Tomorrow, my father will be 72-years-young.
And I’m just so grateful.
Many people at my age (34 next month!) aren’t close with their parents, or don’t spend much time with them.
I talk to my father every chance I get.
And I’m glad, because he’s older than most parents of people my age. That’s probably why I don’t take him for granted. Also, Alzheimer’s runs in his family.
He’s the most selfless, practical, giving person I’ve ever known.
I ask his advice often, because in the long run he’s usually right. He’s always available to me. He’s always made time for me, always listened, always tried to understand me. He lets me be angry when I need to be, but doesn’t hold it against me. I know he’ll still call me the next day. I know he still loves me.
He reminds me that I’m special. He keeps me grounded. He’s been the most constant force of love in my life.
I went to dinner with him a few days ago, and he said something telling about his mother. He said she was never mean to anyone, and that if she didn’t have something nice to say, she wouldn’t say it. That she felt you shouldn’t even be mean to a dog, “because you never know when they’ll bite you.”
We both have a temper, I’m very much like him. He’ll get frustrated by simple things– like if we go out to eat and there’s a hold-up on his order. He’s impatient about petty things, and I’ve often whispered an apology with a smile after him when he has little moments like that.
But he has infinite faith and patience in the important things. He never got angry at me if I brought home a bad grade– he’d get me a tutor. When I brought the car home with one side mirror hanging off, he said it looked “interesting,” but was just glad I was alright.
He’s the perfect example that clean living will keep you healthy and happy. He believes in moderation, discipline, and facing your problems. He takes a 20 minute walk every day.
When he was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes years ago, his doctors told him to either lose 50 pounds or go on insulin. All he did was literally eat HALF of what he was eating, and cut down on ice cream. He lost the weight. He puts his health and what is necessary first.
He works hard every day, and has no trouble sleeping at night. He goes to Mass every Sunday.
He doesn’t worry about things, because he knows in the end, it’ll work out.
When my father and I spend time together, we don’t always have to talk. I love that.
He’s a great listener, and tells wonderful stories. He possesses a wonderful dry wit– I get my sense of humor from my father, absolutely. We laugh together easily and have a lot of inside jokes. He’s affectionate.
He’s always been my best friend. I’m just so lucky to be his daughter.
Tomorrow, we’ll go out with my step-mother to celebrate his birthday.
Dad, this is for you. Thanks for always believing in me.
Please say a prayer for his continued health, I hope he lives another 20 years.