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Elizabeth Browder

Happy Birthday, Daddy

This week will be my Daddy’s birthday. He would have been 105 if he had lived. (For those trying to calculate, he was 65 when I was born. A nice little retirement gift if I say so myself).

When I was little, my Daddy could do anything. He was the tallest man I knew. He was the strongest. He was the bravest.

I remember exactly when I realized my Daddy was “older” than other fathers.

When I was five, Daddy fell. He fell down and broke his hip. This was devastating to me..Imagine: waking up and your hero was gone. I ran through our house, screaming for him. “Where are you? Why did you leave me?”.

My mother caught me and tried to explain. I was not having it. Nothing she said was going to make it better. My Daddy was gone and I wanted him back.

My mother called him and asked him to speak to his daughter.

“Why did you leave me? Where are you?”

“Sis, I am in the hospital. I will be home soon”.

That satisfied me. I was fine after hearing his voice.

But things were never the same. I always watched him, looking for some sign he would leave again.

Just like I did the last time I saw him. I knew he would die soon. It crushed everything in me. It was the one fear I had lived with since I was five.

As I sit here, thinking about him, I wish one more time I could ask him:

“Why did you leave me? Where are you?”

I would add one more line: “I miss you. I have missed you everyday for the last 15 years”.

About the Author
Elizabeth is a nurse by profession, and a parent of a dog who thinks she is human. She likes lots of things. She may write about them.