be mourned and missed by so many, is truly something to smile about.
Happy birthday, Dad!
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