My father would have turned 66 today.

He’s been gone a little shy of two years now, though it seems like yesterday. I’m sure a decade from now, I will still occasionally listen to my Statler Brother’s cd to remind me of him, or buy a can of Pringles because they were always his favorite. Funny how nothing changes.

Like anyone who has lost a parent, I look for signs that Dad is still with me. And two of them are right in front of me, his grandsons. They echo his silly sense of humor, and know how to make a stranger laugh. My father had a knack for putting a smile on your face with his sarcastic humor, which I see in my kids. Dad once told me that being with the boys ‘just made his day,‘ and I felt the same about him.

I plan to visit him this afternoon, and leave a tiny bottle of Coke, which he loved more than I love Starbucks, by his graveside. I told the boys at breakfast that today would have been Papaw Mike’s birthday, and they immediately belted out the traditional ‘Happy Birthday’ tune over scrambled eggs and toast. Greg glanced at me and smiled. Then without hesitation, our 5-year-old ran to the pantry, grabbed the chips and held ’em to the sky, saying ‘Come back, Papaw.’

If only chips had that kind of power.

Happy birthday, Dad.