Happy Birthday Dad

Yesterday was my father’s birthday. He was born on December 3, 1918, which means that he would be 101 if he were alive today. December is a month of birth dates in my family as my father was born December 3, mother December 9, and my brother Tom on December 14 which indicates that nine months before December must have been a pretty hot time in my family.

Sometimes I try to imagine what my father and his brothers and sister would have looked like back when they were just a year or two old and running around the house, being chased by their mom or playing with their siblings. Of course I can’t as there are no pictures and video hadn’t been invented yet, so there’s really no way to know what they would have looked like as toddlers. But really even video wouldn’t have been able to capture their personalities as only those who knew them when alive can remember them with any sense of authenticity.

That’s the thing about remembering people and their personalities. As time goes on, there are less people around who remember what someone was like when alive. For instance, except for his remaining children and some older adults who are still alive, anyone who knew what my father was like are gone, and all they have left are pictures and memories told my those still alive.

The fact of our brevity on this earth is made all too apparent on my walks through Loudon Park Cemetery with my brother. As we walk through the large park like setting, you see rows of stones, some small and some monuments but they all sit there lonesome by themselves with no flowers or things to show that anyone remembers them or cared. Some of the stones have pictures of the people when alive giving at least a glimpse of what they looked like while alive on earth, but for anyone who didn’t really know them when they were alive, it’s just a picture. Time does indeed erase our existence and I need to remind myself of that when I get too caught up in things that only matter for the moment.

Anyway, I started this column off with a Happy Birthday wish for my father and I will end with that. Happy Birthday dad, wherever your spirit may roam. You didn’t have an easy life while on this earth, and I hope that you are living a happier existence in some other realm.