Monday, the 24th, would have been my dad’s 57th birthday. It’s hard to picture him as 57, but he never looked his age until he got sick, anyway, so he’d probably look the same except maybe with a little more gray hair.
For his last birthday, I got off from work study early, picked up some chicken and dumplings I’d called to have ready at Cracker Barrel in Trussville and took them to his newly-rented/founded own business in Irondale and we sat by this little wood stove he had in there because it was so cold in that mostly-concrete-and-steel building.
He told me he was glad I visited and was spending the time with him and that he was glad I’d written that letter to him that I’d left on his table in the dining/back room (I can only think of a handful of times we ever actually dined there, why do we call it the dining room?), and I fought back crying as we ate and talked about the letter.
It’s one of my favorite memories, not just of him, but ever.
Happy (early) birthday, Dad. I wish we had gotten to share many more.