Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Dan

Dear Dan,

Happy Birthday. More importantly to you, Happy Flag Day. You loved that your birthday was on Flag Day. I wish I could find one of the pictures to post here of you with your flag hat. As a matter of fact, I don't know what I did with that hat. Sorry. Maybe it found its way into the boxes of your stuff that I sent to New Orleans after Katrina hit. It took me all that time just to part with anything. Don't worry, I didn't give them your long underwear. Don't think they would have a need for that down there.

Anyway, today we will be celebrating with family and friends at the Elbow Room. Same as we did on the last birthday you celebrated on this earth. Some things never change huh?

Speaking of that. I can't believe you have missed seven birthdays. The world has changed so much in those seven years. So much so that you would hardly recognise things that you loved. Like the Republicans. Sorry buddy, but the Jesus freaks took them over. I can't imagine you liking that. But I can't imagine you voting for a Democrat either.

And your boys. The pride and joy of your life. They are so grown up. Sometimes when I look at Devin, I have to look twice because he looks so much like you. Especially when he laughs. Which is often. They have so much of you in them. Unfortunately not the working gene. But I'll talk to you about that on one of my trips to the cemetery.

Danny grew to appreciate your passion for books. One by one, he's reading his way through your library. You should be so proud. I'm just sorry he wasn't old enough to appreciate them when you were alive. He could have listened to you go on and on, an on. I would have been off the hook!

I do have one gift for you though. An apology. I'm sorry for calling you a jerk and an asshole sometimes when you drove me crazy. You got the last laugh though. I got your message. Loud and clear. I can see you now, legs crossed. Smoking a Marlboro with your elbow on you lap, slightly leaning forward and to the right. Laughing. Every time you send me a sign. I can hear you say "So, I wasn't such an asshole after all was I?"

No, you weren't. You were a loving father and husband who worked much harder than you should have had to. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't appreciate you and miss you.

I especially miss the flowers. So much so that I had to go and actually grow some myself. You would be amazed. Figured I'd better grow some for myself since no one buys them for me anymore! This whole gardening thing is kinda fun. I'm sure you would have gotten into that just as much as when you got into being the pool boy!!

Happy Birthday Dan. I'm sure you are dancing somewhere......just not in those yellow pants,I hope!

Love you,

PS. Where was your tie in this picture? You always wore a tie. Even when you weren't going anywhere for cryin' out loud~


Judi said... are messing with my mascara. Thanks for helping me to know Dan--a man you and Angela loved.
Shit, I love those yellow pants and he is a great dancer!

Your story reminds me of this one...
A few summers ago, my dear Uncle Anthony (my mom's brother) passed away--quietly and very unexpectedly under his grape arbor--where he sat down to rest after dropping his wife off at the Senior Center. He and my aunt (his wife) always bickered. She hated it that he always had to have the last word and he thought she was a PAIN IN THE ASS! Their particular fight that day was about who was sicker. My aunt had been sick for years. My uncle was always healthy as an ox. But, that day he was tired and feeling fluish. My aunt would have none of his whining--after all, she KNEW she was sicker.
When I went to visit my aunt the morning after my uncle died, she told me she was pissed at him--because he always got the last word and now he really got the last word--by dying. He proved he was sicker. She said he didn't have to go that far just to get to prove his final point!
A few months before she died, she told me she was no longer pissed but since she figured she would die soon, she was working on what she was going to say to him when they met up in heaven. So, I said "just tell him you're sorry for all the things you said". She didn't think that was a good idea---she said "it would take an eternity!" and she figured he'd get the last word there too. She said she was just going to tell him he shouldn't have died under the grape arbor and leave her stranded at the senior center
I often wonder what they are fighting about now....

Happy Flag Day, Happy Birthday Danny Boy!
Enjoy the Elbow Room!

Burgh Baby said...

I love this. So much.

Sue said...

Happy Birthday Dan....and Eileen..thanks for sharing your heart with all of us!! This is soooo beautiful.....

Judi said...

Ok, we've been celebrating Dan's birthday long enough. I mean, I'm all for a good party and all but honestly, I'm getting way too old for a 16 day birthday party!
A girl has to dry out!
Please, my dear, give me something else....