living like a dead person

By the time you’re eighty years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.

Bill Vaughan

My dad’s surprise party is Sunday. He’ll be 80 on Monday. EIGHTY.

I’m not sure why exactly, but for the past several months I haven’t really put much thought into this. I planned a small surprise party at a pizza joint with immediate family for Sunday. I sent out simple little hand-made invites. Everyone is coming. This isn’t some elaborate thing, but it’s a thing nonetheless.

Realizing I still need to order a cake, I wondered, “What the hell do I put on the cake?”

I picked up a big red 8 candle and a big red 0 candle the other day, along with some simple Happy Birthday décor. I plan to get a dozen or so helium balloons on my way to the restaurant Sunday. But what should I put on the cake?

Happy Birthday

Happy 80th Birthday

Congrats for being the oldest living member of your family

Thinking about this led me to think about other things… like the fact that MY DAD IS TURNING 80 IN LESS THAN A WEEK.

While I didn’t want to make a big deal out of this (primarily because I don’t have the funds to do so), this IS a big fucking deal.

And a big deal should be made of it!

So I quickly sent out emails and Facebook messages apologizing for the last minute begging, but asked that people send me quick little anecdotes that involve my dad. Like, “I remember that time we went fishing and you made me stick a hook through a minnow.”

My hope is to get 80 little memories gathered to present to my dad on Sunday.

But now I’m in tears.

The past couple of years have been a bit difficult. He’s been living in an old people’s home (independently) and he feels like he’s “living like a dead person.” Nobody calls, nobody visits.

Anything that ever comes from his mouth is a complaint.

It’s just very difficult to listen to every single time we communicate or are together.

And now I’m realizing he’s going to be 80.


I’m going to be a mess on Sunday. I know it. Worse than when I walked down the aisle six years ago with him clutching my arm.

But, hopefully he’ll at least stop feeling like he’s “living like a dead person.”



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