40 Years …
I am awake, I am alive, and even though the computer confirms it is indeed June 11, 2021, all I can think is, “It can’t possibly be 40 years since I got to wish you Happy Birthday” … but it is.
That sounds like such a long time, yet truth be told, the longest time was the first year without you, and the second, and probably the third. Now, it just seems surreal that its been 40 years largely because I still remember everything …
I remember how your whole face lit up when you laughed. I remember how you liked your steak, what beer you drank, and how you could make anything in the fridge into your “hash”.
But most of all, I remember how you loved Mom.
I remember that look of anticipation on your face every single time you called us into the room to see whatever the latest thing was that you had built for Mom and I remember how fast it changed to pure joy every time she smiled and told you how much she loved it.
And I remember waiting with you while Mom got ready for one of your incredibly rare date nights. We would talk and you would listen, but I knew we were just killing time and I didn’t mind at all. It was so worth it to see your face when she came out, to hear your sigh, to watch as you went to her to kiss her and tell her she was beautiful.
I remember it all.
I remember her telling stories of the day at the mill and you explaining the history behind the story to her. She knew it kept you connected while you were ill and then retired. And honestly, I think you knew too.
And I remember the two of you car shopping. Her picking the three or four cars she liked the looks of then turning the process over to you, knowing you would pick the most reliable out of the ones she had picked out. It was such a smooth process, executed by a team that had danced together for years, and it was perfect every time.
I remember you wishing us “Good night” in French and how you would laugh so hard each and every time I tried to roll my r’s.
And I remember how much you loved me. How you bragged to everyone in ear shot about every “A” I received, how you told the world I would be Prime Minister one day, how you thought I could be anything I wanted to be, how you smiled every single time you called me your “little lump of sugar”.
So maybe it is 40 years, but obviously it doesn’t matter. It seems 17 years of love was enough to sustain me for a lifetime Daddy but only until we meet again.
I love you Daddy! Happy birthday!
In memory of Leo Ernest Boucher
June 11, 1913 – July 6, 1981
I love you my friend.
Thank you for listening.