A Milestone

Seventy.

Today is my father’s Seventieth birthday.

Even though seventy is not the number of years he has been my father, seventy is the number of years that have shaped and prepared the man who continues to help form who I am today.

Seventy is the number of years that has shaped and prepared the man who helps form and helps me form who my children (his grandchildren) are.

Seventy is the number of years of wisdom that he can (and does) share - and that I sometimes listen to, and sometimes disregard (with an upward roll of my eyes - hoping he did not notice).

You may (or may not) be wondering more about this seventy year old father of mine. Well, since his “Milestone” seventieth birthday is today, I am going to take this unique opportunity to share with you a little bit about my dad.

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My Dad is a man who has unconditionally “been there” for me since day one (and even before) - showering me with more love and affection that I sometimes even knew I wanted.

My Dad is a man who (I now can see and understand as a father myself) has worked hard his whole life and made selfless sacrifices to guarantee that his family does not do without – and even though they did not have everything they WANTED, they never did without the things they NEEDED.

My Dad has now paved most of the miles of the road that is his life. He has tried to teach me where to watch for the potholes, sharp turns, and dead ends of life that he has had to work though (some through the “school of hard knocks”). He has tried to make it so that I did not have to “re-pave” some of those same difficult roadways in my life.

My Dad also watches me pave my own road, and (even though I am sure it was painful to do so at times) stands back just far enough to watch, yet stays just close enough to rescue me if that road gets too bad, or if I drive off the road altogether.

My Dad is a man who comes from a generation that I did not. He is a man who has lived through things I have not had to, worried about things I have not had to, and seen changes in this world that I have not had to. Yet, at the same time (because our life experiences are not the same), I have had to live though things he has not had to, worried about things he has not had to, and seen changes in this world he has not had to. Through some of these differences we do not always see “eye-to-eye” on everything, and sometimes we debate a topic until we have to “agree to disagree”. We have always been able to do this with a little grin – each thinking that they have the “upper hand” and that the other has “lost their marbles”. (Well, I assume that is what he thinks, I know I do…) Through it all though, we have never allowed these petty differences to cause damage to our relationship.

Don’t get me wrong – as with any father/son relationship, over the years I have learned that there are a few things that “irritate” me about my father (Who's dad doesn't?). Fortunately, I have become a father myself (of five... as my blog title proclaims). Being a “Father of Five” has given me many opportunities to realize that I am not a perfect dad. I am human, as my dad is human. It is as a “human and imperfect father” that I can now see clearer and appreciate my father and the things he does for what they are, and why he may do them. You see… I now find myself doing things to/for my children that “irritate” them. Regardless if it is something my father does that “irritates” me, or if it is something that I do to “irritate” my children, I understand that it all stems out of care, compassion, concern and unconditional love...

So Dad, I wrote and I dedicate this “Milestone Birthday” post to and for you. I want to know that even though we may not always see things “eye-to-eye” and we have our minor differences and beliefs, you should know that I am thankful for the gift of having you as my father – and as for the things that truly matter most, you have done well!

Happy Birthday Dad! I love you so very much. I thank you for all you have done and continue to do for your family. You have done the job (of fatherhood) right – and have given me the guidance to do the job (of fatherhood) right too!

Your loving and appreciative son... David.

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