|Mom and Dad at their 50th Wedding Anniversary Party|
“Personally, I have always had a predilection for boys, and have at times reflected that the strong sex reaches its highest point of lovableness at the age of twelve to seventeen – to get it back, in a second flowering, at the age of seventy to ninety.” ~ Isak Dinesen
My father celebrates his eighty first birthday today.
He and my mother still live in the house where I was raised, a large ranch style on nearly an acre of land. Even so, he maintains the gardens, keeps a koi pond, and does most of the repairs himself. He also knows the value of a dollar, clips coupons and chases deals all over town. A retired Catholic deacon, he still manages to visit the sick to pray for them. He and my mother take their lunch each day in front of a college course DVD; they are thrilled by the joy of learning.
I am constantly reminded that I have great parents, not only from others, but my own memories. For a brief period in my life I wasn’t so sure. I was entirely convinced that God had placed me in the hands of people who didn’t understand me and were far too strict.
As time passed, all of my angst fell away as I realized that my parents were simply people; and they really loved me, even through my rough periods of rebellion.
My father never went away; he was always there. I have grown to love him for who he is, but especially because he has sweetened with age. Without the pressures of career, men tend to sweeten; they stop living for others and start enjoying life. That’s how my father is now: he genuinely enjoys life.
With all the challenges of family, I am happy for all we’ve gone through. It hasn’t been easy, but I am grateful for each challenge we have been though. I am also grateful for God, who is our common denominator, even though I am no longer Catholic.
Happy Birthday, Dad. Some things really do get better with age; I’m happy that applies to both of us.