I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6
How blessed I am to have my earliest memories of you Dad, be only of love. I remember that whenever you would leave me in the car to run an errand, you would always bring me back a bag of M&M’s or Planter’s peanuts.
And we were movie buddies too. I saw every James Bond movie made with Sean Connery when I was around 5 or 6. I remember the darkened theater and getting a tube of Flicks, not much else. Most importantly we were together.
And you thought it was more important to learn about nature than go to Disneyland, so every summer we went to Yosemite, and I am grateful for that. It’s one of the most powerful bonds we have together.
You filled our home with music…….all different kinds, and art.
I remember paints and brushes and Mom saying you were almost never satisfied with any of them, but you were good. Really good.
You worked hard all your life, and still do. You worked construction and put up with a lot of crap from bad bosses and idiots who knocked down the stop sign you put up the day before.
You held onto your dignity by pouring knowledge into your mind and spirit by delving into books and learning. You stayed fit, you took night classes and joined team sports, and became a volunteer fireman.
I remember how you used to love it when the alarm rang out in the middle of the night.
You became a Master Sergeant in the Army National Guard and one of the highlights of that whole time was going to Alaska in February. You loved every minute of it.
You dove into life and yet we always remained your first priority. You always had time for us (still do) and even though for many years you suffered from depression, you never once refused us kids when we wanted to do something.
You met Jesus when you were older, and became smitten with our Savior.
Mom always had to separate us in church because we always got in trouble for laughing. That’s another bond we share. I remember shaking in the pew at something we would invariably always see or hear at the exact same time.
I know I have told you all this before Dad, but I wanted you to hear it again. Because we all need to be reminded.
I hope, at least just for today, you will know how much we love you.
And how much God loves you.
I know life has had you burdened lately, but I hope and pray
just for today at least, that you would pause and reflect
on everything you have done right.
And not what you’ve done wrong.
Know that in your Father’s eyes you are perfect.
So today, pretend you are sitting on the edge of that sunny meadow in the place we all love.
Soaking it all in.
Feeling peace flood your soul.
It’s a day that God has prepared just for you.
So drink it in and give thanks.
For a happy and proud 85. Not many do that as successfully as you.
You’re still be a handsome dude, always on the trail ahead of us.