Today is my father's birthday and if he were alive, I would kiss his nose and cheeks, and hold his hands. Oh, how I loved my father. Our family was big on affection and even as an adult, I still delighted in smothering him with kisses. That kind of affection may seem over the top to some people, but I adored him. Of course, with Dad's great sense of humor, he'd stop all the fawning, by feigning overly dramatic properness and say something (that probably came from an old play), like " Please Madam! Control yourself!" or "Decorum, Decorum!" or "Excuse me Madam, Do I know you?" This last one he said to me when he was at my high school and I ran up to him to greet him with a great big hug. He said it loud enough for all my friend to hear, which they thought was pretty damn funny.
My Mom and Dad back in the day (and yes, I know I look just like my mom:)
Last week, my mom came for the Thanksgiving holidays and is staying a few extra days, so we can remember Dad's birthday together. As much as I love my father, I know it is much worse for my mother. They were so connected and adoring of each other. Mom told me that she feels Dad's absence like the sky. It's always there. You may not be looking directly at it, but it's always around you.
Right now, looking outside, I see a clear bright blue sky. It's framed by the dark green leaves and rich brown branches of large oak trees that grow just beyond my window. The blue stretches forever. It touches the horizon and seeps into the earth. Like my father, it's beautiful and comforting.