Today would have been my dad's 85th birthday. He died two months shy. It is an odd feeling to not be able to call him and wish him a happy birthday. I sang to him in my car anyway. After two months, I still have the urge to call him about this or that. The other day, I had a moment when I began to think about what to get him for Christmas and then I remembered--no gifts this year. Since Jim's dad died 15 years ago, it is the changing seasons that hit him with his loss the most. His dad would always call as the seasons changed to remind this young man of the tasks to accomplish around the house in order to be ready. Jim misses those phone calls. I miss my dad.
It was my goal to be busy today to keep my mind on other things. I went on a turtle hunt. Literally. I went on a turtle hunt with my little friend, Megan. I drove over to Bourbon early this morning. It wasn't early enough, apparently, because Megan was awake at 3 a.m. in anticipation of our adventure. When I pulled in the driveway, I couldn't even get out of the car before Megan was out the door, bucket in hand. In the car she hopped, strapped herself in and said, "Bye, Mom." And we were off. We drove to Syracuse Lake to meet our friend, Britt, and her 2 y.o. son, Miles. Britt gave a quick lesson on canoe behavior, got our paddles in the water, and we slowly and quietly made our way. We wove through the lily pads and the reeds trying to spy itty-bitty snouts poking out of the water between the leaves. We spotted many and almost caught one, but it fell out of our net. Megan was a bit nervous among the reeds, but she persevered. She collected bits and pieces of water lilies, weeds, and cattails to put in her bucket for any turtle we might find. Miles just took it all in, surprisingly. I thought for sure he'd fall overboard. Megan and Miles soaked it all up with wonder and awe. It made me happy just to share the adventure with them.
Happy Birthday, Dad.