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,