He has always been my benchmark. My sounding board. My hero. He was the seeker of all things lost, the smile amidst the sorrow, the heart throughout the heartache.
My dad turns 80 years old today. And I’m struggling with it. Eighty seems like such a big number. It seems so old. So much time on this earth. But when I look at my dad, I can’t wrap my head around it. He’s not 80. He can’t be.
His step hasn’t slowed, though he’s faced knee and hip replacement surgeries. His humor hasn’t subsided, though he deals with skin cancer on what seems like, a monthly basis.
He hasn’t stopped working, stopped guiding, stopped advising…
His heart is strong. His faith is solid. His loyalty is unwavering.
For the cards he’s been dealt, I am amazed at his gratitude. His thankfulness. His kind and gentle spirit.
Losing his father when he was just a child, he didn’t have that role model that is so important to young boys. And when he was in his early 20s, he lost his mom. I think about my early 20s…I was so unsure of the woman I was becoming. I was sooo in need of my parent’s guidance and advice. But my dad was left to fend for himself. He was left to carve out a life on his own. That takes strength, character.
He read countless books, studied, worked hard, and eventually owned his own business. Not bad for a kid who’s dad wasn’t there to lead by example. Not bad for a man whose mother wasn’t there to lend a loving hand or guide him.
My dad always, and I mean, always has a smile. He always has a joke (none of which are very funny, but nevertheless). He is larger than life – he is all that is good, gentle and kind.
He has been a source of inspiration, respect and admiration throughout my entire life.
He has never missed a school play, spelling bee, first day of school, or milestone…for me, my brother, or my kids.
If it sounds like my dad is perfect…yah. He pretty much is.
So today, on his 80th birthday, I wanted to share my thoughts on this amazing man, with you.
Happy Birthday, dad. I love you more than you’ll ever know. And I thank you for being such an amazing role model in my life.