If you subscribe to Facebook (I think only three Americans don’t), then you know it is full of commentary, pictures, videos and ads. And if you happened to “friend” a few strangers, you might see and read things you never would have without befriending them.
From health to vacations, from doing to not doing, from cute sayings to an occasional very deep thought, and much, much more. Friends and, sometimes, even strangers always have something to say. Among these entries are good wishes. Often they come as comments of best wishes to those celebrating a birthday or anniversary
And among the many birthday wishes there is one kind that stands out to me. It is a birthday wish to a parent. But it is a different kind of birthday wish. It is a kind of message that I am guilty (if I may use that pejorative term) of posting. What makes these postings interesting is that they typically are from seniors to parents not now living. They are a Happy Birthday to Mother/Mom or Father/Dad/Pop. They are “thinking of you” messages. They are “I miss you” messages. It seems not to make any difference whether the parent recently passed away or died decades ago. They are not posted out of any sense of duty but rather because the loving message is sincere.
They are heartfelt messages, perhaps the kind of messages the authors failed to deliver while the parent was still alive. Maybe they are a result of that old phrase “you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.” If not before, it is now that the parent/child bond is fully understood.
Those whose parents are still living have no comprehension the emotions and feelings one has when a parent(s) are gone. They stay they do, but those who have lost their parents know the “I understand” people have a lesson in life coming that nothing can be compared to.
I also suspect at least some of those birthday wishes come from those who never could make time for their parents or had a very contentious relation with him/her. Some have so much anger with Mom/Dad that they would post, if anything, “Good riddance.” Personally, I am fortunate to have had a great relationship with my parents who always had my back so I post Happy Birthdays every year.
All that said, I read and positively react with a consoling comment to anyone who posts a birthday wish for a deceased parent. I understand a simple, but profound truth. Entry into our Lost Parent(s) Club comes at a very high price.