Two things then happened to rain on his...celebration. One, his family forgot his birthday completely one year despite the obvious reminder. Two, the holiday was moved to a Monday with rotating dates.
After that he figured out being memorable was up to him.
He excelled at it for the rest of his seventy-five years. The details matter a great deal, as did the whole: Do for others, but have fun. Excel at what you love. Learn about everything you can, then let that knowledge occupy a corner of your brain while you live. See the world, but know that everything important can be hugged at the end of the day.
Today my brothers and I (and sister in Philly, via the wonders of FaceTime) visited the gravestone put into place this morning. I agonized over this thing and when I saw it all I felt at first was relief that I hadn't screwed up. It's lovely, and fitting, and beautiful in a way gravestones can become when you've lost someone you treasure.
Are you ready?
I'm so proud to be his daughter.
And Dad, let me tell you, no matter what day you were born on we would remember you the same. Epic and wonderful and terribly sweet. You were the dad of my dreams.