Life’s been quite the ride for you. You’ve excelled in everything you’ve ever put your mind to – being the best young egg-man assistant Staten Island had ever seen (I’ve always loved your stories about Artie), putting yourself through college, raising a family, being a husband, building a new NASA rocket, running half-marathons on the weekends. The list goes on and on. You lead and influence everyone you come in contact with, not only through your words but primarily through your actions and your strong work ethic. Everyone who knows you sees you as a successful engineer, but I’m not writing to that man. I’m writing to my father – the man who has always put his family before everything and never once has boasted about his worldly accomplishments. To this day I don’t even know what kind of an engineer you are… because when you are at home its family time. Time to talk about dreams and goals. Time to talk about Jesus and running and marriage. Time to talk about treating other people right and always having tact. I’m writing to the father, teacher, and friend that I’ve always known I’ve had in you.
There is only one other man on this good earth that I admire as much as you, and the reason I married him is because I’ve always known that he would lead our family the way you have lead yours. Growing up I was always able to trust that you would do the right thing, that I could trust your advice, that you would never waiver in your devotion to God and Mom, and that you would teach me how to be a good person. You were never distant or unapproachable.
I loved having MY dad as MY elementary softball coach – the Shooting Stars. What a team! I remember asking you a couple of years ago why we never won a single game our first season. I’ll never forget your quick response that went something like “Because coaching that rec league softball team wasn’t about winning all the games. It was about making sure every single girl got a chance to play every game because that’s what they signed up to do.” Wow. In a world that’s driven by politics and the way others view us, you were more concerned about the kids who came out to have a good time and play softball rather than other coaches’ views of you. That is commendable, and I know you meant it.
You’ve always kept me accountable with my faith and relationship with God. My heart beamed with pride when I saw you step up on the pulpit to give a guest sermon during a Pastor Appreciation week at Grace Lutheran Church – Even though I was young, I’ll never forget it. You and Mom switched churches when Jenn and I fell in love with a new youth group at Asbury and you wanted to attend the same church that we desired to go to. I never overlooked that. You were also the reason I went to Alaska on that mission trip. Even when I didn’t want to go, you kept asking me about it and subtly pushing me to “look into it.” That trip was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, and it got me back on track with the Lord.
You have taught me by example that no matter what anyone has done to you, you are never – EVER – allowed to hate them. You always corrected us as kids when we used the word “hate”, and as an adult I understand why.
I’m sure at times I’ve been difficult to raise. Yes, I
was am overemotional, energetic, and often selfish, but you’ve helped me compose myself over the years and see what’s really important and choose to have control over my reactions. You helped me become who I am.
You started filling up my first P.O. Box during my freshman year of college. Whenever I checked that box it was always filled with several post cards from various places around the country. I would get so excited to read each of them. You never stopped sending those postcards, and when I received one several weeks ago, I was still just as excited to read it as I was five and half years ago. Those postcards are so special to me.You never missed a sports banquet or awards night for me or for Jenn or David. You were just always there. Usually in your black dress pants and necktie, and usually always still donning your work badge, but you made sure you were there. You’ve never missed a beat of our lives.
Thank you for helping me move in and out of different places in college five times. I never had to move in or out without your muscles or your van. I noticed your sacrifice to drive to Tuscaloosa on a hot summer weekday just to pick up my furniture little by little. I don’t know if I’ve ever said an honest thank you.
One of your best attributes in your dry, witty sense of humor. I remember when Mom and I had to put Sandy to sleep and you were out of town, you sent a text that made us smile instead of cry harder – “Give Sandy a choo-choo to Heaven for me”. We both just started laughing because the “choo choo” was always your thing with Sandy. I also remember after the tornados last year you sent me a text talking about one of our biggest inside jokes – “Joe Namath Blvd” and how it was gone. That made me smile because we had joked about renaming that street for so long.
You’ve always made an effort to get to know my friends. You and Mom are the perfect team; Mom has always had an “open door” policy to our friends, and you both have always taken the time to get to know them. You even had light-hearted nicknames for my college roommates – I loved that!
You’ve adored my husband from day one, and that has meant the world to me. Hearing Jamie say that he “struck gold” getting a father-in-law like you makes my heart sing. You organized and paid for our dream wedding all in seven weeks just to make us happy. You’re one in a million.
Oh dad, where do I stop? There were home video marathons, teenage pool parties, Sunday trips in the bagel shop. I could go on and on about the special memories I’ll always cherish of you and with you. You were and are ever loving, respectable, dignified, and ours.
To my Dad on your 50th birthday. I love you! You are what fathers are meant to be and I am one of the three luckiest, most blessed kids alive to call you mine. Dependable. Compassionate. Stable. Teaching. Kind. My respect and admiration for you reaches beyond the boundaries of verbal expression. Thank you for the life you have given me, and for the foundations of love, responsibility, trust, financial security, and faith that you have laid for my life.
Happy birthday to you! But always know that you are a gift to us.
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo