So today would have been my dad’s 63rd birthday, which is really hard to believe. He was considerably older than my mom, but I can’t really picture him that old. He passed over five years ago now, but every once in a while I still expect it to be him on the other end when my phone rings.
On his birthday, I don’t do anything particular in terms of a ritual, which is strange because my dad was such a creature of habit. I do make sure I call my grandparents, as they usually spend the day alternating between prayer and tears. Today, however, my grandmother didn’t realize what day it was. In some ways this made me feel really good; after five years, perhaps they were moving on. Then my grandmother admitted it was because the lung cancer has been keeping her in bed. She was quite upset she’d lost track of such an important date, but I reassured her that, wherever he is, I’m sure Billy forgives her.
Jason is great to me every day, but he’s extra special to me on my dad’s birthday. He knows that my dad always made such a big deal about his own birthday, calling me exactly at 4:25 on random days, always pointing it out on the random license plate we passed in his car. He often signed things “425” instead of his name. One day I came out to my car after work to find one of his business cards tucked under my windshield, with simply “143/425” scrawled on the back in his now-shaky handwriting (from the prednazone; awful stuff). He was like that, stopping by all the time. He’d honk the horn outside on a random afternoon to bring me slices from Pica’s in Upper Darby, which I knew was pretty far out of his way, just because it was our special, favorite pizza. So today (since I couldn’t have Pica’s or Trio’s hoagies; neither has a website, but if you’re in the Philly area, please check them out, yum.) we did fun things: lunch, shopping, a classroom visit, knitting, lots of distraction, and last night we had our fancy celebration dinner, all of which I’ll blog about tomorrow. But it doesn’t feel right to talk about anything tonight but Billy from Philly, who I miss terribly every day.