There are days that are forever imprinted in our hearts, in our minds in our memories. Today, 26 March, is one of those days. It’s my Daddy’s birthday.
I woke up at about 1 AM this morning, with you on my mind daddy. Memories flooding every corner of my heart and mind. Each and every one of them, crystal clear and alive, even though, this year, it will be 23 years since you left us to go to your Heavenly home.
I fell back asleep again and dreamt of you. More memories, and in my dream, I could touch and hold and hug you. It was so beautiful. I woke up, and you were still on my mind. I listened to the song that you walked me down the aisle with, 25 years ago on my wedding day – 23 March 1996.
You know how a song can take you back to that very moment, and there I was, back in 1996, with you walking me down the aisle. But it’s 2021, the song is still playing, and I’m sitting in my bed, tears are flowing, remembering that day so clearly. The memory is bittersweet. It was the happiest day of my life, getting married to Byron, my soulmate, and having you, my daddy, walk me down the aisle. Yet, that was to be the last day that we saw you so healthy and well. In fact you were already sick, but you only told us a couple of weeks later, when we came back from our honeymoon.
It’s 2021 again, it’s today, your birthday, and I’m crying and remembering that most special day with you. Byron gives me the gentlest and strongest hug. We sit and reminisce, and talk about you. I remember, a few months after we got married, you came to stay with us, we took care of you, you got to know your grandchildren, Stephanie and Delano. It was such a very difficult time because you were so sick and in so much pain; and yet, it was such a special time because you were with us every day, we spent so much time together, just being, just doing normal everyday stuff.
Later that year, you went into remission, you were well and healthy again, we spent the most precious time together with you in Port Elizabeth. We drove out to Jeffrey’s Bay, listening to Natalie Cole’s album – Unforgettable, and ate doughnuts on the beach, in the rain.
When we returned home from holiday, you stayed with us for a while again before you went back to Port Elizabeth. We were out doing grocery shopping one day, and I felt nauseous. I remember saying to you that I thought I was pregnant, so you were the first person that I told about our baby son, Nathan, your 2nd grandson, whom you never got to meet. He was born in the September of 1997. He was a really tiny baby and he needed a lot of care, so we didn’t take our annual trip to the coast that December, and we didn’t get to see you again before you passed away the next year in May. It was such a shock for us because you were well and healthy, and then suddenly, you got severely ill again, and then you were gone.
But today, as much as I remember the loss and the pain and the grief, I remember the memories that we made and I think of the words from that song…
The Way We Were
So it’s the laughter we will remember, whenever we remember, the way we were.
I remember the special days, the good times, your annoying habits, the many, many things that you taught me about life. The many, many walks we took when I was a little girl, and when I got tired of walking, you carried me on your shoulders. Your eternal optimistic nature, that lives on in me.
Happy Birthday Daddy. Always Remembered. Forever Loved. ❤️
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