My father’s birthday

It’s my father’s birthday tomorrow.

He lies in the hospital ICU room. Sedated and intubated, with no consciousness. He hasn’t been conscious for two days.

I planned to practice until my playing was good enough. I wanted to play How Great Thou Art or This is My Father’s World but my playing sucked. It was terrible. I couldn’t hold my bow properly, get a good resonant tone, or keep my hand and fingers in proper position.

I couldn’t deal with being this far away and unable to do anything.

I show love by action. Words don’t mean much; actions do. I write for a living, after all.

When I went to college, my dad sent me a card. On the outside, it said Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten.

On the inside, it said, Boys are stupid.

Dad signed it with his name. Most likely, he put a little smiley face inside the capital D. That was his way.

Today when I was cleaning up (company came over at the last minute, a friend from church who dropped everything when I asked if she could come and pray with me), I found a note he’d sent me last Christmas.

Dad with a smiley face inside the first D.

(I’ve done so well not crying the second half of today, and writing this post has wrecked that.)

I want to tell stories about my dad. I want to remember. I want to hear his voice again. I want to hold his hand. I want to blink back tears as he tells the ICU nurses, “This is my daughter.”

My daughter.

Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday.

Just when I was at a breaking point and couldn’t handle one more thing, a friend came over to share an impromptu meal (mac & cheese, croissants, and lemon pound cake–I haven’t gone grocery shopping in ages), hold my hand, and let me talk for ages about my dad and everything else going on right now.

And another friend stayed on the phone with me almost all day, letting me cry and talk. Reminisce.

Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday.

Thank you to everyone in my life who has given, is giving, and will continue to give love, support, and strength. May it be returned to you a hundredfold.

I love you, Dad. I’m sorry things couldn’t have been easier in our family. I’m sorry you had to work so hard to provide for your family. I’m sorry, so sorry.

I asked my mom if she could put me on speaker phone tomorrow morning when they check Dad’s vital signs so I could talk to him. I meant to play him a crappy rendition of what I used to play just fine on my violin.

My mom said she didn’t think he would be conscious.

Dad, on your birthday, I want you to know this.

You’re always my dad.

And you are loved.


8 thoughts on “My father’s birthday

  1. catrouble says:

    So sorry you are having such a rough time Ana! Please tell your mom to put the phone on speaker and play for your dad. Even unconscious, he may still hear you and it will do you good. Sending lots of prayers, healing energy and positive thoughts.

    Huge Hugs and blessings…Cat


  2. Lindy Thomas says:

    Hi Ana, such a hard time for you and your family. Sending healing vibes and positive thoughts your way. I agree with Cat ask your mum to put the phone to his ear whilst you play for him.

    Hugs Lindy


  3. awesomesub says:

    Hi Ana, your Dad sounds like a wonderful man, and I am so sorry for this hard time you and yours are going through. I am so glad that your friends came over to pray, just listen and be there for you. It would be great if your mum put the phone on speaker, so that you could play for your Dad. Sending healing thoughts and love your way.

    hugs and love



  4. rozharrison says:

    Hi Ana, I am so very sorry for what you and your family are going through. I agree with Cat too, ask your Mom to put the phone on speaker and play for your Dad. It will be good for you.

    I’m glad you have such wonderful friends to support you and to listen. Sending prayers, thoughts and love.



  5. racheldevineuk says:

    So sorry that you are having to endure this long and painful goodbye to your Dad. Not only are you starting to grieve, even though he is still on this earth, but the grief will churn up so many memories, both happy and sad ones. I know, I have been there. So glad you have people around to comfort you and hold your hand while you go through this torment, and that you have your faith to sustain you. Hold on to your friends and let them share some of the burden.


  6. abby says:

    I know how hard it is to be so far away at a time like this…..I agree with the others, play for him, it will reach him. After my dad died it took almost a year before i could remember the memories, the stories with smiles instead of tears…Sending lots of prayers and good thoughts
    hugs abby


  7. Natasha says:

    Hi Ana, this is the first time I have written on your site but your post about your dad really moved me. This time last year I was in the same kind of position as you, but instead of my dad it was mum I was losing. She was only 75 miles away from home so I would travel every day to her. She was put in a medical coma with little to no chance of ever waking up and for 2 weeks my life was suspended while I waited and sang the silly songs that she used to sing to my brother and I when we were kids. There was only 1 time when she managed to respond but she knew I was there and more importantly I was thinking of her and that moment will stay with me forever. Play for your dad on his birthday, he may not hear it but who is to say he won’t. He’ll know you are thinking and loving him even though you can’t be with in body and that will mean more to you and your dad than anything else. My prayers are with you through this traumatic time.


  8. Ami Starsong says:

    I am so sorry, Ana. I agree that you should go on speaker phone and play your violin. I am convinced your Dad will hear you, even if he gives no indication of hearing. You sound as if you were very close, and you will always have some lovely memories.

    Sending you prayers, kind thoughts and blessings. I will light a candle for you, Sweetie.



Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Please play nicely or you may be asked to stand in the corner. ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s