Today is a special day – My father’s birthday. Had esophageal cancer not taken his life in April of 2005, he would have been 66 years old today. Although I think of him often, January is an exceptionally emotional month for me. I think it is a combination of things; the “letting-down” of the very hectic holiday season, the quiet house, the short, gray days, and the memories of celebrating my birthday alongside my father’s when I no longer can. He always tried to be the first one to say “happy birthday”. Which meant, if you were no longer living at home or visiting the home we grew up in, he called you and woke you up bright and early to start your birthday. My sister and I have adopted this habit, just to keep his “birthday” spirit alive.
A birthday tradition – To honor my father and celebrate his birthday, every year my children and I send him balloons. This tradition actually began at his funeral. Between my sisters and I, my father had six grandchildren ranging in age from 3 to 15. To help them be a part of the funeral and burial, we gave them balloons at the grave sight to send to Papa in heaven. Instead of doing this on the anniversary of his death every year, we opted to send him balloons on his birthday. Today we chose 12 blue balloons – 6 + 6 (to represent 66) = 12. When thinking about this event this morning I had great ideations of photographs for tonight’s blog. Unfortunately, between the very cold day, my daughter being ill, and my son’s moods being a little uncooperative, the pictures I had envisioned posting tonight are not what you will see. However, I’m not going to complain. The kids had fun saying happy birthday, and the monochromatic images resulting from our afternoon fanfare are quite nice.
The third image reminds me of the children’s book and 1956 movie titled “The Red Balloon”, written by Albert Lamorisse, in which a red balloon (Le Ballon Rouge) takes on a life of it’s own and follows a boy around Paris. If you have not seen the movie, or red the book, I highly recommend it (it’s a favorite picture book at our house). You can read more about “The Red Balloon” at the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Red-Balloon-Criterion-Collection/dp/B0012Z361M. I think it only fitting that this book came to mind as one of my father’s favorite past times was reading – mine too!
In addition to my father’s birthday, it is also my dear friend Sue’s birthday. Happy birthday Sue! I wish you many more health-filled, joyful years!