Today, March 31st, would have been my father’s eighty-seventh birthday. He was born in 1922 in southern Germany, and passed away nearly 13 years ago, at the age of seventy-four. It has been a long time since I have heard his voice or hacking smoker’s cough in the flesh, but those sounds are still fresh in my memory.There are many things (the good, the bad and the ugly) that he has missed over the past several years, but he lives on forever in our minds. If he were here today, I believe that he would be an engaged grandfather to his three grandsons-the boys that he always wanted. (His own offspring were two clones of the female kind.)
We recently had a “visit” from dad. A few weeks ago, my sister and her son cleaned out his old tool chest in mom’s garage. They stumbled upon a receipt from Revco dated June 13, 1996. At precisely 1:55 pm, dad purchased 11 chocolate candy bars, for which he paid $6.90. (He had hidden the receipt and the empty wrappers amongst the tools so mom wouldn’t know that he was cheating on his “diet.”) We found some humor and comfort in knowing that dad had enjoyed one last binge in the days preceding his death. (Now I know where I get my chocolate addiction from.) Happy Birthday, Dad! You are missed.