Using my wife and daughter as the centerpiece of my post to commemorate Mother's Day this past Sunday had a predictable effect - guilt about no mention of my own Mother, even in passing. Only a smattering of my Jewish friends have ever disabused me of the notion that we Irish Catholics are the World Series champions of guilt.
The idea of writing a redeeming post on May 30 - Mom's birthday - helped me get the green monster under control, briefly. But, because thoughts of Mom are often accompanied by thoughts of Dad, guilt now had me back in its grip.
I've memorialized many dates on this blog over the past seven and a half years. But as March 25 2018 was approaching some time ago, the right tone to mark the centennial of my Dad's birth stubbornly eluded me. I tossed around dozens of ideas, started no fewer than fifteen posts, abandoned every one before hitting "publish". Too maudlin, too trite, too ... inadequate. When my sister commented a few weeks after March 25 that she was surprised I'd let that date pass, I offered my explanation, pushing back the guilt, again. And that months-old conversation with my sister came rushing back soon after I began thinking about what to say about Mom late this month.
Although I've frequently disdained "better-late-than-never" birthday cards and sentiments, it may be time to re-think that position. My Dad - my hero - deserves no less.