Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy Birthday, Gabe & Jack

     Today is the 8th birthday of my first grandson. It’s the first time his birthday has fallen on a school day, and he was excited about that. What a happy day for him.
     It would have been the 75th birthday of my late husband, Jack, had he not chosen to leave us at the age of 58. I still don’t understand that. After all these years, I still shake my head and wonder, “Why?” I still miss him every day, but especially today.
     I know Jack is in a better place, but he left us in a state of shock, bewilderment and grief beyond compare. He left a big hole in our hearts and lives. He didn’t get to see his youngest daughter graduate from high school or college. He didn’t get to walk either daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. He’ll never know the joy of having grandchildren, but what’s worse, they’ll never know the fun of having their Grandpa toss them a ball or teach them to fish.
      I guess I should have put flowers on his grave today. But I didn’t. I rarely go to the cemetery,  because he’s not there and it just reminds me of my loss. I took Gabe there a few months ago (see photo), because he wanted to know where his Grandpa Jack was buried. His mom and aunt usually change the subject when I bring him up, but Gabe and I talk about Jack often. One day Gabe asked me, “Do you think Grandpa Jack would have liked me?” “Oh honey,” I replied. “He would have adored you.”
     I have a close relationship with my daughters and grandsons, I have many wonderful friends, but on days like today, I feel so alone. I ache to have Jack’s arms around me and to lay my ahead against his big, barrel chest. 
     Happy birthday, Jack. I wish you were here so we could celebrate. Yes, I know we’ll dance together some day when I get to heaven, but I’m not anxious to go. Loretta Lynn put it succinctly when she sang, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”
     I know I’ve rambled, but it’s hard to think coherently with tears streaming down my face. 
     Happy birthday, Gabe. I’ll feel better when I see you tomorrow. You have given me something to celebrate on an otherwise bloody awful day.


  1. I can't imagine what you must have gone through and continue to go through Elaine.
    I know you are a trooper, and a damn good writer.

  2. Beautifully and tenderly expressed, Elaine. You are a magnificent writer. Donna