Happy birthday old man

Happy birthday old man.
Remember how much you hated it when I called you that?
The glare you would give me? You would tell me how much stronger you were than me. How you could run circles around me...old man...I'll show you old man.
You would have been 78 and it's the first one without you.
She struggled and wished you were here.

We went out to dinner, to your spot, just like you would have liked.
All of us. Around one table.
Talking so inappropriately loud that others thought we were yelling.
But, that's just us.
She was quiet, she was wishing you were there.

We took her to the cemetery. We brought you flowers.
Just like you would have wanted.
You were so worried no one would visit, but we came, we sat and talked to you.
She cried, she wanted you home.

I cried on my way home from dinner.
I remembered how you said goodbye when you were clear on what was happening.
I kept remembering what you looked like in your final days.
How much you slept, how tired you were, how much pain you were in but refusing to take anything.
Dammit you were a tough SOB.
She hasn't stopped crying, she told me that it was so much easier having you around. Even if all you did was yell at each other, it's so much easier than this.

Cole said he thinks about you every night while he's going to sleep.
He doesn't know why it's at night, but it is.
He said that sometimes it makes him cry, and whenever he talks about you he breaks down.
He makes me cry when he gets like that and he tells me how much he misses your hugs.
She hugged him and kissed him at the cemetery, just like she did the day we left you.

Cory struggles whenever he thinks of you.
He gets quiet.
He wishes you were here to tell him how he's doing a project the wrong way.
I think you would be yelling at him about how he didn't clean your tracker correctly.
But in all honesty, he wants to hear you say how proud and impressed you are with his projects.
He just wanted to impress you with his work and you delivered that pride that you only saved for him.

So, a few months after we all put you to rest, we celebrated your birth.
She really didn't want to. She feels it's inappropriate to celebrate and she's struggling with what she thinks she should do vs what you would have wanted us to do.
She was struggling between wanting to just sit and cry and knowing how much you would have hated that.
We did you proud, as proud as you could get of us.
I'm sure there would have been lots you would have complained about...the outside was too warm, the wedding downstairs was too loud, the waiter was too slow, the 3.5-hour meal went too fast and we tried to rush you out.
But, we went to your favorite spot.
We ordered a ton of food.
We brought in an apple crisp because it was your favorite - Paola remembered.
I had a glass of wine.

Happy birthday old man.
I hope you celebrated it in style like only you know how.


  1. Deana Constantino says:

    Happy Birthday Franco …you are missed

    1. childhood says:

      Thanks Deana!

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