Today is a BIG day. Today is my Dad’s 70th Birthday!
It’s hard to even put into words how much my Dad has influenced me over the years right up until the present day.
Some of my earliest memories are of my Dad working outside on the farm, driving the tractor, baling hay or coming home from work with his bag of dirty work clothes.
When Mom was working afternoons and Carla was out with her friends, Dad and I had a great time. Toonie Tuesdays at KFC, chicken wings at Robbie B’s in Sarnia, Fish & Chips in Chatham or assorted Subs in Petrolia.
Each dinner was followed with a drive – looking at cars, looking at tractors, looking at houses for sale or just looking out the window and talking as we drove. Those conversations and travels meant so much.
In elementary school and early high school days, I didn’t have many friends. I knew I was different and my Dad played the role of father and friend at the same time. At age 14, there likely wasn’t anyone else I would rather hang out with on a Friday night than my Dad.
While everyone else was out getting into trouble, experimenting with drinking or trying to find a girlfriend, I was spending my Friday evenings at the livestock sale in Melbourne. They had a little restaurant there, so I had a hamburger followed by a great piece of pie. Hanging out with my Dad made for the perfect Friday evening, even if it wasn’t “cool.”
The one thing that stands out most about my Dad is his positive attitude.
I’ve been faced with a few challenges in life and whether it was my disability or difficult times financially, with each bump in the road, Dad ALWAYS approached every situation, no matter how difficult, with a positive attitude. He’s a bit of a philosopher who thinks deeply about life, whether he shares what he’s thinking or not.
In the heat of the moment, you don’t always appreciate the words that people speak, especially when all you want is relief from your problems, but in each instance, Dad would have a wise, calm word that would bring some perspective and clarity.
Even if the problems were not going to go away and things were going to be difficult, Dad always coached me to look upward to the Lord.
He didn’t always know what to say, but he always taught me that Jesus loved me and that I couldn’t go wrong, relying on my heavenly Father to take care of me, pointing me to Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 more than once:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
I think back on how incredibly blessed I am to have a father (& an entire family) that have been so supportive over the years. I’m not sure where life would have taken me without the love, care, discipline, concern and friendship of my Dad.
Today is a big milestone but, 70 is the new 40!