Today is my dad’s birthday and I feel so blessed to have him in my life. My dad is very special to me and that is what I would like to share with you today. My dad has taught me to play fair, to treat people with respect and to take pride in your family, work and life.
My dad was a teacher and coach for over 40 years. My favorite place to go was to the school he taught and coached at and to hang out in the gym during basketball practice. I loved the smell and the sounds that bounced off of the walls. I loved watching my dad teach and instruct his players and my dad took great pride and joy in his teams. These boys who participated in football, basketball and track became an extension of our family. And even today when my dad is out he will sometimes run into one of his former students or players and they will reminisce about their former teammates and games or how my dad made an impact in their life.
Many times when my mom, sister and brother and I sat in the stands, the fans around us would say things about my dad when the game wasn’t going quite the way they wanted it to. But my dad always told us to just ignore their comments, so we would sit there biting our tongues and praying that they would stop. When the referee would make a call that we all knew wasn’t fair or true my dad never lost his temper but remained composed. He never wanted his players to see him be disrespectful because he wanted them to learn respect. He wanted to be a role model for the players and his children.
Family has always been very important to my dad. Although his coaching would take time away from us, my dad never made us feel that we came second. He instilled in us the importance of being a provider for your family and for taking responsibility for what needed to be done.
My dad has always been a spontaneous person and there were many times when we would just go for a drive on a Sunday afternoon with no destination in mind. It was time that we would spend as a family without any distractions.
Perseverance has been a theme in my dad‘s life. As a child my dad contracted polio that affected his leg muscles. And although this meant that he would have struggles during his life he never let it stop him. When he was 16 his father passed away and my dad became the man of the house for my grandmother and his two younger brothers. And in 2001 open heart surgery may have slowed him down for some time but he came back stronger and with more energy than before.
My dad instilled in me a love for nature. In the 10th grade as he listened to his biology teacher talk about a beautiful place in Minnesota, a dream of building a cabin began. When I was in the 6th grade our family purchased a camper and we would go camping in Minnesota for weekends and family vacations. 20 years ago my dad’s dream became a reality when he built a cabin on Little Blueberry Lake. Swimming, fishing, roasting marshmallows, chasing raccoons, bike rides, and long walks are memories that my family and I will have for the rest of our lives.
When I have needed his support, advice or encouragement he has been there for me. When I have felt frustrated or overwhelmed he would give me a hug and tell me everything would be okay. He is a man of strong faith and taught each of us to have faith in God and in ourselves. My dad has always been there for me and I know that he would do anything to help his family. He is a wonderful father-in-law to my husband and a loving, caring and supportive grandfather to my children. He is a man of integrity, loyal, protective, wise, faithful and a loving man and I am proud to be his daughter.
“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” - Titus 2:7
Happy Birthday Dad!!!
I Love You,