Would Have Been

It’s a phrase that annoys me, “today they would have been this many years old.” As the years pass, it gets more annoying to the point of ridiculousness. I mean, maybe they could have reached 99 years, but I’m guessing they would have been felled by something else in the meantime. It would be ok if we just acknowledge the anniversary of someone’s birth, but it seems we insist on this element of wishful thinking.

Regardless, I find myself on this day thinking that my dad would have been 70 today. That’s a milestone year. People have parties for such achievements. But it’s entirely meaningless. He didn’t make it, so there’s nothing to celebrate.

Except I would like to celebrate, I’m just not sure how. When I was younger, I might have worked myself up into a frenzy, culminated by etching some symbol into my skin with a paring knife. Quicker and cheaper than a tattoo, but not as potentially artistic. My dad probably wouldn’t approve of either, but at least he could appreciate a tattoo.

I’ll probably just end up having a drink in his honor-he’d appreciate that more. Still, no matter what I do, I’ll never get another of his bear hugs, and that’s so much more annoying than any stupid thing people might say.

(I’ll get that tattoo, as well, maybe in time for his not-75th.)

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