How is that for an attention-grabbing headline? I’m just teasing. I mean, can we not use this time to talk about the news? At all? Ok, deal. I honestly do have a reason for you to celebrate today, though. Ready?
It’s my dad. It’s his birthday. And we are exactly 30 years and five-ish months apart in age which means he is SIXTY today! Or maybe it was seventy. Whatever.
Here’s the thing. This guy does not do well with acknowledgment. He actually was kind of obtuse about even having a birthday (his choice activity included mowing which is now allowed in Michigan, by the way. but you can’t have a motor. oh shoot, there i go. sorry). He is also terrible about receiving gifts. I realized just how similar we are in that regard tonight. I think it was right after my mom threatened to kick him in the butt if he kept talking. Gosh, I just love old people.
I’m not really here to acknowledge his birthday, though. I mean, I will. Happy birthday, dad. Now go get outside and cut some grass!
I’m here to celebrate the way my dad has risen to a not-so-celebratory occasion. Two-ish months ago, I said something like, ‘hey, dad. i need you to be my person right now. blah, blah, blah other stuff.’ And no questions asked, he said he would.
He’s always kind of been this person for me, though, in a way. When I think back, I always see him just … there. He was there cheering me on or there telling me to knock it off or standing there by my side when I felt like literally anyone could/should have walked away. Or, he was there napping. He did that a lot, too but I don’t blame him one teeny tiny bit because he worked so dang hard. I do actually blame him for that one time I was talking and he fell asleep right in the middle of what I’m sure was some profound statement. But, I’ll get over it.
It’s this past couple of months, though, when his presence was more important than any other point in my kind of chaotic and bizarre-o existence. I didn’t have an expectation of what kind of ‘person’ he would prove out to be. I just knew it was him I needed and that he would do it. And he so has. What he’s given me is something I won’t go into here but he knows. And I hope he knows how gosh darn grateful I am. There just isn’t another dad that God knew could handle me in such a tender, loving way. And I know how lucky I am because I hear so many stories of children without loving fathers. And it makes me so sad because I better understand the love of my heavenly dad because I have the love of my earthly dad. And he might be seventy. And he might have been laying on the ground looking at his new (friggin’ awesome) grill with me standing over him asking if he’d fallen and couldn’t get up, but he’s worth celebrating. Today, tomorrow, forever.
I love you, you old fart.