I Can Only Envision The Chatter
I'm a little raw around the edges today due to some matters that I'm trying to muster the courage to write about, and also because late yesterday I realized that it was my dad's fake (but long real to me) birthday and I failed to pay my respects at the cemetery. You're probably wondering what the fake birthday is about.
About 40 years ago, one of my siblings was born in April, one day before my dad's real birthday. And as the ultimate, sometimes wacky but always well intentioned matriarch of the family, my mother subsequently moved my dad's birthday to March. Not only did she move it, but oddly enough, the new date (March 11) did not mirror my dad's birthday (i.e., his real birthday is later in April, not April 11). Maybe there was a church conflict or something that year.
Anyway, it wasn't until well into adulthood -- when I needed my dad's documents for something -- that I discovered he was actually born in April. But to this day, I always consider March 11 to be his day.
Laurel and I spent a lot of time with my dad during the last 9 months of his life, though obviously, she doesn't remember that time at all (she was 10 months old when he died). I learned so many lessons from him and every time I see how beautifully Laurel interacts with my mom or my in-laws I feel huge, irrepressible longing to have him here. When my dad was well enough, we spent a lot of time at the 70's formica kitchen table that served countless Koh family meals. This picture is far from perfect; it's kind of blurry and not well composed but Laurel's expression cracks me up and I love seeing her and my dad in profile because she looked so much like him as a baby.
Happy birthday, dad -- one fake day late (and over a real month early). I miss you terribly and I can only envision the chatter that you and Laurel would engage in now. She's a talker, just like me.