Nothing more, nothing less

It’s May 2nd and I think the same thing I have thought every year on this day since I was four or five years old.

“Dad’s birthday.”

I associate beautiful, warm weather with my dad’s birthday even though it’s not always beautiful and warm on May 2nd. In fact today was so dreary and cold that we cranked the heat up to 70. But my dad had a beautiful and warm heart, so that’s why I associate those adjectives with this day. That’s why I love this day.

My dad has been gone for five years and I am grateful, of course, for the memories, but even more so for the rare occasions I still have “dad moments.”

I’ve heard it’s common to associate a cardinal with a deceased loved one, but I don’t know why. What I do know is that while I’ve seen countless cardinals since my dad died, there have been two specific, separate occurrences when I saw a cardinal, stopped everything and thought the same thing.


A simple but heavy thought.


Nothing more, nothing less.

Another time I had a “dad moment” was on the treadmill. Treadmills aren’t exactly known for being spiritual so I’m as surprised as you are. But the moment was real and is still fresh in my mind.

I was listening to the rough cut of a literary podcast Jesse and I were editing for Rockford Writers’ Guild. It sounded terrific. I’m not bragging. It was legitimately good audio. But that’s not what was strange. The strange “thing” is that when I was on the treadmill listening to the podcast, my arms shot up in victory. But when that happened, my arms didn’t feel like my arms. They felt like my dad’s arms.


I knew in that strange moment the podcast was good. And it was. And it led to all sorts of great things. But that’s not why I’m writing.

I’m writing because the place I seem to have most of my “dad moments” is when I’m out in the world running errands and I see moments of beauty and warmth exchanged between a dad and his daughter. The most recent one was when I saw a stranger-dad pick up his daughter from school. I looked up and saw a dad fist-bump his daughter. It was a moment of cuteness and mutual respect. Though I never fist-bumped my dad, I was visited by that old familiar thought.


Nothing more, nothing less.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Love and miss you forever.

And to the rest of you: Thank you for reading my (very late night) blog. -Connie

P.S. I don’t have a lot of pictures of my dad, so I used an old photo of Jesse and our oldest daughter sharing a smile. I think it captures a certain universal “dad moment.”

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