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Monday, May 2, 2016
Daniel's Twentieth Birthday
Sometimes, it's hard to believe that this week, had you remained here on Earth, you would be twenty years old. It shouldn't be amazing to me. Some of your friends are in college and have girl friends, and are decidedly man sized. In my heart though, you are somewhere between twelve and nineteen, a beautiful boy who simply had not yet been corrupted in the ever deteriorating world that the remainder of your family occupies. No wonder God called you home. Perhaps in his place I would have also. In dreams I have had, you have been about thirty, and so wise.
This week I had an interesting experience. Your sister and I were on our way back from an errand with her baby, and we stopped at a Burger King. I stayed in the car with the baby, and your sister went inside to get the food. All at once, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young man of about twenty walking from the highway up to the Burger King. For just a moment, simply from his walk, I wondered if it were you. As he drew closer, I could see that he had a red long sleeve t-shirt and a pair of khaki cargo pants on. He had brown hair with the same distribution that you had, and a bit of facial hair stubble as if he were attempting to grow a beard, but it had been a fairly recent thought. He walked right past the car, saw me, and there wasn't even a hint of recognition. Sometimes it still surprises me that someone who looks something like you, doesn't recognize me. It's silly, I know. As I watched him walk into the restaurant I told myself that as of this week, that the man walking in would likely be the size you would be now, had you still been here. He was about six feet tall and of average to muscular build.
When your sister returned with the food, she had seen him too and thought that he looked like you also. I am at a loss as to what to do for your birthday this week. In the past I have sent canned goods to the food bank. I know you always enjoyed doing that. Other years I have done a secret good deed in your name. Some sad years I have simply made you a birthday cake I know you would have liked. Of course, your brothers and sister, and now your nephew consume it. This year I am already planning your cake. I will play the good deed by ear.
There is less turmoil regarding your birthday and the anniversary of your departure from Earth. However, I am never okay with your being gone. Sometimes, it's as if you are on a special outing, perhaps an exchange student program, and that my job is to keep the farm maintained and ready for your return. I know that is not going to be, but sometimes that's how it seems.
I miss you and my Dad very much. Happy Birthday........and I love you more.