Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday B.Q.

He is known to many as B.Q., Tubby, or Duke.
And to three of us, he's known as dad.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Thank you for raising me with the grit to get through this. I have cried a lot over the last few months, and I really miss our talks, and our phone conversations while I drove to work. And some days, I don't feel strong at all. I feel ill equipped to take on one more day.

But then I remember how you're pain free now. Served your country that in my opinion, didn't return the favor. But you didn't even wait to be drafted. You ran in, while others did their best to run away.

And I thank you for your service. Vietnam did what it could to wreck you, and you spent the rest of your life picking up those pieces, when I'm sure it would have been easier to run.

Here's a few things I want to share with you today.

1. I came to work today. I really wanted to stay home. Or huddle up on a bar stool. I can't promise I won't do that later. But, you'd never begrudge any one a good time, so I know you understand.

2. I appreciate you never making anything cliche. Instead of calling me your little girl, you always called me your little goil. And you're the only person who ever called me goil.

3. Thanks for giving me your wit, your humor.

4. Thank you for the sharing the gift of your story telling.

5. Thanks for the large Irish family that just won't go away. :) Even when you tell them you want to be alone, and just can't make this year's family reunion.

6. Thank you for our amazing nuclear family. A fantastically quirky, artistic and fun mom, who raised us to be good people, and two brothers who would kick any one's ass, who tried to harm me in any way. And to you, for always insisiting your kids were polite, well groomed, and well mannered.

7. Thank you for sending me to grad school which lead me to this job. A job that lets me show up later than most, and while here, I'm paid to write. Sure, I'm writing in a blog right now, instead of writing about Lincoln, but it's because of you that I'm here.

8. Thank you for the tea parties. That's a special dad that will sit with his daughter and drink gallons of imaginary tea.

9. Thank you for all the generous gifts over the years. It was never about the material items for you. I know you just loved to share the wealth, after growing up poor, you wanted your children to have nice things.

10. Thank you for instilling in me, a sense of survival. Perhaps ironic writing that on your first posthumous birthday, but it's true. You survived Vietnam and seven years of cancer. I think that fighting spirit, was passed down to me.

As a baby born at just over six months, doctors all said I would die.
I remember you telling me the story a few years ago.
How you wanted to give me a name, Kelly Rose,so that I would know that somebody was figthing for me.

The torch has been passed. I'm fighting to win the grief battle every day.

Happy Birthday to the original fighter.
The Might Quinn,indeed.

Your loving daughter,
Kelly Rose.


LQ said...

Perfect, Kell. And no...we won't go away. :)

TQ said...

Thought about your dad all day today on his birthday. He would also be proud of you for remembering him with your writing, as he is for the other things that you do to honor him.

TQ said...

I thought about your dad all day today. He would be very proud of you for all that you do to honor him and carry on with your own life in spite of your grief.

susie q said...

Brian would love this, honey, but he would ask "How can you write at work? Maybe you will lose your job". Always one to look on the bright side:) - that's Bri.

Anonymous said...

Kelly that was beautiful, thank you so much for sharing. I laughed and cried while reading this. I too am thankful for him and having you Quinlans in my life. Thanks for sharing. I did still sing Happy Birthday to him today, I hope he heard, he was a great friend!
Love, Pam

ColleenQ said...

I think your mom's right, honey - maybe you should write about Lincoln's tomorrow. ;)

I'm thankful you guys lived so close - I got all those valuable years experience with babysitting (you were always the easiest), and got to see how it really was on a bowling league.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Brian.

PQ said...

Kelly, I also remember Bri's birthday every year, today was no different. Your writing is beautiful testimonial to your dad, the writer. I loved Brian's storytelling and the way you express yourself. When I retire, I making a film, "vetrans for Peace". I might just help me get over being pissed off about Joe and Brian. Such beautiful courageous people.

I like what you've done with your grief today. Thank you. Love, PQ

Anonymous said...

You do have a gift of writing... keep it up it will make you heal so much faster. I wrote a story about Brian a few weeks ago. It makes me feel warm all over.. I will send it to you.. love EQ