Today is my Daddy's 64th birthday and is such a bittersweet day for our family. It's sweet because we had an amazing day together as a family. It is bitter...well, for obvious reasons. We first went to Ft. Sill National Cemetery where he is buried.
Mom and I picked up some flowers to place there. Even though we are so sad today and not feeling happy, we wanted to have some bright flowers to add some cheerfulness.
Mom also made cupcakes for everybody. Dad's absolute favorite was German Chocolate Cake and it's what he had every year for his birthday. We couldn't very well bring a cake out there so Mom just made German Chocolate Cupcakes. After choking our way through singing Happy Birthday we ate the cupcakes in honor of Dad. SO hard to do. It just felt so wrong. I guess nothing about this will every feel right, though.
We spent a few more minutes there, hating to leave but not really having a reason to stay, before heading out to Medicine Park for some lunch. Mom and Dad have been there several times and JJ and I have gone with them 2 times so we decided it was the perfect place to continue our celebration of Dad. After eating lunch we headed down to the river to feed the ducks our leftover bread.
From there we went to the bridge to take memory pictures. Both times that JJ and I went with my parents to Medicine Park we always took a picture of Dad and JJ on the bridge. Such precious memories but such heartache now, too.
Here are the 2 pictures we took before:
Walking around outside in 100+ degree weather is a great excuse to get some ice cream. Besides, ice cream was also one of Dad's favorite things and since this day is all about Dad, we had to oblige! ;)
After cooling off a bit and wandering around a couple of tiny shops we got back in our cars and headed to Mt. Scott. The view is beautiful from up there and it was also another place Dad liked to go.
I love this photo but at the same time it breaks my heart. My Dad belongs right there next to Mom. He just does. It's so wrong and so painful and is a horrible reminder of what the rest of our time here on earth will look like.
All in all we had a good day together and it was exactly what Dad would have wanted. He would have absolutely loved spending his birthday making great memories with his family. But instead of being completely happy a heavy sadness overshadowed the day. It was wonderful and fun and we really did have a great time together but there was always something missing. I guess from now on there will always be something missing. This is a birthday that we all will never forget.
The first time we went with Mom and Dad JJ was only 7 months old so Dad carried him basically the whole day. After hiking for a bit we stopped to rest and I captured this precious picture of Dad holding his grandson while he sat. Words cannot express how much I treasure and adore this photo.