All the things I said to you and I regret.
All the things I didn't say to you and I regret.
All the moments I waisted away from you and I regret.
All the things I could have done to make your last days on this earth better...
All the birthdays I ignored.
Not picking up the phone...
Being cruel, immature and unwilling to understand or accept where you were coming from.
Your life. Your hard life.
The things I want to tell you. But you are not here. Never will be again.
You were the best father you knew how to be. The best buddy you knew how to be.
I am grateful I had you. With all your imperfections.
You made me who I am.
I owe my empathy and compassion to you.
I owe my love for animals to you.
I owe my misanthropic view of the world to you. Because you were the most humane human I have ever met. And I could not stand it.
I remember you lighting 2 cigarettes at the same time because you were so into the story you were telling me you didn't see what you were doing. Your stories that I miss so much.
I remember you beating up that teacher who raised a hand on me.... Yet when you were angry you raised a hand on me.
I remember the SAAB and our trips all around the country.
I remember your singing.
I remember that miserable snow man I tried to build on the SAAB as you were driving and hunting small batches of snow up on the mountain. That time. That only time it snowed in Greece when I was a child.
I remember the mountain. Your mountain. And our drives and our conversations. And the goldfish and the soup and the wild dogs and all your cats. And how angry you made me sometimes. And how happy you made me some other times.
And that trip to Skiathos. I never wanted to get back home.
And all the movies we watched together.
And the boxing matches.
And showing me the first chords on the guitar.
And smoking a joint together with my sister and her husband.
And chasing that bat in mom's apartment.
And all the flowers and cakes you brought me EVERY year on my birthday. Even after I moved away.
I remember you today.
These days I miss you more than ever.
I wish you were here to annoy me. I wish we could have one more fight. Sing one more song. Drink one more beer.
Take one more night drive with the SAAB in a warm Athenian summer night under the black starlit sky.
Happy birthday dad.