The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

Dear Dad,

Today is your birthday, and as usual, I'm behind in my sending of gifts. I was never very good at remembering that kind of thing and as I get older I seem to be only getting worse. On this special occasion, however, I'm not sure what gift I could send that would be adequate. Oh, I could have sent the traditional golf item or perhaps a book I thought you might like. And I know you appreciate everything we kids send you.

You do realize you're a man who is hard to shop for don't you? That probably amazes you as you are a person of simple wants in life. Near as I can tell, you pretty much want what you already have, which is a fine way of achieving happiness, but also puts you in the category of shopping for the man who has everything he wants.

Seventy-five years. I wish I could be there with you, today. I really do. This is a special day, and while two timezones stand between us along with my new job, on this day I wanted to give you my talent which I strive to multiply as the parable in sacred scripture encourages. God gifted me with the ability to string a few sentences together, and it is with this gift I wish to express my thoughts and sentiments in a way no box of golf balls ever could.

First and foremost, I am proud to be your son. You've taught me many thing over the years. As a kid, you taught me how to fish, which, today, I actually do pretty well. You also taught me how to play golf, which, today, I totally stink at, but that's not your fault. Come on, it's golf. Actually, I think it's pretty wonderful that a man who is seventy-five can beat his forty-four-year-old son in any sport.

You've given me an example of patience and how to treat others in this world. I don't think I've ever seen you just totally lose your temper, and I've always admired that about you. No matter what the situation, you always seem to somehow maintain a calmness about you. That's a characteristic I've been able to emulate in the work place which has served me well. I've been told by bosses and coworkers that one of the things they really like about working with me is that I always keep my cool in stressful situations. I credit you with that gift.

I wish I could say that I've been equally successful at home in that regard, but remember half of me comes from Mom and I have good dose of Latin passion. Apparently I've also acquired a number of habits that you have that drive Mom nuts and irritate my wife was well. But you know, Dad, if we didn't have these peccadilloes they would probably find us terribly boring. I might pay for that statement when my wife reads this, but what the heck.

Growing up, every Sunday you and Mom got us kids to church. Small wonder that, today, all three of your kids, and all of your grandkids, love Our Lord Jesus Christ with a passion. Even those many years when I strayed from the faith and lived my life as a secular man in this secular culture, I always knew deep down where home really was, and I am glad you got to see me come home to Christ.

As I write this, I'm sipping my morning coffee. Some of my fondest memories as a kid was sitting at the breakfast table with you reading the paper before you went to work. It as a quiet time, and to this day I cherish the quiet of the morning. It is in the early hours of the day that I sometimes picture you sitting in the breeze way of your house; reading your paper; drinking your coffee, and sharing this simple pleasure with me.

Seventy-five years and some nine months ago, God gazed upon the Earth and saw that it was good, but that something was missing. In a flash of divine inspiration He created you. Mom, us kids, and your grandkids all celebrate Our Father's decision that day.

Happy 75th Birthday Dad!

I love you.



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