Sunday, July 5, 2015

Thus Ends My Birthday Weekend

To my son Tommy,

Thus ends my birthday weekend. And a grand weekend it was. The majority of it was spent tiling and doing home improvement type stuff. Well, mostly I sat around just playing helper to your mom who is sort of a D.I.Y (Do It Yourself) queen. Occasionally I got to play some Minecraft with you and your mom let me out to the local casino for a little, but according to my muscles, most of my time was spent squatting on a floor laying mud and tile.

You might think that is not a great way to spend a birthday weekend, but you would be wrong. Just because it was a bit domestic and chore like, doesn't mean I didn't have a great time. We made great progress on the basement (looks good in the pic right? Only 1200 sq ft more to go!). Plus I got to use a tile saw which is something new to me. Also I learned a bunch of new home improvement techniques. Of course my education consisted of learning what not to do the next time, but that is okay too. Your mom and I were working well as a team and having so much fun (mostly) laughing at our mistakes that it almost made me forget why we need to redo the basement. Still, sobering thought aside, I was always surrounded by family this weekend.

Friday started with a big "Happy Birthday" surprise wake up call that made your mother nearly hit the ceiling from a dead sleep. You then gave me cuddles and hugs and even some back scratches. What a great start! And you were so excited to give me my gifts, which were two pairs of flip flops! I had put a nail through the left one of my last pair the night before while working on the basement, which wouldn't have been so bad if my foot wasn't in it at the time.

We had dinner with your grandparents and Nana Jeanne every night, when your mom and I could tear ourselves away from the basement. I always enjoy family dinner with the Downeys and hope that same dinner dynamic continues when we have to move in to take care of your grandpa and everyone. You still lead us in grace with the song you learned at St Agnes. We have to keep a weathered eye for food wrappers that occasionally make it into the dish when your Grandma Roro cooks, but if that is the only hazard then it is worth the risk.

As for today though, it was a sad anniversary. Your Nana Jeanne and your Great Grandpa Leo would have been married seventy years today, the platinum anniversary. I could tell he was on her mind and in her heart today. I think it was good for us to be up there for most of today, even though you and her had a little spat. You were being a bit rambunctious and your Nana Jeanne needed some calm and of course Mommy and I were down in the basement trying to figure out grouting techniques. Anyways, you took offense to your Nana Jeanne finally telling you to knock it off, but after some words were exchanged (by letter even) you apologized and told (again by letter) your great grandma that you loved her.

Funny thing about anniversaries, and birthdays, and other special dates...they never stop. Even if you wanted them to, they just keep coming, as time tends to do. Some times they can be causes for joyous celebration, while other times they can be a bit sad. If you surround yourself with your family and friends, you can get through and feel blessed no matter what type of anniversary it is. Their love make the happiest days better and the saddest days easier. That is the reason we are working on the basement for my birthday weekend. So when the time comes to move in to help, we can be there to give our love, to give of ourselves. And that is the best birthday gift I can give myself.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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