Today is my dad's 65th birthday. I was thinking about it on the way in to work this morning. It sounds so weird to say that my dad is 65 years old!

I got a bit sentimental thinking about how he's not going to be around forever and that I really should make a bigger effort to try to see my parents more often than I do. It's that whole 'cats in the cradle syndrome' where you know you should do it... and you really *want* to... but other things always seem to get in the way and then in the end when it all comes down to it, you're left regretting that you hadn't made it a bigger priority.

I don't want that to happen.

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My dad in three words: He fucking rocks!

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I remember coming home from school or work or wherever in jr. high, high school and beyond, and finding guys I knew hanging out there. In the beginning I would get a flush of excitement thinking they were there to see me... waiting for me to get home. It didn't take long to realize that they'd come to hang out with my dad and shoot the shit. I'd come up the walk, smile brightly and say hello, and they'd hardly even look up from their conversations with my dad. They'd come there to see him! Pretty funky!

My girlfriends too, have always loved him. He's a very "people" person who never meets a stranger and with whom most people feel instantly at east. Growing up, he never bullshitted me and unless I was endangering myself or someone else, he always let me do whatever I wanted. Anytime I've ever gotten into trouble or really fucked up (and yes people... I have had some *real* fuck-ups along the way), he's *never* asked me questions or said "I told you so" or even lectured me. Somehow my dad has always understood that there's noone else in the world harder on me than MYSELF... anything extra from he or mom would be completely unnecessary and, in most cases, detrimental. Mom *still* hasn't figured that out... but Dad has somehow always known it all along.

He's always let me make my own decisions, whatever they were, and then supported me in them, even if he didn't agree with them. I wish everyone else in my life was like that!

And he's always said, "It's only money...", no matter how big the expenditure or how unexpected. Dad's always been more about living life to the fullest and enjoying it than collecting a bunch of crap along the way.

Here's to you Dad! Happy Birthday! And... if only a tiny portion of the qualities that make you such a kickass individual have rubbed off onto who I am today, I consider myself extremely blessed. I don't think I'll ever come close to being for Jory what you have been for me, but I'm damned sure gonna try. At least I have a great person to model myself after.

I love you.

Rhonda


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