Happy Birthday, Dad

I want to say a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Dad :cake

For so many years, I didn’t understand all the things that my Dad did to make sure that we were the luckiest kids ever – and we truly are. It’s taken all these years to understand that were plenty of times that my Dad didn’t want (for example) to go on a business trip. The early drive to an airport, the hours on the plane, the stuffy meeting in a hot suit, the cold hotel food, the uncomfortable bed, the lonely room, the phone call home with kids asking, “When are you coming home?”, and somehow finding the strength to do it all over again on the next trip. But he did it as often as he had to because he was making a better life for us. He worked so hard to give us opportunities he never had, just like his dad did for him.

He would get up at ridiculous hours (I remember it being dark when dad went to work – if I was even out of bed yet!) to head off to work and work 11, 12 or more hours a day for us. But he always came home with a smile. I’ve worked some 12 hour days and I come home dead tired. I don’t even want to eat some nights, so I can only reflect in awe at how my Dad was never short with us and always took time to spend with us. On top of that, he made time to be involved with the Lion’s Club and teach us to try to do something for other people.

I remember a lot of special times with my Dad – too many to mention. To me, they are just magical memories I’ll keep for the rest of my life. What I didn’t realize at the time is that there were a lot of times that my dad probably just wanted to sit down and rest. But, he never did.

He’d work all day just to come home and help me build a pine wood race car for a scout project, or help my brother with a science project, or throw ball with us, or come to one of our ball games, or watch the band, or any number of a thousand different things my dad would do with my brother and me.

Like his dad, he set the bar high. My brother and I now have to do our best to live up to it. If you were to ask him, I’m sure he’d say we’re doing it. But I know that – even if we never make it – he’ll be proud of us. He always is.

Today’s your birthday, Dad, but I feel like the one with all the presents. I wish I could go back and say thank you for all the times I never realized I should. I’m blessed with a wonderful man as my father, who chose a wonderful woman as my mother.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you!