The purpose of this new blog is to share joy through the stories of moments, experiences, and especially people. I’ll be regularly writing reflections of my joy with others, joy within, and my joy in the Lord.
Today is my Dad’s 50th birthday. I wrote him the following letter, and I’d like to share it with you.
My daddy brings me joy.
I don’t remember meeting you, but you were my age.
You’ve doubled in age since that hot August day, the summer before your last year of seminary.
You’ve always been the smartest man in the world, though. From the time you were 25 and I was a newborn.
Sometimes I think you had a strategy to make the three of us the most well-rounded kids on the planet.
You taught us about banking and the stock market. You didn’t think it was strange when I took it all way too seriously, making poster board projections of where the Wendy’s stock was going. Or when I emptied the pantry of cereal to prove why we should invest in Kellogg’s (because we already were invested, obviously).
Speaking of finances: we have to mention your grocery shopping addiction. You taught us to never pass up a good deal. I think we finally made it through all 25 bottles of BBQ sauces you bought when they were on sale for 19 cents each.
You were dedicated to our scientific education too. You led the way in dissecting a dead nutria in our field, letting us hold the flashlight while you helped the ewes birth lambs, and teaching us to raise piglets on our own.
You taught us how to work. Even though we (too often) complained, the time we spent picking up pears, moving bricks, and painting barns brought us all closer together and showed us the reality of the wonderful gift we had of living on our farm.
You took us to cool places on planes and on road trips. Thanks for being a wonderful travel buddy. Even at a young age, you let me sit up front and navigate with the AAA map covering my lap while you drove through the night on the way to Grandma’s house. We’ve seen so many states (and even a few countries) together. Because of our experiences, I’ll never fly TACA airlines again, and I’ll always check the transmission fluid before driving through the high desert.
I think my favorite thing, however, is the years I spent watching you love my mom. Yes, I’ll forever make disgusted noises when you start kissing and I’m in the room. But like you always said I would be, I’m so inexpressibly thankful that you two love each other. You’re never afraid of her being exactly who she is. I love how you are each other’s biggest fans and cheerleaders.
And, above all, thanks for always pointing our family to Jesus.
I’m getting married this year, Daddy. I’m so glad you’ll be there to celebrate with us (even though I’m passionately opposed to the idea of being “given away”). Thanks for all your wisdom, advice, and loving support as Adam and I have started our journey. I wonder if when you were 25 and you held your new baby girl, you ever imagined that in 2013, the year you would turn 50, the little one in your arms would be getting married.
Happy birthday, Daddy. May the best years be to come!