I haven't known what to do with this blog in the last few months. I look at it quite often. I look back at where we were a year ago. September was a great month for my dad. Probably the best he had during the transplant process last year.
Today is my dad's birthday.
I remember many of my father's birthdays. When I was younger, we used to celebrate fall birthdays at Enchanted Village. We'd get our entire extended family on that huge gunny sack slide and race down. One time, my grandma had an accident. I remember my dad thinking that was one of the funniest things he'd ever seen but then again, he was always laughing, always having fun… During my 4 years of high school, I got to celebrate my dad's birthday publicly. Usually trying to involve some sort of humiliation. Somehow, trying to embarrass him always came back to me being embarrassed. He was skilled that way.
I remember his last birthday well - He, being Ken Waite, went to work. He loved his job at the college. That job was meant for him and he wanted to do it well. Anyone that knew my father, knew he was attached to his phone. Since Washington State had made it illegal to talk on the phone while driving, it made sense to get him a bluetooth headset for his birthday. It was fun to watch him figure out how to use it. He wasn't always gifted with technology but he could manage.
Honestly, last year at this time, I really thought he was on track to beat cancer. A year prior to last, he had began his treatment for lymphoma for the last time. This year, we are learning to live daily life without him. I still don't feel like I know what that really looks like and to be quite honest, I don't want to. The first few months were a whirlwind, once things calmed down, summer was here and life got busy. Now, over 8 months later, we hurt. The wounds of his death seem fresh; more so than months prior. The memories of his life are often clouded by the weeks leading up to his death. I hate focusing on those times because they didn't represent the man I knew my whole life… yet, it was him: working. fighting. leading.
We're celebrating his birthday today. It will be different without him this year but he taught us how to really enjoy life and so we intend to honor that today (and always). Wherever you are and in whatever your doing today; take a moment ... enjoy where you are... remember what matters... and maybe, say Happy Birthday to Ken.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
***If you are in Aberdeen, feel free to stop by Billy's tonight around 9:00pm - we'll be raising a glass to Ken!***