Every week I look and see what words people have used in searches that landed them on this little blog. I am always amazed by one search that comes up, every week and almost daily. Without fail.
Birthday Tribute for A Dad
Those who typed in that search and landed on my blog found the article celebrating my Dad’s birthday last year. I am impressed by how many are searching for words or ideas to celebrate their fathers. Fathers make a tremendous impact on who we are and on what our childhood looks like. It seems wee either find heroes in our fathers or monsters.
Mine falls firmly into the hero category, and today marks another year to celebrate him.
Men like my dad deserve some celebrating.
It is not that he has been perfect or that he is in dire ned of attention. He would actually probably prefer if we played it down a little instead of making a big deal of him. I have to warn him that next year we may have to ignore protests and make a big deal…he’ll be 80 next year.
That was Mom and Dad on their wedding day. That was the beginning.
There is a legacy. Those are all the grandkids, together in Colorado last July 4th.
Meals were shared and stories told and guns shot. There was lots of laughter and horsing around, but in the midst of all is this constant of Dad.
My family is for the most part pretty loud. We get wound up and talk over each other and tell stories. We sit around the table and talk for longer than most families I know. We tease each other and we encourage each other. And yet…Dad is pretty quiet. He is there and he is very present, and often has a bit of a smirk as he hears the tales of the ‘accomplishments’ of the kids, but he mostly listens.
That is, until he starts to tell stories or to talk about life. Then things get quiet. Because we listen. We’ve learned he has a lot of wisdom, and we’ve learned that he has experienced things we probably never will. He’s learned lessons and we would be wise to pay attention.
I wish I lived closer so my kids could spend more time around my Dad, but I am thankful that they know him and that memories are being formed every time we head back west. I’m thankful for a Dad who warrants a celebration each year; a Dad who has listened to me over the years and has pushed me when I needed pushing and always encouraged me to be my best and to try for things I might think were beyond me. I’ve often been surprised I was able to do more than I thought.
I’m thankful for a Dad who continues to be a husband even when his wife isn’t sure who he is or where they are or what is happening. He continues to model for us faithfulness and patience and grace…and the occasional snarky comment or sarcasm on the days when things are just a little more than his patience can handle.
I’m thankful for February 4th each year because the date makes me pause and remember all the things that I have gained being Fred Mossman’s daughter. Love of animals and a way with dogs that I know I gained from him. Love of photography and a desire to learn more in that area. Love of history and understanding our past. An ability to shoot better than the boys who took me to the shooting range on dates to try to impress me. Love of the outdoors.
Love of and thankfulness for family, in all its flaws and characteristics and quirks and glories and joys.
Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you.