People say that grief takes time to heal. They say that time heals all wounds. They say that by remembering the lessons that your parent taught you it makes things easier. I’ve listened to those words for two and a half years. I try to remember them in hopes that the loss of my father comes easier. Some days it does. Somedays not so much.

On his birthday, it never is easy. I don’t remember the last birthday I spent with him. What is even sadder is I can’t remember the last birthday I told him Happy Birthday. You see, I have been living in regretful grief for two and a half years.

Is it normal to lose a parent and regret the so many things you didn’t say or do? Or regret the so many things you did say and do? I regret so much. I most regret the fact that I never got to tell him I’m sorry for being a horrible daughter at the end. I regret not calling him on Christmas. Or Thanksgiving. Or New Years. I only texted him. Texted him. What kind of daughter does that!?

At the end I couldn’t even tell him goodbye.

I’m sorry dad. For all of it. For not showing you how important you were to me. For not showing you how much I love you. For not proving that you were not alone. I really hope today and forever you are happy, pain free, in the company of family and friends.

I miss you, daddy
With every ounce of breath
I’ve been thinking of you
As I see the world fall to its death.

I remember your cars
And the way you smiled when you fished
All the smacks during driving
All the meals that you dished.
I can hear you singing happily
Strumming on your precious guitar
How I wish I could hear your voice
Or wish I were where you are.

The summer has been heating up
As I remember my summers with you
The fishing and the camping
And the food and car how to’s.
I remember the basketball lessons
And the Kempo hard knocks
How I pushed you a way
And how often we would talk.

I’m sorry at the end I wasn’t there
To kiss you and say goodbye
My priorities had been a mess
My work stood on a pedestal too high.
I regret not calling you back
When you messaged that I was missed.
Little did I know you were too
Though my heart would resist.

I wish you were here today
To see my life and hear my song
Of self love and happiness
Of fixing what’s been wrong.

Would you be proud of who I’m becoming
Once getting over what I’ve done?
Would you partake on this summer
Of all the family’s fun?
Would you be the one cooking?
Would you allow me to be the host?
I’ve gotten better doing that you know
Just as good as you – almost.

Your grandsons ask about you
Every weekend they are here
How their Papa did this and that
How they wish that you were near.

Daddy, oh how special you are
You thought you’d be forgot
But you live through each of us
How could you think you’d not?
I miss your crazy humor daddy
And the sound of your “Hun’ girl”
Sing with all the angels
And give my babies a twirl.

I wish you were here with me.
I wish you were not gone.
I love you more than ever
And through the breaking dawn.

Happy Birthday Old Man. I hope you have a ginormous cake in front of you. I hope Mama is singing Happy Birthday to you. I hope my babies are laughing and anxious for a good piece.