Today October 3 was my Dad’s birthday. He passed several years ago yet on his birthday he always comes to mind more so then the day he passed. In fact that day may slip by without a thought that he passed.
Yet his birthday seems a big day still to me. We never really celebrated his birthday in a big way. He wasn’t one for that although my Mother certainly was. Mostly we gave him cards and Mother made a cake. Sometimes gifts of something he may need however we rarely asked what he may want. That is the way with parents.
When I looked out my kitchen window this morning one of the lily plants sported a lovely blossom. Standing tall as if beaming a good morning, happy birthday Daddy. This past spring I planted many of those plants yet none have bloomed. Too busy I guess rooting themselves in their new home with no time to think about blossoming. So it was indeed a treat to see the lovely lily beaming back at me through the window.
My Dad was a spiritual man although many did not know that side of him. He had attended the Episcopal seminary and wanted to be a reverend. Rather he ended up a farmer, a dairy farmer with brutal hours, brutal work and no true rewards in the way of income or spiritual work. Probably he connected with the higher being when he was out in the pastures by himself. I want to believe he did. His was a heavy load to carry, that farm. Both my Mother and he worked long hours with no days off until they finally sold all the cows and then the property. It was heartbreaking in many ways because one becomes attached to animals. And cows have personalities just as dogs or cats. They know what is happening. What time of day it is and so to send them onto another farm not knowing for sure their future was a tough decision to make. Yet it, at long last when it was all over, brought joy to my parents.
A friend said to me at my Dad’s funeral that it wasn’t until they sold the dairy that he saw my Dad smile. I never realized it but then at that time I was not very close to my Dad. My Mother like to be the focus so we all gave it to her. Daddy burying himself in books or the demands of the farm.
He was a trained tenor and had a beautiful voice. The kind so clear and pure that it could bring tears to your eyes. It was a voice wasted. If he could have led a church, a choir, his beautiful voice would have echoed through the eaves of the church and perhaps each Sunday touch the soul of someone in the congregation. His voice was indeed a gift from God and intended for better use then singing from time to time around the dairy.
It was you see, that my Mother did not want to be a minister’s wife and even in later years when he still wanted to be part of the church, he did not because of her mindset. Probably more insecure based on her part then anything. Yet his life went drifting along.
He was of Scot heritage and would have done well living in my grandfather’s homeland. He would have been well received and was when they came to visit while I lived in Scotland. He so enjoyed being on that soil and particularly the beautiful gardens, the lovely churches, ancient with history.
He was a wonderful gardner. Growing roses, zinnias and other blossoms where ever they lived. It seemed anything he tried to grow accommodated him by doing well. So it is fitting today, his birthday that the lily bloomed, the roses smiled and the periwinkles beamed along the walkway in the courtyard of my house. So very fitting indeed.
So I say Happy Birthday to Daddy today and hope that his life after is truly wonderful. They he can sing loudly and with abandon. That his garden grows with blossoms everywhere. Most of all I hope he is at peace as I hear his voice so clearly singing.