It's hard for me to believe my Dad is 57 today.
57 is still so young. And yet, he doesn't look a day past 40 to me.
He's aged well. I hope I take after him.
We share a birthday. And I like to think I resemble him... so maybe, just maybe, I might.
He's worked with his hands his whole life.
He works hard. He loves the land and simple things.
He loves his family and his Lord. There are not a lot of gray areas with Dad.
I love him for that even when what he sees black and I see gray... he's unchanging.
My Dad knows every good and bad thing about me. He loves me unfailingly - always. I could write and tell you the ways that he is set apart from other dads, but we'd be here all day. He's been a rock. He's steady and strong, he's firm in his beliefs. He's an amazing example.
My parents divorced when I was 8. When I was in the 5th grade I went to live with my Dad. I still remember him coming in and kissing us goodnight each night after prayer. Me on my top bunk. He made a lot of beef pot roasts... in which my sister and I would have good laughs about at the kitchen sink while we washed dishes. "Can you believe Dad made pot roast again? You know what's for dinner tomorrow night right? Beef and Noodles!" We'd joke about it but Dad was a great cook. We used to call him Mr. Mom. He had a special recipe, "Mr. Mom's Seafood Special" with all kinds of things in it like bok choy and other crazy vegetables we'd never heard of.
Back then not many kids were being raised alone by their dads. His job wasn't easy. He didn't always have the financial backing that he needed to raise us. We didn't have a lot of money. Somehow he found a way to put us into private school though. He bought a small house and we lived there many years. Many good memories of rollerskating in the garage while my Dad worked on the yard. Eating grilled chicken on the patio. Raking the leaves in that big old yard. Bike rides. Dad always had us going on bike rides. Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night at church. Dad always had us in church. Saturday nights playing Euchre with him, my brother and Grandma. Watching Star Trek, Bonanza and The Three Stooges re-runs on the couch on a Sunday afternoon. Oh the simpler times.
Such good memories. Thankful for each one.
Saying I am so grateful for him... doesn't seem to really say all that I feel. For the Dad he was, he is and the Grandpa he is to my kids.
I know he knows. So much of what he taught me has shaped me. I wouldn't be the same person with out his influence. He's an incredible, incredible father. I am blessed that God picked him for me... and to top it off, I'm even allowed me to share a birthday with him, his firstborn. That's pretty special.
Happy Birthday Dad.
There's always a little part of my heart that is reserved for the wonderful childhood memories you gave me and that same part of my heart is that little girl that will always look up to you in admiration and love.