Today (June 3), my father would have turned 55 years old. It's always been painful that his death date (May 29th) and his birthday fall so close together. One day, I'm mourning his death and a few days later I feel I should celebrate the miracle that he was born at all, that he was here, and that he lives on through my memories.
The truth is I have no rituals for this day. I don't do anything specific. I don't even know what I should do. So far, I've thought about him and cried. I think that's all I can manage right now.
I remember one birthday in particular when my mom and I decided to bake him a cake. We usually buy our birthday cakes from the grocery store bakery. So I'm not sure what possessed us to bake one ourselves. It came out terribly lopsided, but we frosted it with vanilla icing and covered it in sprinkles and stuck a candle in it. I have a photograph of daddy blowing out the candle. I'm standing beside him, beaming with joy. We're together and we're happy. I didn't know it would all end so abruptly, so completely.
I wish I could throw him a party, nothing extravagant, just have a cake, balloons, and some presents. I wish I could give him a card and a hug. I wish so many things.