On Saturday evening Sprite and I attended my son Craig’s fiftieth birthday party. My father, a robust 103 years old, joined us. I was reminded of my Dad’s own fiftieth birthday party. It was a surprise (which he hated).
I also remembered Craig’s birthday when he was thirty-five, and the poem I wrote at the time.
The Professor and I visit in his home. We share memories,
coffee, the dreams we dream. I buy and sell real estate in California.
He researches and teaches at Duke University in North Carolina.
I lean forward to pay attention to what he has to say.
He asks me, “Are you happy? Do you have regrets?”
At lunch we explore tenure, morality, the Internet;
we talk of women, money, solitude, love, and women.
It’s his birthday. I buy pizza. We watch football on TV.
His alma mater upsets mine. He laughs as loud
as I did last year. Always attentive, he assures me,
“I’m more like you than you know.”
The next morning we wake at eight,
shower, he drives me to the airport.
We hug each other at the gate.
“Bye, Craig. Thanks,” I say.
He says, “Bye. I love you, Dad.”
It’s easy to forget that every day is a celebration. No birthday, anniversary, or other peg is needed, on which to hang a treasured memory.
Each new day is warmed by a golden, gift-wrapped sun.
Each morning and afternoon we open the day’s hours, to embrace gifts both familiar and unexpected.
Each evening our celebration is completed by an orange ribbon of sunset.
Happy birthday, everyone. Kindred spirits all, today is a day to celebrate.
I love you.
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