Happy Birthday, Dad

This was your fourth birthday party you’ve missed, Dad. But Mom was in a huddle of kin, holding babies, laughing at her sons’ lame jokes and her daughter’s hilarious tales. She was doted upon by daughters-in-law and grandchildren. Your kid sister brought stories of the old days along with your beloved niece and nephew. Jim held Mom’s chair and Rosie hit a whiffle ball onto the neighbor’s roof. The kitchen counter was filled with tubs of pulled pork and mac & cheese (you would have doubled down on your Lipitor, for sure), and the fridge was packed with beers and lemonade. 
We miss you.
But we felt your presence in a baby’s embrace, in the thud of a bean bag on plywood, in the sweet release of laughter, in the first swig of a beer, and the last hug out the door.
Happy birthday, Dad. 

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