You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Two birthdays

This past Wednesday my nephew turned 1.

Today my dad turned 74.

Seventy. Four.

In celebration of both their birthdays we all met downtown at Lincoln Park Zoo.


We ate lunch, saw animals, acted like animals…


turned into super heroes….

And basked in the glory of the brisk spring weather and each others company.

My dad’s birthdays are always kind of hard on me mentally, especially since he had his stroke last year. I love him so incredibly much and it’s hard for me to accept the fact that he’s getting older. It’s hard for me to not view each birthday as one step closer to losing him.

I hate that those thoughts creep in. Birthdays are supposed to be happy. They are supposed to be a celebration of life. It’s easy to celebrate life when that life is so fresh. My nephew is such a sharp contrast, just turning one. He has so much life ahead of him and it’s exciting to imagine what it will be like.

It’s harder to purely celebrate when you know the life has more years behind it than in front. I don’t want to think like that but it hangs over me like a shadow.

Today, instead of letting those thoughts consume me, I fought to stay in the moment. Because today had so many special moments. Maybe made even more special because of the bitter-sweetness in them.

I will not let the fear of the future spoil the potential happiness I have today. Today I celebrate my dad. My funny, stubborn, loving, outgoing, wonderful dad.


Six years


Saying goodbye


  1. That’s some awesome face painting.

    Happy birthday to your dad.

    I love the statement you said at the bottom that you will not let the fear of the future spoil your happiness today. Such good words of wisdom.

  2. Patsy

    Abigail, what a BEAUTIFUL blog! Thank you for posting this and sharing it! I love the photos and seeing you all celebrating together! And I love your writing! AMAZING!! I miss you all!! I love you!

  3. “I will not let the fear of the future spoil the potential happiness I have today” – I absolutely love this!! Such a beautiful blog to your dad! I hope he had a Happy Birthday!

  4. what memorable, wonderful, events!!!

    thanks for sharing all those great moments 🙂

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