Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy 82nd Birthday, Dad!

This past Saturday was my sweet daddy's 82nd birthday. I must preface this post by saying that I am COMPLETELY shocked that he has lived 82 years!

When my dad was 52, he suffered a major heart attack and the doctors were amazed that he survived it. Since that fateful day, he has progressively gone downhill with his health and has lived a life full of many sufferings and health problems. My mother, brothers, sister and I were certain that he would never live to see the age of 60 let alone 82!! It has been most difficult to watch him decline, but many great blessings have come to our family through all of these trials.

My dad was a VERY energetic, hard-working A-type personality. I have mentioned before that he worked for Capitol Records in the famous round Capitol Records Tower (you've all seen it, it's destroyed in every disaster movie set in LA!) He has worked with all of the greats. He has many famous friends and relates some of the most interesting stories about these icons in the entertainment industry. But he doesn't brag or name drop because what is really great is that his job was not what defined him.

My dad has always been a Christian, church-going man. He has always had strong moral values, high integrity and unwavering commitment to his Heavenly Father. He has worked very hard to instill that in all of his children and I, for one, have always known that his family was his #1 priority. I remember so many times sitting and just talking with my dad. He always has the best counsel and always shows so much care and concern for what is happening in my life.

I have always been very proud of my daddy. He has a sense of humor that is unmeasured and makes evveryone around him laugh, even in his darkest moments...at the hospital when he broke his back, he had the doctors and nurses in hysterics as he was writhing in pain. I really believe that his ability to see humor in pretty much everything is what has sustained him all of these years.

I adore my father! I love and appreciate him in ways that I may never have seen had he left this earth some 30 years ago. He and my mother have been married 6o years and we have always known that his love for her is beyond reach! He has set a wonderful example of unconditional love, not only for my mother, but for all of us and our children. He's not perfect, but he is a good man and I am honored to be his daughter.

So Saturday, Brad and I drove down to SLC to visit him at his house. He was terribly weak and frail. My mother didn't know what to do for his birthday but decided to order Crab dinners from Red Lobster for each of us because my dad ADORES crab! He will eat it until he's about to bust! Mom and I picked it up and brought it home. He got out of bed and Brad helped him get to the table (he hasn't been out of bed for a few days, so this was huge) and he sat there and ate for almost 45 minutes. I watched as his frail, arthritic hands struggled with cracking open the legs and decided to go to work opening as many as I possibly could. It was a lot of work, but I got all of the meat out and he was in heaven!
The whole experience really showed me how precious "time" is. My dad didn't want (or need) any gifts. He values whatever time he has left and made our day a little brighter with his sweet charm and keen wit. I will always remember this birthday of his. WE were the ones who were given the greatest gift that day...I love you dad and will always treasure each and every memory that I have of you. You are the greatest!!


Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Mary, what a sweet post about your Dad and what a cutie he is. I love that precious smile on his face. What a wonderful Dad and how blessed you all are to have had him all these years. That is wonderful. What a joyful day you all had and such great memories of him enjoying his 82nd birthday. You will always remember that day and how special it was for him and for you, as well. I pray that his remaining days will be good. Thanks for sharing with us about him. What an adorable man!!! Love & blessings from NC!

addicted2shius said...

82!!! That's so amazing! I really am glad to hear he's doing well especially in spirit. But hey who could be bummed when you get to eat crabs for your bday! And I bet it made his day that you were there to celebrate :)

Lynn said...

What a beautiful and sweet tribute to your father!!! HAppy BirThDay to your dad!

Julie said...

I'm so glad you were able to spend some time with your Dad on his birthday. I'm sure he really appreciated your efforts to make eating one of his favorite foods easier. Love to you and your family.

michelle said...

Hi Mary! This was such a sweet post and it brought tears to my eyes. Your dad is amazing and how wonderful that you can spend this time with him. He looks like he loves life and has the spirit, will and the heart to live each day! I was just all smiles when I saw that he ate crab legs! good for him and so sweet of you and your brother and mom! I am such a daddy's girl and I can't ever imagine my life without my dad. It is just amazing the things that they do for their families!
Thank you so much for you sweet comments on my blog, it means a lot to me and it is so nice to meet you!! You have a beautiful family!!