Today is, would have been, my father’s 85th birthday. I choose to observe the day as his active birthday, even if he’s no longer in the same realm as we are. When he turned 50, I said he could start counting backwards. He said he’d started the backwards count when he was 35!
I’ve been able to spend a lot of time in the garden this week. The weeds are prolific, as usual. This weekend we’ll place dad’s big ceramic pieces back in the garden. The potatoes have finally made an appreance. Dad felt that one should focus an eatable garden on things that were difficult to obtain at the grocery. While I understand his logic, and objectivity surrounding this tenant of his gardening, I want to dig potatoes, and pick sun gold tomatoes with my grandson. It’s about the experience! I have a shiso planted on the deck. Dad would approve.
It’s an honor, and a challenge to be the major share holder of both my father and mother’s life stories. The context of their memories as they were shared with me, and as I remember them, their oral history, rests mostly with me… My children have heard pieces of mom’s family lore, some repeatedly… Dad wasn’t as a forthcoming a story teller. My cousin has our family tree mapped out, and my youngest and eldest are very interested in genealogy. I find my interest in family history growing.
I bravely took an incoming call from mom early this evening. It went really well. While I didn’t remind her, there was zero recollection that it was dad’s birthday. While I was sad she didn’t recall, I was relived she didn’t recall.