In photos, my dad often had this whisper of a smirk on his face. Like he couldn’t wait for you to take the photo because he had something funny to tell you.
I don’t have many photos of the two of us once I’m older than a toddler. Both self-conscious in front of the camera, and me mostly behind it, I tried often to catch those looks on his face. The smile I knew as his daughter that was so rarely captured on film.
He was so proud to be a dad. He wanted to be remembered as a loving father, and he is. While I could think of perceived slights or lingering resentment, neither of those belong on this day. I have many complicated feelings, but there is an abundance of love.
He would be 67 today. Life wasn’t always kind to him, I wish it had given him more to smile about over the last few years. I will cherish the ones I captured, and the ones I remember only in memory.
I wish I could call him.
I love you, Dad. Happy birthday.