Another Birthday without the Birthday Boy

I’ve never shared this with anyone and I think it’s time for that to change.

Earlier this year I went to my family’s storage unit for the first time. It was in helping my mom put up our Christmas things that I found boxes of my things from when we moved in 2007 and boxes of my dad’s things from his office and things we have kept of his. I found a journal that I hadn’t seen since I was probably thirteen. Inside this pink and green journal unleashed the secrets of how I really felt, things I did not remember as the nineteen year old that I am now. As a twelve year old, I wrote to my dad telling him about family parties we were going to, volleyball, basketball, softball, and innocently telling him everything going on. I smiled as I read them, remembering the events and games I had wrote about and then the tears came when I found these words I didn’t remember writing-

October 9, 2006
“Daddy, I was mad when you left, I kinda blamed it on you but now that life has gone on I have realized, God knows the plans He has for us and they are plans to prosper us and not to harm us. And they are plans to give us a hope and a future. If only I could feel how you felt. I wanted to give you my lungs! I love you that much! I would give up my life to keep your life going. I love you so much!
I kinda feel like its my fault you died because I could have saved your life. But God’s plan was for you to die and me to keep going.
I don’t know why because you are a whole bunch better person than me but oh well.”

My dad was the best I could ever imagine. I know most everyone thinks that about their parents, as they should, but there was nobody better for me than my dad. God wouldn’t have given me Glen Smith if there was someone better. His birthday has gotten to be the hardest day for me. I guess because it’s supposed to be a happy day. He is supposed to be getting older. He always used to ask me and my sister if we would push him around in his wheelchair when he was old and grey. We’re supposed to be still talking about that and still be playing softball in the backyard and fishing in our pond. We’re supposed to still be a family, not a broken family. That’s why birthdays are hard. But when I read the words I wrote as a twelve year old, I remember my dad’s voice the day he told me he had cancer and I remember telling him we were going to fight it because God would take care of us! And I remember my dad pointing to his eye, his heart, and to me on April 7, 2005 to tell me he loved me for the last time. He would be 54 today and I never thought I’d make it through the 46th birthday and look at us now! I miss you every day Dad and I wish we were together to celebrate today but I know Heaven throws the best birthday party ever and I cannot wait to celebrate with you again one day!! I love you more than you’ll ever know and cannot wait to see you again!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

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