March 6 had been a significant day on the calendar. It was Dad’s birthday. He would have been 89 today.

I record significant events on my wall calendar. Yes, I still use paper wall calendars with pretty photos! When I set up my 2015 wall calendar, I wondered whether to record Dad’s birthday – or not. We knew his health was on the fast train down. And yet…who knew if, when, how? I placed the January and February dates on the calendar, skipped March 6, and went straight to April. Then I thought: Why skip March 6? Do you know what will be?

No, I don’t.

And I added Dad’s birthday to the 2015 calendar. With a smiley face. Looking at that face on my calendar today is painful.

I don’t feel happy today. Even in sunny Southern California.

I can’t call Dad and wish him “Happy Birthday.” None of us can. We, his family, struggle today as we move through the loss, grief, and sadness…or whatever each of us is feeling.

And yet…I’m grateful to an extent because 89 years ago a couple, Sam and Frieda Sandleman, had a baby on this date. And that baby grew up and became our Dad. Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa for having that baby! Thank you, Uncle Alvin, for sharing your brother with us.

Thank you, Dad, for being our dad.

Happy Birthday, Dad! I hope you have the best pineapple upside-down cake ever!

Birthday king 2014

On his 88th birthday – 2014 with one of the great-grandkids