My father

Happy birthday, dad.

I don’t speak of him often as my father, but as a poet, mathematician, carpenter, sculptor, or artist. (Okay, so that sentence is kind of a cheap way to introduce his crazy amount of talents to you, but it’s also true.)

In amongst all of those talents, those genius word weavings and “slight of foot tricks,” Victor Densmore has always without fail been my father. And through all of these years the most I’ve said about him being my father is when I say something like “My father’s writing a new book,” or “My father just made a giant set of wind chimes.” What I don’t remember having ever expressed in public, despite all the years I’ve been conscious of knowing him, is how much I love him as my father.

Today he turned 82. He’s known me for half of his life, and each morning he gets up and smiles and says good morning to me like it’s the first time, and each night he says goodnight like it’s the first time, and I can’t explain how that feels or what that means to me.

He loves my own family as much as he loves his own. He spreads the word about my wife’s art. He’s a grandfather twice over, and his wisdom towards his 18-year old grandson is just as salient as it is towards his 8-year old granddaughter. His joy and concern are equally real, and his advice in both situations is always cautious and intelligent.

Like all caring fathers, he worries that he wasn’t good enough, or didn’t teach enough, or didn’t sacrifice enough. He’s got nothing to worry about. There’s so much to say about him and what he’s done for me, for my sister, for my wife, and for my children. I’ll be saying more of it soon, but for now, I want to keep it simple.

Happy birthday, dad. Thanks for always being my father and always being good at it.

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