Happy Birthday, Dad

Today would have been my Father’s 82nd birthday. Each year, around this time I find myself reflecting on his life. On the man he was and on the continued impact he has on my life.

My father was so many things to me. My father, yes, but so much more. His was a calming presence in my life. His was a wisdom that often changed the course of my path, bringing me back from an edge he knew I was teetering on. His words were always well-placed and impactful. He knew me, even the parts of me that I tried to keep well-hidden. There were times I resented that, and other times I was so very grateful.

Truly, he was the center of my world for so very long. I never imagined, not even for one moment, what my life would become without him. I suppose it was because the thought of not being able to sit with him, hear his voice, hold his hand, or feel the safety of his embrace, was something too painful for me to consider. But, life had other lessons to teach me; lessons I would have to learn without my father’s guidance and presence.

I often wondered how my father could be so wise. I often wondered how he could have such a unique perspective on human nature and of life itself.

When I was a young girl, I spent many hours sitting and talking with him. Listening to his words. Often, not understanding them in the moment, but later realizing with certainty, what he was trying to tell me. His words were never misplaced, and they were never spoken without great thought and insight. I was lucky. God chose well when he placed me into my father’s care. When he chose my father to be my guide and protector on this earth.

My father never let me down, even when he had to discipline me, or call me to task, he did so with great love and with great patience. The woman I have become is largely due to my Father’s influence on me; to the many hours I spent in his presence, and to the words he spoke in his quiet, thoughtful voice.

I miss him every day. And though in the ten years since he left us, the pain of his absence has become more bearable, it is an ache that will never truly go away.

JN Fenwick, author, grateful daughter.