(note amazing stenciled banner in background)
april is a rough month. i always find myself torn between being excited for spring and a little shaken up that another season is passing, already. april is also full of days that i rarely talk about anymore, at least not on the day itself, a month full of stewart births and deaths.
my grandaddy was born on april 16, 1916.
my father was born on april 12, 1946.
my father died on april 21, 1999.
this year april 21 passed, and on the day itself i didn't speak a word of it to anyone. i'm not very good at asking for what i need, especially when i don't even know what it is that i need.
this year my father would have been 64. i like to imagine his life before things went awry, before the little brother whose birthday he shared died and the world stopped, or at least that's how i imagine things. my father never uttered his brother's name to me, and it wasn't until he was gone that i could even begin to imagine what happened to the family living in the house at 931 montvue when keith stopped breathing, at three years old and having only ever learned to say my father's name. it breaks me to think of this family, my family. i like to imagine him like this, instead:
a chubby kid with a big smile, playing with trucks and trains and not yet marred by keith's death and his mother's alcoholism and vietnam's losses. this little tonka reminds me that, despite all this, he made me believe that his childhood was one adventure after another, whether it was treeing raccoons or boy scout camp or shooting cans at the farm.
still, i'd give anything in this world to be celebrating his birthday with him instead of with this tonka. i miss you.