Today my dad turns 66.  He has overcome great odds to be this age.  Neither of his parents lived this long–they were they types who were beaten down by life and who were old before their times.  But my dad he is still healthy, strong and full of life.  My dad is not just a survivor–He is triumphant.

As a child my dad was always my hero–How could any little child not look up to a man like him?

He is a man of conviction with strong principles and strong values.  He sticks by them.  He is also fiercely loyal to friends and family.  He is the man you want in your corner when life has you reeling.  He is generous and funny and smart as a whip.  As a child I believed every word he said.  He was so strong, and seemed to know EVERYTHING.  He does amazing things like fly airplanes and rebuild cars.  I felt confident and secure whenever our family was rocked by crisis because I  was sure that Dad would know what to do.

As an adult I went through a period of disillusionment.  I realized he didn’t know everything afterall and that sometimes he was even wrong.  I also realized that his convictions sometimes looked like stubbornness and his smart sense of humor sometimes has an unkind edge.   I realized that he was not a superhero but a mere human, a damn fine one at that, but flawed nonetheless like all of us.

But now I know that I too am a flawed adult–I too am a parent who will one day disappoint her child.  And from where I sit now I admire him even more than I did as a little child.    Because I know what it took for him to get to the place he is today.  To overcome the lot that life had handed him, to build the life he gave us from nothing at all.  He came from an  home where love was a scarce as the food and yet he overcame those scars to parent us with gentleness.  He struggled and grew and pushed himself beyond what life had given him.  That makes him so much more heroic in my book.

Happy Birthday Dear Daddy…may you live another 66 so proudly and triumphantly.   May you march on with joy!

One Response to “Happy Birthday Dear Daddy…”

  1. Jen Ballantyne Says:

    What a lovely tribute to your Dad. Another thing we have in common it seems, although my Dad is no longer with us, he too did wonderful things like fly planes, race cars, made records…and the list goes on. Thank you for making me remember the special things about him.