Don't worry. I totally wished my dad a happy birthday on his actual birthday a couple of days ago. I even let him snuggle with George, THAT is how wonderful and gracious a daughter I am. Snuggling with George is like frolicking through a field of daisies without suffering from seasonal allergies, in case you were wondering how well my son snuggles.
I have a goal. Over the next year, I would like to make time to sit down with my dad and listen to his stories. He has told me so many over the years, about where he grew up in New Jersey, his time in the Marines, what it was like to travel the world as a hotshot Vice-President of Marketing for a cutting edge computer company, what life has been like since his strokes and marrying my mom in the seventies. I want to not only listen to his stories, but to write them down.
Life has had its moments with my dad, and as a result he does not have many material objects from his life prior to his late thirties. It makes me want to talk to him even more about the few items we do have, to hear their background and learn about their importance to him. So maybe I will be taking a few photos as well.
When I was growing up, my dad was always and without fail interested in my day. How was school? How was that one test I was dreading? Did I have more thoughts on what I wanted to major in when I went to college? (I'm pretty sure he started asking me that one when I was about seven. My parents' strategy: NEVER LET COLLEGE BE MERELY OPTION. It worked. Evidence: Graduate degree, aka they raised an overachiever.) We still talk on the phone almost every day of the week, and my dad knows more about my life than some of my friends' do. I think we are long overdue for me to do some listening.
Love you, Dad.