As a parent, I ask myself what kind of mother I want to be; what kind of father does Adam want to be? Then we look toward those we admire. Wise, loving, intellectual, compassionate, forgiving, strong, affirming, involved, playful, dependable, interested, supportive, creative, committed, honorable, and teacher; these are all words that come to mind when I think of what makes you a great father, and someone I admire and look up to. You are a good father. You've raised and cared for your family well. My perception of my father is one of a man who has worked hard to support and provide. One that has been involved in my life and supportive of choices I make. Your guidance in life has always been full of wisdom and relevant.
The best thing a parent can give their children is quality time. I've grown up enjoying your company, whether it has been in travel, conversation, road trips, in cocoon seats, in stillness and quiet, building or painting, at your work after school, at my track meets, hearing stories of work and the past, fishing, golfing, or playing together with Nya. I enjoy your presence. You raised me up well with correction, discipline, and encouraged a life of integrity. You speak wisdom into my life. I have not been given memories of an absent father, who was just in the background of my childhood years or youth, but instead your support and involvement in my life has been key to me becoming a fulfilled, confident, respectable woman. Thank you for pouring so much of yourself into my life; including my husband and daughter as well.
Children notice everything. They see everything; even when we think things have gone unnoticed or they are not listening. Eventually they intertwine their observations into their own life experiences. At Compassion there was a sign that read, “Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.” My parents have given me a lot of greatness to imitate.
As I get older I see life is full of fleeting moments that are easily overlooked; ones that now speak volumes into my adult life. Like a lesson on listening and conversing. We were living in Tahoe and I ran into the garage to tell you something but had no regard for your conversation with another person. I interrupted and you brought it to my attention that I can wait or approach in a polite way with respecting the conversation I am disrupting. I don’t remember the exact words, but I do remember the moment and now see the significant impact that brief lesson taught me about communication.
There was also a fleeting moment in which a lesson of integrity was shared. We were in the Safeway parking lot in
Colorado Springs and you mentioned
a rookie who took advantage of times to get more money on his paycheck. I can’t
remember now if it was clocking hours or mileage. You brought it to his
attention (and mine) that honesty is important and shows a lot of one’s
character. At the time, I too would round up or down my times for usually
whatever looked better on my paycheck. After that conversation, I decided I too
want to live with integrity like my father, even if it was a mile and a minute
at a time.
How about time you stood up for me and the other runners on my team in
during State? It was my senior year and last opportunity to run at State, as
well as a let down for three others who qualified on my team. You addressed my
coach about the injustice of choosing to run one girl over a group of girls just
to get the win. A moment packed with valuable lessons. I learned life’s not
always about winning. More importantly, to take a stand and do the right thing;
even when the outcome is less favorable. Also, my dad showed me it’s never ok
to wrong someone to get ahead in life…. or sport.
Countless memories I have of times you've spoken into my life, either with words or actions. However, there is one that has left the biggest impression; the lesson of love and commitment. Now that I am married…. with children, I notice the significant impact your love toward your family and commitment to your wife has had on my life. Because of your commitments, choices, and love, I can say, “thank you” that I never grew up in a home of brokenness, bitterness or divorce; unfortunately a rarity in our world today. I respect your willingness to make sacrifices, changes, and work on past hurts, as well as the ways you love and pursue the woman you've loved since teen years. I understand marriage is full of blessings, beauty, adventure, and love and that it as well has moments of pain, hardships, and frustration. Thank you for being a man of perseverance, forgiveness, positive attitude, committed to commitments and promises, and a hard worker. You have exhibited a life of never quitting or giving up. You never speak ill of my mother, and continually speak of the beauty you see in her—which brings delight to your children’s hearts. You are both a testimony that marriage can last and the bond is not easily broken when we embrace our commitments and love for one another.
“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” Psalm 17:6. How true this verse is for us and our family. You are a good man and I am grateful you are my father. I can speak only highly of my daddy, all he has done for me and how he has loved his family. The world is a better place because of people like you, and I too want to have that legacy. I love you so much and am happy to recognize such a special day! Glad you are in this world. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
With much love,