I have spent the last two weeks attempting to write this post. Mostly staring at the screen, occasionally typing and then hitting the delete button repeatedly. How do I express my feelings about this giant cloud that is now surrounding what has always been my favorite day of the entire year? February 23rd.
I tried to channel my father’s wit and humor as a means to express how I feel, but I realized that I am just not there yet. So instead, I am just going to go with another thing my dad excelled at – honesty.
Honestly? I have been dreading this day since November 28th. It’s too soon. Our family just trudged through the heartache that came with Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, but nope, that’s not all. Now I have to find a way to celebrate my birthday and my dad’s birthday, without him. I don’t even know where to start.
I’m the baby of the family, and lucky for me, I came into this family on my dad’s 30th birthday. Obviously, his best birthday present ever (although, there were definitely times he denied this and would point to some other childhood gift he loved). My dad was the kind of man that everyone wanted to be close to. He had this magnetic personality that made you just instantly want to be his best friend. How could you not? NOTHING compared to the feeling when he laughed at your jokes (or did the typical Don Rhymer thing and just said “That was funny”). And I got to be his little girl. I got to share his birthday with him for 21 years. No day was more precious than February 23rd. It was the day of Don and Carrie. I always felt so proud and so special on our birthday, like it was some secret gift we shared that no one could ever take from us; a bond unique in its own.
Last year my parents flew to Boston for my 21st birthday and my dad’s 51st birthday. They stayed at this snazzy hotel, where the bar was a nightclub. We had our first legal drink together and joked and laughed at the people around us dancing. I want that again.
I know that it’s still a bond that only he and I share, but I want more birthdays. I feel gypped out of years of birthdays and memories and it’s not fair. It’s just not.
I am going to celebrate my dad’s birthday with my friends in Boston this year. I told them all that I want to have a big toast to him, and have instructed them that if there is a cake being made – it must have my dad’s name on it as well. I don’t know what the day will be like, probably lots of ups and downs like everything else these days. Luckily I will be surrounded by my dear friends.