It’s been so long…

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

It’s been so long, I don’t know how old you would be. I could calculate the math, but it would be of no use.

You are not here.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

It’s been so long, I’m not sure what you sounded like. I know you reeked of cigarettes, your eyes weak and tired from the life you made for yourself. That’s about all I know. I don’t remember the way your voice echoed in our home. I don’t remember your laugh or the way you sounded when you were angry. You became angry a lot. I don’t remember. I’m glad I don’t remember.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

It’s been so long, it’s almost as if you existed only in another lifetime. I don’t remember much of you, but I know I loved you. I also know I didn’t really know you. I loved what I thought I knew.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

If you were here, I imagine you would be a warm, supportive father. I imagine you would beam with pride over my very liberal attitude and forward thinking. I imagine you would have changed for the better, for your children. If you were here, I knew you wouldn’t be. We would not get along.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

Your death has given me every reason to fall off the edge of existence, but instead I have grasped on to every reason to hang tight.

Thank you.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

Your demise is the reason for a lot of problems in my life, but I won’t blame you anymore. I won’t curse your name for my trust issues, or for being the start of my ever-lingering depression. I’ll tack the blame on myself. You’ve done enough damage. I am not mad. I will heal.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

I do not know you. We are the same blood, but we are not the same. It’s been so long, its almost as if I never had a father. A distant memory, fading each and every year into nothingness.

I love you, but I do not know you.

Happy birthday, dad.

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