Friday, August 17, 2007

Birthday Discount

My Dad turns 65 today. Isn't that the magic number that gets you into buffets for discounted rates? I gave him a birthday post a few years ago, but its time to reiterate (in a few short reasons) why he is the GOAT (greatest of all time).

When I was 14 my Dad took me to Cedar Point. Just me and him. We waited for well over an hour to get on each ride. The Demon Drop, Mean Streak, the Magnum, and on and on. Looking around at everyone else in line it became obvious no one else was as nearly as old as he. I'm positive he was turning green by mid day but he grinded it out like a champ and smiled the whole time.

When I was young and obsessed with the sport of wrestling, my Dad would dedicate all sorts of Saturdays to drive hour upon hour to little league freestyle tournaments all around the state, sometimes to only watch me wrestle a few minutes, sometimes for an all day affair. He never required more of me than what I wasn't already willing to give.

Dad took me on several trips across the country to participate in the National Matches of Highpower Rifle Shooting. We saw fabulous lightening storms, the ghettos of Chicago, endless corn fields, and no insides of a hotel. Although I must have been an absolute dead beat traveling companion, and of no utility when our timing belt went out, he was happy with me.

In my latter high-school years I helped Dad in the construction of an impressive addition to the family house. I didn't really know which end of a hammer was which, but he taught me what he knew. Without this experience I wouldn't have had the courage to tackle my own home remodeling project that took three solid months out of the early part of this year. Dad made the 4 hour drive down from Idaho week after week to lend his "expertise" to the job.

In my younger, more vulnerable, days I dabbled in shoplifting just long enough to get caught. I sat at the police station all day convinced I was going to hell and would be forever alienated by my family. When my mom finally came to pick me up we took the long and silent ride home. Upon arrival I was compelled to confess my misdeeds to my dad. I expected anger, lecture, and punishment (all of which would have been justified). What I got instead was a smile, a story, and a hug. The love and understanding he showed me turned out to be, for me, the defining moment in my feelings towards my dad.

I've learned more about what it means to be a good human being from watching my father than from anything else in life. I dislike watching him age more than I dislike aging myself, only because he needs to be around to help me give my children what he has so lovingly given me.

Dad, this is your senior citizen birthday. I can't get you anything that will put a bigger smile on your face than the one you'll have from many years of discounts that are now coming your way.

Much Love,


1 comment:

Jen said...

What a nice tribute to your dad! Happy birthday Uncle Dick!

Paul & Jen