Today, my dad would have turned 60. He and my mom would have both celebrated turning 60 this year, and if he was here, he would have thrown the biggest party he could have.
Before he got cancer last year, he started talking to me about what he should do for him and my mom this year. Since they both were set to turn 60, he wanted to do something grand. His first thought was to take my mom on a big trip to Hawaii…. but, we both quickly cut that down. Considering the fact that my mom does not like to fly, I told him that sticking her on a plane for 10+ hours to go sit on a beach was NOT a good way to celebrate 60. After a couple of months had passed and multiple phone calls, he had narrowed his decision down to two things: he would either throw a huge party for him and my mom or he would take her back to where they had their honeymoon.
A couple of months later my dad was diagnosed with Cancer. His plans soon shifted from what he and my mom were going to do to celebrate 60 to surgery, chemo treatments and fighting to beat cancer.
For the next year, he did fight. He went through endless amounts of tests and chemo treatments. By Christmas, his colon cancer was in remission, which was such a relief. His doctor gave him the clear to come to Maryland for the holiday. My mom, brother, & dad drove the long 18 hour (normally 13 hour) drive here to celebrate with us. At that time, we did not know that that was our last Christmas with him. We had such a great time. The whole room was filled with toys for the boys, and we even got snow on Christmas morning. The day could not have been more perfect.
Shortly after Christmas, we learned he had a different strain of cancer in his liver. This was going to be another hard battle for him, but he was ready for it. He fought so hard. He never got down or depressed. He kept his head held high with a smile on his face. When the family and I were able to come down to visit him, he would play board games with the kids and go fishing at the local lake with them.
This past July his body could not fight anymore, and sadly he lost his battle with cancer.
He never got a chance to take that 60th birthday trip or throw that big 60th birthday party. But, he did get to live a very full, loving, amazingly inspiring life.
So, here we sit on his 60th birthday, remembering a man who was the greatest there could be. The boys say he needs a birthday cake, so we will be baking cupcakes for him. But, it will not be the same.
There is not a day that goes by that he is not thought of or missed.
Happy Birthday Dad.
I hope you are celebrating in heaven.
I love you.