This is a long time coming, I know. I’m not even sure what I’ll say here. Happy birthday, I guess. Did it ever feel weird to you to have been born on Pearl Harbor Day? I suppose everyone remembers the date that way, but what a downer, huh? Though it’s a day that will live in infamy for me for a different reason. A happy reason, I try to remember, though it’s more bittersweet than anything else. I wonder what you’d be like, if you had lived to see this birthday. A little older, a little grayer, but still strong as an ox, I’ll bet. I wonder what your current projects would be; the Model A, of course, and a Harley of some sort. Would you still have the ’56, or would you have sent it off to a new home in favor of some other needy vehicle? You’d like my car – he’s very reliable and I try to take good care of him. It’s hard, though, not having a dad to turn to for that stuff. We have Greg, of course. You’d have liked him, I think, even if you’re the exact opposites in temperament. Did you know it’s possible to put up the Christmas tree without swearing the entire time? I didn’t either!
I’m sitting at my desk right now, in my very own cubicle. How adult, huh? Don’t worry, though, I have pictures of cats everywhere and lots of Christmas decorations. Pictures of my girlfriend, too. I wish you could have met her. I think I wish that more than anything. You and Mom taught me what true love looks like and now that I’ve found it too, I’m trying my best to follow in your footsteps. To be the caretaker, the provider, the protector. It’s a small family I’m building, just us and a dog and Bruno (though we have transient foster kittens most of the time), but so incredibly important to me. Was this how you felt about us? Is that why you kept every school assignment, clay figurine, report card, childish doodle, and even my baby teeth? (That was SO GROSS. What a creepy surprise! Why did you keep those?) Is that why we keep finding old home videos? Those are what I’m most thankful for this holiday season, even if hearing you say my name nearly made me break down in tears.
I’m not ready to write all the stuff I need to say, I don’t think, but I can say this – even eight years later, you’re still teaching me and I’m taking those lessons to heart. I might have regrets, but I’m doing my best to prevent any others.I’m doing my best to live the life you would want me to live. I think I’m doing pretty well so far. What do you think?