My Father’s Birthday

Dad was fifty years old when I was born; he was born on July 18, 1903. Were he alive today, he would be one hundred twelve years old. But he died in February 1985 at the age of eighty-one, when I was just thirty-one years old. It’s a bit hard to comprehend that I’ve lived half my life without my father. I’ve gotten used to it. I celebrate his birthday every year, anyway, by trying to dredge up a few memories from half a lifetime ago.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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4 Responses to My Father’s Birthday

  1. Thanks to each of you for your comments; truly appreciated and thought-provoking.

  2. Trisha says:

    John, I had to come back to your post after giving it a great deal of thought. At first it stuck me that your father passed on in the same year as my mother, and I was the same age as yourself…31. She was a mere 62. However, as Juan wrote, there is a great deal to be said for the older parent. I gave birth to my only son at 43 years. I was frowned upon and discouraged by many women here in Mexico, for I was well out of the realms of their cultural ideal. Ask me if I cared? Yes, as a woman I was perhaps pushing the envelope physically, but all went perfectly well…somehow I knew it would. Personally, I was decidedly more settled in my thoughts at that age. I’d managed to travel far and and wide for a good time (something I needed to do)…I did many things that made me comfortable in my own skin. I was ready, relaxed, patient, and focused. This would not have been the case if I’d been in my twenties, or perhaps my thirties. So therefore in my testimony there are many advantages for both the parent and the child.

  3. jserolf says:

    I was nearly the same age when Tio was born, John. Strange relationship…different from my other children. I speak to him like an adult, and there was never any myth spinning of Santa Clause tails or anything like that. Everything was pretty much “as a matter of fact.” Didn’t feel like we had to go through that. Sometimes I think, people shouldn’t begin having children until their late 30s, 40s, and if possible — 50. I’ve never spanked him. Punishment mainly works through conversation. Perhaps not so oddly, he never wants to displease me.

  4. robin andrea says:

    I hope you dredge up a really lovely memory today, on what would have been your father’s 112th. Wow!

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