creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Happy 86th Birthday, Dad, another one you missed. And how I miss you in this world.

Actually the last one you had was your 75th. And we all knew it was the last. Because of that, I was there to watch him eat cake in a hospital Florida. The cancer came quickly; as unexpected news in March and taking him away in August.

Here I am on Dad’s birthday in England, thinking about him, and how he read everything I wrote here. I found folders in his home where he had printed out every web page from my past trips, even back to my (pre-blog) travels in 2000. Dad did not ask a lot of questions, he did not comment on my blog, but I knew he read it intently. He was there, and in his own, introspective way of communication (usually the most personal ones I got were hand written letters), I knew without explicit words how much pride he had in me. People can tell you a lot without saying it.

There would certainly have been a printed out folder of posts he read from this trip in 2014. That’s okay Dad, I’ll save you the paper on this one.

75 sure seems like way too early an age to exit. At 67 he managed, in mid May, to hike to the top of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix for my wedding. In that perfect hindsight I see how oblivious I was to the possibility both my parents would be gone by now. It was not even on the possibility plane.

But heck yeah, Dad, I am still blogging away. I see now it is my equivalent of your letters- writing to communicate feelings, writing to possibly be heard, but maybe just writing to be writing it out for me.

It’s not so puzzling to see what my parents can still teach me.

The post "The Blog Reader I Miss the Most" was originally assembled from spare parts of a 1957 Chevy at CogDogBlog ( on May 2, 2014.


  • Harriet

    It’s Dad’s 88th birthday, born in 1926. That’s okay, I’m the math major! I was thinking yesterday about how much I missed him and how much he missed of my life changes. I know he would have been thrilled to read my blog too. His communication skills in unspoken words were so special.

  • Sandy Brown Jensen

    A beautiful, heart felt tribute to your dad, Alan. I miss my dad, too. His birthday was April 14 and I posted a digital story about when Peter and I went to Omaha Beach then traced his steps through the Battle of the Hedgerows.
    I think these acts of honoring those who showed us the way in this world are essential rituals that fold the generations down into time together.

    Thank you.

  • Judy Levine Griffith

    Alan, you always have the most wonderful tribute to our parents. I walked the dog at 6 am on dad’s birthday looking at my beautiful dandelion free lawn. I had to wish dad happy birthday knowing that he would be proud to see that there are none of the evil weeds in my yard! I often go back an reread the many letters that he wrote to me and to his grandchildren. He always ended with his usual, ” keep your chin up!” I miss that!

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