For one day, I didn’t worry.
Happy birthday, dear Dad.
“The napkins are polyester…”
“…so when you cry, the tears just get pushed around.”
“We were a mess…”
“…that’s probably why our lunch was comped.”
With Mom and me on either side of him at the table, Dad’s head swerved left, right, and back again. His wife and his daughter, talking about the lunch weeks earlier, at the same restaurant table, when they reluctantly considered the possibility of the future without him.
“But you’re here with us now.”
“We’re so happy.”
During our exchange, I watched hints of emotion flicker across Dad’s face. He seemed to enjoy being the center of our small family’s attention. But maybe I saw a trace of guilt too. Maybe. For making us worry? I don’t know.
We were together today. Nothing else mattered.