My dad is 60 today. He’s completed 60 years on this planet! And he is about to have a daughter who has completed 30. If 60 doesn’t make you feel old, having a daughter who’s 30 just might.
Every year near my parents’ birthdays I think of how I need to write a blog to commemorate them. And then I forget until about 3 days past…and at that point, it’s almost my Mom’s birthday and then I’m two blogs behind and then the motivation passes because being that pressure to perform can be overwhelming. So I started early this time. Plus, 60 is a pretty big deal.
I love my Dad. My Pops. Grandpa Tom – or Grandpa Thomas, as Kalyb is now calling him. I’ve received many compliments on our relationship and many friends have wanted to trade dads for a day. He is someone to be reckoned with. To start off with, my Dad is hilarious. Hil-ar-i-ous, I tell you. When he’s in the right mood, that man can captivate an entire audience. I remember once sitting out on our porch in Arizona and he amused a friend and I with a laser light for a solid 30 minutes. He just has that ability. On a picture I found of my dad from when he was about 9, my Gramma had written on the back of it, ‘Tommy. He doesn’t say much, but when he does talk he sure has something to say!’. At first, I didn’t agree with that. I feel like my dad is very social and outgoing. He can be. But he is also an observer. He can sit. I love that about him. He’s fine just to be. I like to go, go, go so spending a weekend with him is like a vacation in and of itself because of his ability to make time to sit. To sit and read the newspaper. To sit and read a book. To sit and watch a show. To sit in the quiet. He says on some weekends, he’ll sit at home and realize he hasn’t spoken all weekend so will just say, ‘hello’ aloud to hear himself. Funny, that guy.
On January 28th, my dad will have been sober for 24 years. Although I didn’t know what it meant at the time, I still vividly remember my dad pouring alcohol down the sink when I was 5 years old. He never looked back. Not to say he didn’t want to or didn’t struggle, that I don’t know. But what I do know is I am so thankful for a sober Dad in my life to raise me. I see the effects of what could’ve been in other people’s lives with parents who weren’t sober and I am so grateful. Because of this my dad was one of my top fans throughout my entire basketball career (my mom and Grandpa being tied for this position as well). My dad was home for dinner with the family almost nightly as I grew up. He traveled to visit me in college, to support me in my games and he sent me the biggest card in the world when I was chosen to be a co-captain on my basketball team.
My dad might not be one for overtly sharing words of affirmation with me all of the time – in fact, not much that I can even remember – yet I have truly never doubted how proud my dad is of me. How much he loves and supports me. He has spoken some incredible truths into my life, without even realizing it. I can’t tell you how often I call my dad just to ask a question – how do I do this? Do you know how I would do that? Did you hear about so and so? And he answers that phone. Almost every time. Without fail. And, if he doesn’t, he’ll call back within 5 minutes. He’s dependable. He’s trustworthy. He’s a man of character and integrity.
And, this last year he lost his own Father. He’s barely had the time to mourn as he’s stepped up to the plate to take care of his Mom. She lives a six hour drive away, but he is there once or twice a month just catching up on things. He keeps track of her medicine, helps her find remotes, cancels subscriptions she’s inadvertently made, takes care of her home, listens to her, etc. For the past ten years, he’s talked to his parents daily. I can’t even imagine not being able to talk to my Dad, and now not only is he without his dad to talk to every day, he’s taking care of his mom every day. He’s dependable. He’s trustworthy. He’s a man of character and integrity. (Did I mention that?)
I’m blessed to have that kind of role model in my life. A man that’s provided. A man that’s worked hard. A man that knows how to have fun and knows the value of rest.
I pray that he feels rested today. That he has a peace that transcends all understanding. That he is so consumed by the love of our God as he celebrates these 60 years. I want so many things for my Dad. Thank you, Dad, for all that you’ve done. For the incredible amount of support, of love, of admiration, and of stability you’ve provided in my life! I am one lucky daughter! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I love you!