Turning the calendar page from yesterday to today was not without some pain, some sweet melancholy memories, some layers of emotion involving the appreciation of a life. Today would have been my father's 81st birthday. Is it still his birthday even when he is no longer here? I suppose so, yes. It was his day, his date. I feel such a loss that I am not seeing him today, that I am not making my plans around him today, that I have not shopped for something to please him, or for a card to make him smile, on which I'd write a note and sign "I love you Dad" at the bottom.
These days, these "firsts" after losing him, they are raw. I awake having no idea what to expect and am more or less carried through the day rather than leading myself through it. This is similar to how I felt on Easter and my parent's anniversary. And yet, today is really all about him, not missing him on a holiday or event we shared. There's nothing to work though, no trouble to resolve. I think that I'm feeling exactly what could be called normal. It's sad and longing but it's not desperate. It's tearful but not weepy. It's all about missing someone I love. And the impossible distance of death. It's about wanting to celebrate the day that brought the entrance of someone into this world, knowing he's no longer here, and getting caught in the riptide of that emotion. It's about missing him more today than any day that's passed since losing him.
I'm traveling today. Opening the day in Houston and closing it in Philadelphia. I'm comforted by that. Comforted by spending the day with strangers who know not who I am or what this day is or what I'm feeling. It allows me to be invisible. And for today I like that.