Sunday, September 12, 2010

Celebrating 70 Years

It's time for me to make a diversion from my normal motivational ritual.  Today is a special day.  It is my dad's 70th BIRTHDAY and so this post is dedicated to him.

My dad and I alike in a lot of ways, very different in others.  He loves me unconditionally despite my flaws and I feel the same about him. 

If it weren't for my dad, I wouldn't have my witty sense of humor or my inability to comment without sarcasm. My dad LOVES to tell a story, and despite the hundreds of times I've heard the same story, he can't start without finishing, adding more embellishing details each time.  His stories have become quite 'unbelievable' over the years!

My dad comes from a family of nine children, so family is very important to him.  I've always felt that extra protection from my dad to always make sure that I'm okay since I'm 'the baby' of our family and he loves to be a grandpa to 'my baby' and his other ten grandchildren.

I love my dad so much, because he has always been a great dad.  When I think back to all the memories I have with him, it's all the sacrifices that he made for me that paint the portrait of who this man really is.

My dad worked hard for 35 years for the US Postal Service.  It was a job he took a lot of pride in doing.   He provided everything we needed, we took family vacations, we had a nice house and went to private school.

During the summers we used to look forward to my dad coming home from work while we would be playing basketball in our driveway, and although he was probably tired and hungry, he would get out of the car, set his lunch bag down and shoot a few hoops with us.  He loved to play with us and he loved to win.  I know that is where I get my competitiveness.

My brother and I rough housing around with my dad.

When I was just 8-years old, he somehow landed first row tickets to a Minnesota Twins baseball game. Who knows what he had to do to get those tickets, but that is the kind of thing my dad would do.  Making us happy made him happy. 

Here he is some 30 years later still enjoying that favorite pastime with my brother.

He rarely missed any games that any of my sisters or my brother were playing, he always attended our concerts, our parent-teacher conferences and was so proud of us for everything we did.

When I was fresh out of college, very young and single, I decided to move to Texas by myself. I know my dad hated the idea of it. Yet, he set his feelings aside and he helped me pack up my car and together with my mom, we drove 1100 miles to my 'new home', because that is what I wanted.  He helped me get an apartment, a car, even a washer and dryer (so I wouldn't have to be out by myself at a laundromat). Then he let me go. He doesn't know this but that was one of the hardest days for me.

He was so happy when I married Cedric.  Now I had someone else to protect me and take care of me.  We didn't do a normal father-daughter dance at our wedding.  We were supposed to dance to Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely, but when DJ made a mistake and and played a faster, more upbeat Signed, Sealed, Delivered, he started twirling me and made the best of it.  He loves to be the funny guy and that dance stirred much laughter in that room. 

I have to admit, there have been many times in my life that I've taken him for granted.  Rather than be so thankful for all the good he has given me, I have let my stubbornness get in the way of my gratefulness many times.  I've butted heads with him over senseless things and let me own selfishness get in the way of my respect for him.

This past summer, we had a long talk and it made me realize how I will never let any petty disagreements get in the way of my love for him.  He's done way too much good for me to not appreciate how good of man he really is.  I love him so much. 

Happy 70th Birthday Dad!  Thanks for everything you have given me.  Here's to celebrating your life of health, happiness and lots of love and laughter.


ABW said...

Way to make me cry this morning! What a great dad, and a wonderful relationship y'all have. Happy Birthday Dad!

Anonymous said...

Such a great post !!! I love the last picture of you and your father on your wedding day, it looks as though he couldn't be prouder :)

Tracy said...

A Lovely Post ~ Many more wonderful birthdays to share together! Take Care!

DB said...

Brings a tear to my eye. Happy Birthday!

Unknown said...

I am all choked up over here! I can feel your unconditional love and respect for your dad. Your relationship is truly something to admire. Happy Birthday to you dad!

jillconyers said...

What a wonderful post Rhonda. Happy birthday to Rhonda's dad!

BTW, commenting without sarcasm is tough for me too LOL

Liz said...

what a sweet post to him! i really love the black & white photo of you two.

Booyah's Momma said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad... this was really sweet, Rhonda! And I love "Isn't She Lovely"... my husband has always said he wants to play that song for the first dance at our daughter's wedding (if he ever allows her to get married).

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