Birthdays in my family always come in groups. The last of September/first of October brings us four celebrations. Yesterday, it was time to sing to my father. Daddy turned 80! That seems almost unreal as I type that number. 80. My dad is an octogenarian. Now, as a teen growing up, my parents always seemed old to me. I was born to them almost 17 years after my sister and they were the oldest parents among my social circle. But as an adult, especially as I creep into those years in which I regarded my parents as somewhat old, outdated, and not so cool, I realize just how young my parents really were and are.
Lately, dad has slowed down some, but even at 80 he still keeps busy. He continues to work contracting out jobs in construction (though more on a part-time, small job basis, as the last house he built from start to finish was mine in 2006/07), he still preaches, and, if you were to ask my mom, he still spends way too much time running the roads.
For this celebratory milestone my sister and I decided to keep it somewhat low-key by having a lunch at my house after church for just our immediate family and a few aunts and uncles. There was bbq (made by my brother-n-law), fried chicken (bought by me at KFC because, if you’ll remember, I don’t do fried chicken so well) and a bunch of good side dishes, including Harper’s coleslaw (dad’s favorite). For dessert we had chocolate cake and banana pudding. Have I ever told you what a sweet tooth my dad has?
Dad and his first grandchild Shane, only a couple years before he(Shane)passed away.
After a good lunch and conversation with family, it was time to open the gifts. What does one get an eighty year-old man? Restaurant gift cards! And that’s a good thing because my mom doesn’t cook much anymore.
He's still got it!
I decided at somewhat the last minute that it would be nice to show a slide show at his party, so this was my gift to him. I spent a few days furiously searching through, and scanning pictures from, old albums, boxes, and discs and a friend at work compiled all the pictures and set the show to music for me. Everyone thought it turned out really good and I’m glad that I was able to record for him some of the highlights of his life. My nephew joked I killed two birds with one stone...a birthday montage and his funeral slideshow all rolled into one. Oh, don’t think it morbid or cruel of him. That’s just the way we roll. We can be a PC-less family at times.
Well, happy birthday, Daddy. I love you and am thankful for the Godly, kind, patient, loving, hardworking, humorous father you have been to me all these years. I’ll be sure to tell you this in person again, too, since you don’t own a computer and rarely, if ever, have read this blog. ;)