I just picked this little stud up from school and I'm sitting outside his Dr's appointment waiting to see this awesome little dude's face again. He is rocking the new Howard jersey that I surprised him with this morning...bleeding purple and gold already. And what a baller this kid is. He is everything you said you saw in him. So much of his talent and ability a straight shot of DNA that originated in you...possibly a little that even skipped over me perhaps? ;-)
But the sweetness and the joy he brings to others is his absolute greatest of all gifts and as I watched his perfect smile turn away as he walked inside the office, it occurred to me how much I miss you and how bad it hurts that you aren't here to celebrate this birthday with him today. Nine years old! Wow. What an amazing journey we are on together, and your absence is felt so strongly and sincerely from both of my kids...and so many others.
I intended to write up a more traditional post that praises this young man and what he is growing up to be, but this actually feels better. It's right that I thank you for being around long enough to really see what it is that just keeps growing inside of him like a Phoenix rising up into the sky to light up parts of my world that might otherwise remain dark or simply unseen. And thank you for the gift of your parenting that has set me in the direction I try so hard to follow: one that, regardless of whether I am right or wrong all the time, I know to be full of love and hope and the kind of pride that I only partially understood when you expressed it about me for 35 years. I was truly blessed to have known you and I know now that I still get to enjoy so much of you all over again through the best gift that I have ever been given...man it's a trip.
We miss you, Dad. I wouldn't want you to be missing a single moment of whatever pat of your journey you are on now, but I harbor a deep, romantic idea that every once in a while, if only in your dream's dream, you get to check in on the finer moments that I know would make you so. Fucking. Proud.