“Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds, far away”

**Disclaimer: If you are not up for a downer blog, I would suggest clicking through.**

It hits you quick. Life is moving along fine. Work, kids, marriage, planning vacations, holidays, awaiting the newest episodes of Newsroom, The Walking Dead, and ahem-Nashville, all of those things keep your mind occupied. And then you realize, you’ve landed on a birthday of someone whom you’ve recently lost. 

September 25th will never be an easy day for me. Today would have been my gramps’ 86th birthday. I don’t know if it’s normal to be sad on these days as I’ve not had a lot of experience in this field, but today is always especially hard for me. Usually I would call him, hear the loud YO on the phone before I would wish him a happy birthday. The boys would hop on the phone for a second, just long enough to say YO back, happy birthday before they got distracted. I would get him a Snicker bar and take him out to McDonalds whenever I saw him to celebrate his day. 

Today, as is a new tradition, we had dinner at McDonalds, eating his usual-double cheeseburger and fries. We came home and I picked up Snickers Ice Cream bars for us. It was a nice way for the boys to keep his memory close. 

There weren’t many birthdays of his we actually spent together when I moved away. After I moved east, they became fewer and far between. I would never forget his birthday, but I never made it a point to go back unless it was convenient for me. A harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless. I would still call and acknowledge his birthday. Then as the years passed and I grew out of the college party phase, I wanted to spend more time with him. 

Now, I’ll never spend another birthday with him. I tried calling him today. All I got was the message that the line has been disconnected. This is my new reality. 

I sit here, listening to Johnny Cash songs, drinking Cutty Sark, and looking at old pictures, doing myself absolutely no favors. I RSVP’d to the Maestas Pity Party for one a couple of days ago. I will probably drink myself to sleep tonight and check back into reality tomorrow. But in the ugly midst of sadness, there’s no where else I’d rather be, than spending my night with his favorite drink, his favorite hat, listening to sad songs. Because of outside of the great memories, this is all I have of him now. 

But all of this, the scotch, the cheeseburgers, the music, the clothes….just gets me a little closer to him. And right now, I would give anything to be sitting across from him at his cheap, small, kitchen table drinking shitty coffee and laughing at my bad, inappropriate spanish. 

But this is my new reality. 

Happy Birthday, Muchacho! I miss you, old man! 

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