It still feels surreal to be writing this four months later. I honestly do not even want to write this, but, if there is one thing that your side of the family taught me was to celebrate life rather than mourn it. You gave everyone including me more than enough reasons to memorialize you.
On today, which would have been your 64th birthday, I already started off my day with a western omelet. I still remember you making them for me before school. Everyone still rants about your cooking from your days as a line cook and chef. You definitely spoiled me with home cooked meals.
This morning, your daughter and sister already reached out to me saying how much they miss you. All of your friends and family endlessly speak about your sense of humor. You always had your audience on the floor rolling in laughter. You always did some sort of stupid shit that made me shake my head, roll my eyes, and then laugh at its ridiculousness.
Your loved ones also knew how much you cared about other people. You would give your last dollar or the shirt off your back from someone. Just thinking about it, I lost track of how many people you let stay at our home when they had nowhere else to go. You always threw me a few dollars in college when you damn right well did not have it yourself. You were always a phone call away when I was going through some shit. I still ask myself, “What would my dad say to me right now?”
Most importantly, you showed me how to be a real man. You taught me so many life lessons. Through your example, I learned what it takes to be responsible, kind, and good-natured. Now, I have some big shoes to fill, but I will try my damnedest to fill them.
Birthdays are not meant to be a day to mourn. They are a day of celebration even when you cannot be here in your corporeal form. Your birthday celebrates when you came in this world as well as what you left behind. You sure as hell left your mark on so many.
P.S. I miss you every day.
-The Caring Counselor