Monday, October 03, 2016

Dear Dad, on your 80th birthday

Dad had a man purse and he did not care.
Dear Dad,

You would be 80 today.

You know math is not my strength, so imagine my surprise when I counted backwards from 2016 and came up with 80. It seems impossible.

I mean, of course everything is possible when you're talking would'ves and could'ves.

But still.

It's a beautiful, sunny fall day. The kind of day you want to bottle, so you can sprinkle it around you in the grim of winter. You'd be out for a walk or sitting in the yard if you were still here.

Jordan is seven and huge, and so much BOY. You would love him. He likes his name, and the fact that he is named after you, and we have a cousin Mike Jordan, and there's a famous basketball player with the same name!

He loves building and music and science and math (inconceivable to me, but glad he does). He's  obsessed with Star Wars. I remember you taking us to a movie theatre in London to see the first Star Wars (which is now the fourth, and this out-of-orderness annoys me). You always took us to the new movies, the new shows. We recently watched E.T; I remember standing in line for it with you in DC.

The kids and Mom and I listen to Hamilton on repeat. In fact, Nick is the only one in the house who doesn't love it. I try not to think of this as a character flaw.

But I know for a fact that you'd have headed up to NYC and seen it the minute it came out.

India is four, and so sophisticated. You'd be charmed by her. She would hug you and kiss you and snuggle into your lap and ask you to read to her. She'd make you tickle her.

She's got a strong personality, and she comes by it honestly. She's so bold; she'll try anything. She falls down and gets up and brushes herself off and says she's fine. She impresses me endlessly.

I know that you'd be down on the floor with these kids, building Lego and Duplo. You'd  take turns telling jokes and making each other laugh.

It makes me so sad that they don't have you. That you didn't get to have them.

Mom is doing well. She has a plot in the community garden. She got about a million radishes and four little stunted carrots. Jordan dumped the pepper seeds all in one hole, so I think about two of those made it to pepper-hood.

Maybe you know this. Maybe you know all these things. She said that sometimes at night she feels a weight on the bed, like someone just sat down. She knows it is you.

I believe this.

We have a great little family. Nick still gets home late, so family dinner means Mom, the kids, and me. Jordan does his nightly reading with Nana, and still crawls into bed with her regularly.

Neither of my kids can imagine our family without her. We are lucky to have her. I wish we still had you as well.

I love you and miss you. Happy birthday.




  1. Oh, Lisa, you break my heart. I still don't know how or why we became good friends as diverse as we were (are) but we did. When I tell my stories I say I knew Michael Jordan....the white one....and explain no further because in my mind he was the only one. Betty, I feel the thin places often as well.

    1. Tom, you were a dear friend to him. I will share you comment with Betty. She will love it. Big hugs to you.


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