Today is a special day in our family. Our dad turns 60 today. It is mind-numbing to think that he is 60 years old. He has been a father for well more than half his life now. He has been a grandfather now for almost the past 18 months. He is someone extremely special and a huge blessing for all of us that can associate him with our family.
He brought me to countless baseball games growing up. Mind you, he was not a huge fan of baseball. His son was and that is why he would go to games. He took me to many of my own baseball games growing up. Many of those times he would have to race home from work, drop me off, go back home and eat and then come back to my games to support me. Now that I have a son, I get how much that can drain you. Some days after work, you want to come home and relax and your son wants something. Instead of saying you are too tired or find another way to the game, he would drive me without hesitation. After a 9+ hour day at work, his relaxation was watching his son play baseball.
I think one of the coolest memories that my dad may have of his two sons working together was when I helped out coaching his soccer team when Andrew was in 4th and 5th grade. He got to watch one son coach and another son play. I think it was one of my favorite memories two of Andrew and myself working together and I hope it made our dad proud.
He has been there in the good and been there in the bad times. I remember on a warm summer night, he took me to the ER after I cut my chin pretty bad on the sidewalk. We were there until after 1 in the morning and he had to work the next day. He could have cared less, his son was hurting. When I was much older, he came out to Phoenix when I had surgery for the first time. He acted the way a father should when the hospital could not find me after a surgery that was supposed to take two hours take four hours. He wanted to know where his son was and he was going to check every room if no one was going to help him. The most recent memory of going through something with him there is what happened to me almost 18 months ago now when I had to have brain surgery. He stayed with me in the ER beforehand while they did the CAT scan. He was with me the next day when I remember waking up. He was there with me when the doctor told me I needed brain surgery. He prayed with me with the pastor at our church. He walked behind me as I got wheeled to surgery and had to stop by my wife’s room to potentially say good-bye. He was there afterwards as well. That symbolized it all. He is there when life is great and when life has been bad.
The thing that I think has pushed him along with this are two people. The first and most important, is the love of our Heavenly Father. He has worked so hard at being an amazing husband, dad and now grandfather. He gets that from the love that God showed us by sending his only son to die for us. My dad has shows this same love to us and it is an amazing blessing to have him as a dad.
The second person has been his wife and my mother. She has always been by his side through thick and thin. She encouraged him with work, with his sons and now with his grandson. I mentioned how he was there with me when I got the news about brain surgery. Guess who was right next to him? She has always been by his side to support him in all times. She lives out those marriage vows to a tee. It is so encouraging to see that after so many years, the support she always has for him. She may not agree with him in everything; however, she loves him and her family and will support him at all costs.
Well dad, I hope you enjoy your birthday today. This is your day. I know you are the most humble man I have ever met, but celebrate today as being your day. 60 years. Quite a day. Thank you for your leadership, your support, your kindness, but most importantly, your love!