Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. He would have been 70 years old. Unfortunately, he died in 2003. He bled to death in the recovery room after having a kidney removed when the clips on his renal artery came off.
I've often been sad when I think about Dad and Alexander. I know the two of them would have hit it off tremendously. I know Alexander would have had a blast with my Dad, and I know my Dad would have cherished every moment spent with my son.
But instead of focusing on what's not there, I will continue to tell Alexander fun stories about his Grandfather. I'll share the tales of all the fun that my Dad and I had. And one of the things that has rubbed off on me, something I learned from my father, is a love an enthusiasm for finding fun in everything I do and a desire to try to make other people smile.
One of the special and unique things I learned from my father was how to be a man and take responsibility for my actions, yet maintain a childish approach and youthful enthusiasm for each day. My Dad was always a big kid at heart. (I'll never forget how excited he was that one Christmas when he turned 60 and Francine and I bought him a train set. He'd always wanted one from when he was a kid and was so delighted with his gift that he got on the phone and called his mother to tell her he finally got the train set he always wanted. When I watch Alexander play with his train set I think about how excited my Dad would have been to play trains with him.)
Dad and I had lots of fun together over the years -- whether it was playing games, enjoying the outdoors or just relaxing and enjoying each other's company over a beer. I'll cherish those memories, particularly while building similar fun memories with Alexander. And I will always remember the distinct lilt of his laughter, the unique beam of his proud smile.
I love you Dad. And though it has been years since we've enjoyed each other's company, since we've played or laughed together, you continue to count each and every day.