German Chocolate Longing

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This was my dad’s favorite cake: German chocolate. If you haven’t ever tried it, I can vouch for how delicious it is.

I made one today.

I did this because had my dad not died seventeen years ago, he’d be celebrating his 70th birthday today. Probably with me. I bet my sister would have come back for the party. And he would have been surrounded my his six grandchildren, ranging in age from a year and a half to almost fifteen. We’d sing “Happy Birthday.” He’d wonder how we managed to fit all seventy candles on top. We might even have come up with a gift which I bet would have been an experience over a new belonging. For example: downhill skiing passes over a new watch; a trip to an art museum over slippers. You get the idea.

My dad was into “doing,” not “having.”

At fifty-two, he was given six months to live upon the discovery of Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Before January 1998, I hadn’t a clue what a pancreas was, and therefore, I wholly doubted the need for one. I was kind of hoping it was like an appendix.

It wasn’t.

And the cancer spread.

He survived ten months which I’m told should be seen as a “gift.” There are no happy outcomes from a premature death. I would have been happy to take a rain check on the whole thing.

This morning I practiced Ashtanga yoga. While I was in the studio with nine fellow yogis and our instructor, I felt my dad there, too.

I bet he would have loved the “doing” of yoga.

If only he was given the opportunity of the “having” of his life.

Happy Birthday, Dad.







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