Yesterday was Dad's birthday. He would have been 95. I miss him everyday. On Sunday we met for fast Sunday dinner at Jon and Shelly's for the first time since they completed the remodel of their home (Mom and Dad's address) It was nice to be together. I sat at the lazy susan outside and tried to imagine if I was sitting where Dad might have sat. He loved that table. And he loved the people around it, no matter who they were. He was always inviting someone. But he loved his own family around it the most. He would always sit in the same spot. We all knew where he'd be. Then Mom would be next to him. Lots of dinners to remember with love! Then Jon announced the dole whip ice cream was ready from Dad's machine that had been in hibernation during the remodel. About 1 1/2 years. It never tasted better!
Yesterday, Jon and Shelly, Jim and Richelle, and Randy and I planned to go out to dinner for Dad's birthday. Covid rules the world currently, so we knew we'd have to be careful and social distance with masks. We followed Jon's truck as he took the rest.....to Arby's. We trailed west up Elliot Road. Then north on Val Vista. We turned west again on Baseline. Then just before we got to Gilbert Road, where Dad spent so many quick stops for he and Mom, Jon turned South onto a back road for delivery trucks that ran behind a strip mall. We faithfully followed Jon and Jim. It was dark. We hung right. Then left. Then over and around. After what seemed like 10 minutes of driving, we ended up at the North side of the strip mall. Now we could follow him across the big parking lot to find a space next to Dad's Arby's. When we all got out, Jon informed us that that was the back roads route Dad would have taken, and just to remember him best, he purposely led us that way! The drive through line was very long, so we were glad to be going inside. Except they weren't serving from inside. So we got back in our cars and found a place in the long drive through.
We headed back to Jon's and enjoyed thinking of Dad as we ate the same things he would have eaten there. I prayed and felt his love. Jon spoke up and recalled that when he got dressed yesterday morning, he put on a long sleeved plaid shirt. Then he put on a pair of khakis. Then a belt Dad used to wear. And had worn one of Dad's hats (from our Hawaii trip) all day. He had purposely stood back to look at himself in the mirror before he left the house, to think of Dad. Jim was proud to be wearing a heavy flannel jacket that could have easily been Dad's. And Randy, just before we jumped in the car to drive to meet at Jon's had come out of the house wearing the Buehner Block gray zip up sweatshirt. We talked, laughed, reminisced, compared notes, and planned a See's candy box to be delivered to Aunt Janice for Christmas from her favorite brother's children (the Buehners and Clawsons).
I look forward to being with my brothers. I look up to them so much. So thankful for Dad's evident love for us. Happy Birthday Dad!