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  • Writer's pictureWojciech Salski

Birthday Gift

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

What does your father do, asked me a friend once. I mean, he works for sure, sometimes more, sometimes less, but all in all, I must say, he just saves the world and space…


It’s today, the thought rang through the boy’s mind, as he took out his to-do list. The morning was still rather grey, so to speak. The sun was still shy enough to hide behind the clouds of the day. He looked out the window at the surrounding Scottish plane and pondered on what should one say when calling their parent for their birthday day. Without you, I would not be here, his awareness advised the words, that’s rather solid…


Looking back at the memories, which over time shed their sour taste and leave the sweet scent of the life well-lived, he grabbed a piece of paper and a pen. There was so much he could wish his father on this special day, so much, yet most, if not all, was already wished before. I wonder if there are any kind of wishes in the history of mankind, that was not wished before, his mind bounced against the bluish wall of his room. He felt committed to giving praise, an expression of love and admiration to the man, without whom his early life struggles, as well as those quite recent, would pass by without ever being resolved. Parents are quite like us, he noted, just a little bit older, which more often than not appears to provide a way for them to advise us in our life’s efforts… But don’t they improvise the same way we do…?


He pressed the pen against the top of the page and wrote down the dedication:

For the man who helped me become one.

Much could be said about the way you are dear to me, but I don’t think much would be enough. For the years of support, especially those when I was unable to hold my head high enough to see what’s on the table of life for me, I am forever grateful. For the times, when struck by the minuscule and the magnified troubles of existence I ran to you for protection and help, I am grateful too. You have instilled in me the best of your qualities, trying your most to ensure that whatever flaws you have seen in yourself, I would avoid and let them go early on. You had the patience to deal with the drama of life, which your children (me included) have caused, and the wisdom to guide our unaware minds through the minefields of mistakes, hick-ups, shortcomings, and failures. Although in failures you have not allowed us to believe. And now I understand why. Where there was a ceiling, especially that artificial, made of the pre-assumptions and doubts of ours, you have brought down the walls to allow the light to shine through. You have allowed us to see that there was another way, where no way was believed to be true. With your blessing, I have fallen, got back up, tried again. With your blessing, I have lived above the child that I am. There was trouble, but with you, there was nothing worth a worry. You’ve committed all your life, since I came round, to bring me up in all the glory. As an adult, which I struggle to perceive myself to be, I’m aware of just how much effort you’ve exerted towards me. It is beyond comprehension, that life, so small, so frail, can be fostered; is worth minding by a man you are to be. With each year I’m coming closer, to the age you were back then when with Mom you came to take care of the little man in me. Although I still have to learn, and I’m far from knowing much, I can see so clearly now, that you love us all so much. Certainly, there is a part, in my heart, which was once yours – I have moved away from Poland, and that’s with your help of course. You have pushed me to attempt, you have blessed me to stand tall, you have helped me to get up when there was too much doubt. In me. So, please Father, have some fun. Take some time off and don’t you worry. I wish you the very best through this rather wacky story…

The boy looked at the scribbled words and felt his heart racing a little. He could feel the blood, which pushed by the loving expression rushed stronger through the veins of his body than it usually does. That’s it, he thought, that’s the power of love…


Considering the best way to finish such a letter, which sprouted out of the very deepest part of his creative psyche, the boy squeezed the pen stronger and pressed it against the paper once more.

There may be a distance between us right this moment, as you’re reading these words, but believe me when I say, ‘space-time has nothing to do with the expression of love and gratitude that I feel when thinking about you’. Happy Birthday, Dad – thanks for bringing me to this wonderful world.

If you liked this story, check out more of them on my podcast:

Podcast | Creativeworks (

#prose #creativewriting #HappyBirthday #FormyDad #Parenting #idea

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