Thursday, December 10, 2015

Death of a Parent: Thinking of Dad on his birthday

 Dad passed away 3 months ago. Dad was born December 10, 1926, so if he were still alive, he would have turned 89 today. I've been thinking about his upcoming birthday for weeks.
1946; 20 years old
 I think of Dad quite often. Sometimes those thoughts bring tears to my eyes, sometimes a smile, oftentimes both. I think of him on Sundays, which is when we had our weekly phone call visit, since we live states apart. I think of him when I hear Mariachi bands or other Mexican music playing because he loved Mariachis, music and dancing. I think of him when we make and eat his recipes, or any Mexican food for that matter. 
 I think of him when my children play the piano, because they would often call him, put the phone on speaker, and play songs for him because he loved it. I think of him when they accomplish any new skill or learn a new song, because I know he'd be proud. I think of him on holidays because we spent so many together, and when we were apart, we always called.

I think of him when my sister and I are in the kitchen together, cooking and then cleaning. We do both tasks quickly, just like dad did. I think of him whenever I hear a Neil Diamond song (which I've heard a lot of lately at BYU sporting events; they always play "sweet caroline" and I'm not sure why; but either way, when the music starts, I get all sentimental) because he loved Neil Diamond, and we even attended a Neil Diamond concert together when I was in high school.   

Before I lost a parent, I don't think I'd ever tried to understand or comprehend how a person might feel who had lost a parent. The thoughts are bittersweet, both pleasant and a little sad, though I'm not sad all the time even though I think of him often. Mostly the thoughts and feelings are fleeting and sweet. I'm sure this is because of my knowledge that this is not the end. Because of Jesus Christ, and his atonement, his sacrifice for us, I know that his spirit lives on and that I will be reunited with him again one day. I'm so grateful for a loving Savior who made it possible for families to be together forever. 
Each year on my birthday, my dad would turn on his record player and play, Las Mananitas, for me. Even when I was grown and gone, he would call on my birthday, turn on the record player, and sing along for me to hear. I promised dad, when it was nearing his time of departure from this life, that I would continue to play the song for our children on birthdays, so they would remember Grandpa. And today, in honor of your birthday Dad (since I know you are still with us though we can't see you), I'll play for you Las Mananitas. 

Las Mananitas (Vicente Fernandez) w/english text

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