Last Thursday was my Dad's birthday. He would have been 88. I didn't realize what day it was until much later, many hours after I found the note.
I had grabbed a notebook out of the filing cabinet. Most of the stuff in there was related to a job search I was doing back in 1997. I ripped out those pages and started to make a list I needed. I filled up a few pages, and that's when I notice that something had been written a few pages ahead.
Mom and Dad were here for Dad's birthday in August of 1997. We blew the main breaker when I forgot the air conditioner and the dryer were both running when I turned on the microwave. Kevin had to go to the store to get a replacement - we have glass fuses. I'd taken Mom and Dad up to the Wine Country, which they enjoyed. There is a picture I took of them in front of V. Sattui (my favorite "watering" hole) that Mom has in the her living room. It's one of her favorites.
This is the two of them in front of Sutter Home in May of 1998. I wish Mom would laugh like that again.
Anyway - the note. Kevin had gone off to work, and Dad felt bad about not being able to say goodbye - or thank you. Ever the gentleman, he wanted to leave Kevin a note. And for some reason, it ended up in a drawer, forgotten, for ten years.
To say that I miss my father would be the biggest understatement ever made. The fact that his death could have been averted, makes it even worse. Knowing that a part of my mom died with him, and that she will be forever bitter about being alone, just compounds the whole mess.
So, on my Dad's birthday I find a note from him, a very rare thing. Dad never wrote much of anything, it was important that he say it, so you would know that it was important and that he meant it. Just a silly, little note because it was the right thing to do. And it felt like he had just died all over again.
He wasn't perfect. He had his faults. He always tried to do his best. He was a wonderful, gentle, gracious man. I was very lucky to be his daughter.
I love you, Papa. I always will.