Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Fav - Happy Birthday, Pops!

It's been far too long since I wrote a Friday Fav, and to be honest, 2 weeks ago I almost wrote a farewell for now type of a post. The type of posts I was writing, outside of my Friday Fav, didn't have any flair and I wasn't digging the writing process. So I ended with just sticking to the Friday Favs and realized the weeks were flying by and I didn't have a chance to reflect on it all (and I would rather hang out with Mike and Baris). 

But today is my Dad's Birthday. Today he would have been 57, and just like I continued writing a Friday Fav for his 55th Birthday here, and the same way I did the week I had to say goodbye here, well today's Friday is no different. I started the public form of journal writing in 2008, and it all started because my Dad encouraged me. He was the first one to read my blog posts, he was the one who would save them and reference for later conversations, and he would ask before the subject even came up, "Did you take time to write today?"

Friday Fav - Happy Birthday, Pops!

I never thought how tough it would be to celebrate a person's birthday when they are no longer with you. I never imagined that my Dad wouldn't live to see his 60th, 80th, or even 100th Birthday, let alone never see his 56th. From the conversations we had and the way we both thought, I know he will reach those birthday milestones. I know Heaven is a place where party hats are worn and pork chops will be served from your birthday dinner request. I know that if I can't celebrate my Dad the way he should be celebrated, then God, his family, our pets who extended our family tree, and John Wayne and Patsy Cline are for sure celebrating the wonderful man that is my Dad. 

During the first few months after my Dad passed, I clung to the hope that he was still here and somewhere I could see/hear. I wanted to find him on the other end of a phone call, outside of my front door, or even where he was all along, in Utah just living his life with a smile on his face. Swallowing the reality that is, he is no longer here, still can't be processed.

When I think about my Dad and the way he approached life he was always looking up. Whether it was the stars, the sun, the moon, or the flock of birds, he always had his head where life was a little more peaceful. Being 6'7'' maybe it was his height that kept his head tilted so high, but when I think about where he is now, I can't help but look up. 

I no longer cling to the hope that he will show up, but instead, live for the type of life he did. One where my laugh travels for miles, where dancing doesn't mean you have to be good at it, where a house filled with dog hair is the happiest of homes, and where you make sure everyday (no matter the time) you tell the people you love how much they mean to you. My heart fills up when I think about the last time I saw him and the last thing he did that showed the type of man he was. I was on my way to Montana for my friend's wedding and my aunt offered to take me to the airport (she works there). It only made sense so I agreed. Just as I was approaching the security checkpoint, I saw my Dad. No appointment in the world would let him miss this moment, no distance from his house to the airport would stop him, and no matter if he had to park his car in short-term parking and deal with a fee that only provided him 5 minutes to see his daughter and say goodbye, he did it. He made those in his life a priority and always made sure to go the extra mile. I can remember his hug, his smile, and the way he waved at me as I turned the corner and walked to the departure gate. I'll never forget this moment, and I'll never be able to thank him enough for showing up and proving to be, one more time, the man who was always there for me. Little did I know that less a month after this moment, that was our goodbye. 

Pops, today for your Birthday, I'm looking up. Looking up at the life that is still ahead and the life that you gave me. Until we see each other again, I've got my party hat on and I'm celebrating you! 

I love and miss you, 


  1. Brittanie, this is beautiful!! You are an amazing testament to him and to his life on Earth, but you are so right...he's definitely celebrating like crazy up there in heaven :-)

  2. A very nice and true letter about your dad and yes Happy Birthday to you Bob , have some Pork Chops and enjoy the family that is with you up there, Love Mom ( Betty)

  3. Great piece, and what a bittersweet memory. Right there with you. Sending you hugs from the west today and giving you a real one on the east next week! I'll be writing my dad's birthday ode on my way home. Bob is so lucky to have you guys.