Dad is 90 years old today.
His name is Gordon, by the way. He went off to serve in WWII at the age of 18 and came back home when he was 22. He earned a Purple Heart. He corresponded with a girl from his neighborhood while he was overseas. She was given his name by a neighborhood group that was supporting the soldiers and started writing him letters. A few days after he got home, they met for a soft drink at the neighborhood soda fountain. He told her he was going to marry her and she thought he was awfully cheeky. Six months later, they were married.
They eventually moved to a suburb of Detroit where they raised 4 children. Dad worked for Michigan Bell Telephone Company for 40 years. He loved to go fishing, to take us camping, to spend time at the cottage on a lake that his dad built when dad was a toddler.
He’s a complicated man. He has his demons. But he loves his family with a devotion that is unmatched. He visits my mom, now in a nursing home for over two years, every day. He loves his adorable cats and they love him. He still drives, though he doesn’t drive in bad weather or at night. He still fixes things around the house. (My dad can fix most anything, by the way.) He loves nothing more than to sit in his chair and look out the window at all the birds and waterfowl that hang out near the pond. It gives him peace.
He’s lonely. It’s tough without my mom. He has lots of aches and pains and some days are really tough. But he hangs in there.
My dad is a good guy. He’s incredibly generous and has been there whenever we have needed him, with advice, with acceptance, with money, with a hug. He makes sure to visit other residents of the nursing home that he has met during the past two years. Some of them are all alone, so he stops to talk to them. He is a kind man.
So Happy Birthday Dad! Happy 90th Birthday to you! I’m far away from you physically, but you are in my heart.
Today we celebrate you.
(I’d love it if you left a birthday message for my dad. I thought I would print them out and send them to him. Thanks so much.)