small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

birth day

on March 8, 2014

I opened my Facebook feed this morning as normal and was unprepared for the emotions that filled my heart.

Facebook told me it is Dad’s birthday.

Right. I knew that. But seeing it on Facebook was different.

I saw that a few friends had already posted birthday wishes, which warmed my heart and released the tears.

One friend planned a meeting at the cemetery to have celebratory beers and tell stories. Which is exactly what they would do if he were physically here.

Another said happy first birthday in Heaven. This remark made me smile. I often forget that he’s there! I’m so worried about how he isn’t here with me that I forget he’s celebrating in Heaven with Grandpa and all our other family members and friends and Saints and angels! What a party that must be.

But back on earth it is harder to have a big party. I am more sad today than I thought I would be. Physically I’ve been aching and more tired starting last night, and I have a feeling it was in anticipation of today. It is hard to celebrate a birthday of someone who isn’t here to celebrate with us. Who isn’t starting another year on earth. It doesn’t seem right.

But then it makes too much sense to celebrate the fact that he was born, that he was given to us for those 54 years, that we were able to know him. These thoughts have made me want to really celebrate this day with purpose.

We went to the grotto on campus this morning. Dad loved this place so much that we had to make sure we visited each time he was in town. He always wanted to light a candle to pray for those he held dear. For a man who didn’t talk about his faith often, these visits spoke more to me than any words could.


So we lit a candle asking Dad to pray for us and to ask God to give us the strength and courage to continue living with joy, even when we miss him terribly.


I went to a religious gift store to find something I could wear that would remind me of him, and I wanted to buy it today, on his birthday. So I looked around at all the angel pins, crosses, and rosaries. But the one thing that stuck out to me was a St. George medal necklace. It has so many meanings: my son’s name is George, St. George is the patron of Boy Scouts, and St. George was a strong fighter, just like Dad. Perfect.


So I celebrate Dad’s birthday in the best way I can today. And Dad is too. He was praying with us this morning at the grotto. He is with those at the cemetery drinking beer and laughing. He is with those who are thinking of dad and feeling sad. He is with us today and always.

Happy 55th birthday, Daddy.


One response to “birth day

  1. Keithy says:

    It was hard for us to celebrate too. Mom wanted to bake a cake but couldn’t, partly because we didn’t want to eat it without him. Today was much harder than I was anticipating.


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