Sunday, 11 August 2013

celebration:The action of marking one's pleasure at an important event or occasion by engaging in enjoyable, typically social activity.

Well today I have a bit of a funny story for you all... Today is August 11, 2013.  For many years growing up we celebrated my Dad's birthday on August 11th.  At least I'm nearly 100% certain that we did.

Now, as sometimes happens in life, actually it seems to be more common than not, when I was about thirteen, my parents split up.  My Dad was not part of my biological creation, but to me he always has been and always will be my Dad.  Unfortunately, break-ups can be just as hard on the kids, and things became a little bumpy between my Dad and I.  We would go through periods of not talking for years at a time.  However, I always realized how much I loved him and wanted him in my life and he always forgave me.

As I got older and started travelling, we no longer lived in the same place so I always made a point of calling him on his birthday, as most people do for loved ones in times of celebration.  One year in particular, I can remember it so vividly... I was living in Canmore, Alberta.  I was standing outside the Sobeys, using a calling card on a pay phone.  Thinking I'm doing good calling my Dad to wish him a Happy Birthday, I certainly wasn't expecting the conversation we ended up having.

'Happy Birthday Dad' I said.

'Well that's nice Jessie,' (he always called me Jessie) 'but it's not my birthday'.

'Yes it is!  It's August 11th,' I said smiling at what I thought was his crazy French humour.

'Well yes it's the 11th, but my birthday is on the 12th.'

'No it's not.'  I know it's silly to be arguing with someone about the actual date of their birthday.  I mean they should know better than you, but I was sure we'd always celebrated it on the same day every year and that day hadn't been the 12th.

'Yes it is.'  By now I'm still laughing because that's always been my nervous reaction, but I'm beginning to think this isn't just a joke.

As you can imagine this exchange went back and forth a bit.

'Well, why did we always celebrate your birthday on the 11th then?'

'I don't know, because my birthday is on the 12th.  Always has been.  Always will be.'

Done with arguing, especially with my Dad on his... birthday?  We agreed to disagree.  Naturally, I called my mother up as soon as I hung up from my Dad and she agreed that as far as she knew, his birthday had always been on the 11th of August.

Every year after that, I was terrified of calling him on the 11th or 12th.  Therefore, I always made a point to call him either a few days before or a few days after, using the foreign countries I lived in, lack of pay phones, and temperamental calling cards as an excuse.

One year, I was filling in some paperwork for him that required his birth certificate and of course, this argument had never left my mind, so I stole a quick glimpse at his birth date.  Well you know what... it actually said August, 12th!  I was completely surprised.  At least the argument was finally over, not that I'd ever brought it up again, and it was safe to call him on his... birthday? once again. :)

Now, today is the 11th, and tomorrow my Dad would have been 76.  Last year I tried to plan a surprise party for him but it didn't really happen.  Nonetheless, we had a pleasant celebration with just him, me, and my two girls, a birthday cake, and some presents.  Sadly, he told me he couldn't remember the last time he'd had a birthday cake.  He was always the type of person doing for others but not easily accepting others doing for him, so I was even more glad that I'd decided to give him a little mini party.

In celebration of my Dad's birthday, I'm offering free copies of my book The Key to Life.  I'd love to offer 76 copies, however I don't know if I'll have that much interest.  So... for now I'll offer 12 free copies (via coupon to smashwords) to the first 12 people who respond to this post saying they'd like one.  (Just make sure you leave an email address I can send the coupon to). 

If there is a larger response, there will be more free copies to be handed out.  The only thing I ask in return is that you leave a review.

I'll end this by saying, Happy Birthday Dad :) (well for tomorrow anyways) and I hope all of you have a fabulous day!