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Today Would Have Been My Dad’s 83rd Birthday

Today would have been my dad’s 83rd birthday. It seems like a long time since Alzheimer’s disease claimed his life, but really, it hasn’t been. Grief never goes away, no matter how many cute baby photos of Jacob Henry I post. Jacob Henry is a year and 5 months old now, and my dad never got to meet him, but I’m sure if he did, he would have loved him.

I was showing Jacob letters the other day and spelled out his name and was tickled when Jacob was able to identify and say the letter “A” without prompting.

I studied the word “Henry” and considered its meaning to me.

Henry T. Akao was my dad.

Henry H. Akao was Grandpa Henry.

My husband and I didn’t want to make Henry Jacob’s first name, because that would make him Henry III, and that would be confusing.

But I’m happy I gave Jacob the middle name, Henry, because after all, he is a Henry. He’s stubborn, like my dad. He’s really smart, like my dad. He as Asian eyes, like my dad’s.

He even has allergies, like my dad and I have. The Akao genes are strong.

Sometimes when I miss my dad, I read this Bible verse and it provides a bit of comfort:

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Some day I believe I will see my dad again.

And Jacob will get to meet him.


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