Happy 60th birthday! I can’t believe it. Anyone who knows you well will agree that you are easily the youngest 60-year-old we know.
When we were small, we’d give you cards and t-shirts that proclaimed things like “Best Dad Ever!” because that’s what kids do on Father’s Day, right? But as I got older, I came to realize how true those cards actually were- that I really DO have the Best Dad Ever. That’s not something a lot of people can truthfully claim, and I am all the more grateful for it.
Getting up for school in the morning was never fun, especially in winter. But on the uncommon occasion you had a weekday off, we’d wake up to the smell of French toast or bacon, making those mornings just a bit warmer (and a whole lot tastier).
There was Nutcracker every year, when you selflessly volunteered your time to play Herr Drosselmeyer. You always went above and beyond to get in character with spray-in hair color, and adhesive moustaches, us kids couldn’t get over how funny you looked when your hair was temporarily white. I felt so special, having my dad on stage instead of just in the audience!
There was that one time my sophomore year on the way to school that I realized with abject horror that I had, for the first time in oral-hygiene-obsessed life, forgotten to brush my teeth, but we couldn’t turn around because you had to make it to work on time. And then in second period English, there was a knock on the door, and you were there in uniform with a discreet care package of Oral-B Brush-Ups, mint gum, & Listerine. You were my hero that day!
There were the rides to elementary school in the police car, taking us to the occasional court date with you where we got to see you upholding justice and protecting citizens. You taught us how to care for bees, how to garden, how to laugh at ourselves.
You taught us to seek adventure, and also how to be content. You taught me that upbringing doesn’t have to dictate character, or who you become. “There but for the grace of God go I” is your constant refrain, and I hope that one day I can breathe grace in and out as easily as it seems to come to you.
Dad, a large reason I am who I am today is because of you. Thank you for all the ways you love & provide, both seen and unseen. Thank you for always making me feel secure and worthy. Thank you for your humility, loyalty, grace, humor, and joy. Thank you for celebrating with us in our triumphs, and being there to mourn with us in hard times. Thank you for always pointing me to Jesus, for being the best example of a father & man of God that a kid could ever ask for.
Here’s to 60, and here’s to 60 more!
Abby, your favorite and only-est daughter
(A frame from that time my dad assisted me for an anniversary session in London!)