The 4th of July has always had double meaning for me. Aside from it being our country's celebration of our independence, it was my father’s birthday. He died when I was very young—too young for me to remember the sound of his voice, his sense of humor, or whether he was a morning person or not.
I don’t know if he liked mushrooms or Brussels sprouts, if he preferred steak over chicken, or beer instead of wine. I have no idea what his favorite color was, or preferred hobby.
But, there isn’t a day that goes by that I didn’t think of him.
I used to wonder what my life would have been like, if he hadn’t died. Would he have been a strict dad, scaring boys away? Or, a cool, popular one that neighbor kids flocked to?
Realizing that I’ll never know was crushing.
But, there are a few things I do know—things I remembered, stories I’ve heard. I treasure those memories and feel lucky to have known him—even if it was just a short amount of time.
I know he loved me, and that warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes even today—decades after I lost him.
Happy birthday, dad! I love you.