Wednesday, July 27, 2005
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HERO DAD
My father, who has put up with more nonsense than anyone who is reasonably sane would ever, is turning 60 today. The most awful thing about this is that the Mrs and I did not get around to spending a measly 5$ for a birthday card for the kids to scribble on. We'll just have to get the kids to do some art-work for him and give it to him the next time we meet. In it's place, I'm just going to have to make a reasonable attempt to salute his lifetime of achievements in this post. As far as role models go, you would be hard pressed for find someone who would be able to fill his shoes. He grew up on a farm in rural (I mean, 'if you can see your neighbor's house your are in the city' kind of rural) Minnesota with his 11 siblings. Not much space to have your own room (Like he provided for me) or even a smidgen of privacy. One 6x10 bathroom for 12 kids is not something anyone would try these days. He managed to drag his butt through college and marry the woman of his dreams to start a family. Things were difficult in the beginning, but nothing that he could not handle. Living in the Twin Cities provided new opportunities and a booming market for starter homes. So he raised his family on the banks of the Mississippi till a new opportunity became available out west. And so began our travels about the continental US. Later years tested him with death, illness of loved ones and the employment difficulties in the recession years. But he soldiered on for the good of his family and with nary a thought of giving up or slacking off one iota. In this 6th decade, he has shrugged off cancer and was granted the gift of grandchildren who love him dearly. His health, through an exercise regimen that would make a salty marine swoon, has made his stamina the envy 40 and 50 year olds everywhere. He has the mental sharpness that enables him to reduce the volumes of Federal Tax codes to a 'See Jane Run' pre-school read. One of my fondest memory is seeing my father, my hero, all decked out in his KOC hat and sword for the benediction of the new Bishop of Salt Lake City. He did not look ridiculous or garish, but noble for those who knew what he stood for. To sacrifice all that is necessary for the good of his family and to stand as an example under the benevolent gaze of God. So, Hero Amish Dad, here's to you: We love you more every year and hope to give you a proper 60th birthday greeting next time we see you.