Happy Birthday Dad

Jess & Dad, circa 1984
Jess & Dad, circa 1984

Today would have marked my Dad’s 54th birthday.  This is my favorite photo of the two of us and it is now framed and resting on my bookshelf where I can see it everyday.  I love that we are dancing, I love the carefree look on my face and the smile on his.  Times were not always so bright between the two of us.  I spent many years disappointed in him, angry and resentful of his actions and the pain that he inflicted on me and others.  But I also got to spend years learning from him.  He offered invaluable advice-objective opinions peppered with tokens of wisdom that only a man who has hurt others can give.  He taught me that the only person I could ultimately change was myself.  I either had to decide to radically accept others or suffer the pain of trying to make them adapt as I wished.  I’m still learning that lesson.  I’m still growing to understand the nature of addiction and to see its impact on my family.  I’m trying to do it all, one day at a time.

Happy Birthday Dad.  I miss you.  I think of you everyday-every time I tie my running shoes, every time I pass this photo on my shelf.  I love you, Jess.

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