One of the perks of having a blog is having an open forum to celebrate the accomplishments of friends and family. But blogging has a dark side, too. Like when you realize your dad just finished his last day of work after nearly 40 years and you didn’t do much more than congratulate him over the phone and FaceTime him for his weekly technology troubleshooting session (additional charges do not apply).
We won’t go into the reasons for your unpreparedness. That he had mentioned retiring for the last two years, had set the date upwards of six times and like a boy who cried wolf (or a responsible guy concerned for the welfare of his department) kept letting that date pass.
But he finally did it. A reporter, turned press-secretary, turned Ag then coal guy, finally left his post with the State of Illinois after [dad please insert years of service in the comment section]. And like his better half, downtown Springfield will take another small hit this week.
Grab-a-Java will likely see iced coffee profits move from their downtown location to the west side of town. Starbucks will reduce their sweet and low and Starbucks Via packet bulk orders to accommodate for the loss of such a unique patron and shoe shine Joe will have to find a new guy to run his junk for cash ring with.
The good news is the State Fair is right around the corner and Murf can participate in his parade for turkey legs, drinking shake ups and shaking hands along the way.
Congrats on a well-deserved retirement, Murf! Now you have time to work on your short game. And figure out your iPhone.
I thought I’d lose it the first time I saw my dad on my wedding day. I kept waiting for the emotions to overwhelm me as the morning went on and as the my sister left the bride’s room and I was there all alone for the first time, it started to hit me. Matt and I decided not to see each other before the wedding and between the music and the pressure to recite the vows the priest asked us to memorize, my face started to quiver.
I thought I’d lose it the first time I saw my dad on my wedding day. But just as my sister walked out, he walked in, sweating profusely and cracking jokes about this time being so much easier for him than my sister’s wedding.
He did what he’s done my whole life. He was present. He made me laugh. He offered a random yet detailed story that would give me context for the challenge ahead. Or in this case, he seemed way too calm (not so cool due to a new prescription) and collected. Just genuinely happy to be there.
Which was good because one of us had to hold it together and we soon found out that person would not be me.
That’s my dad. Connected. Funny. Intelligent and a great lead to follow.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and future fathers out there.
I think I’ve been editing this post in my head for a number of years now. The bulk of it mostly tidbits of childhood memories, important life lessons and assorted sports trivia that pop up in random conversations and remind me of happy moments with my father.
It seems fitting then that in celebration of my father’s birthday this week that I share my thoughts. After all, he’s a writer so surely he’ll appreciate it more than most. That and I technically haven’t purchased an actual birthday present yet. Blog posts are better than golf clubs, right?
I’ve mentioned my dad in posts before. By now you probably know of his unique sense of humor, love for sports and incredible luck when it comes to front-row parking spaces. It’s hard to sum him up in a few words, because, well I have a hard time summing anything up in just a few words. So instead I’ll offer my thanks.
So thank you Dad,
- For teaching me that girls can do anything boys can do. And sometimes better. Specifically how to be the only girl who knows how to properly put on catcher’s gear on an all-boys coach pitch team.
- For giving me a great last name. One that could get me into a restaurant even when I didn’t have a reservation. And one that allowed me to enjoy the perks of being Murf’s daughter in local establishments and state fairs.
- And for a solid first name too. Although I think if you had your way I’d be named after one of the ’84 Romanian gymnasts but that’s another post entirely.
- For telling me stories. About family. About sports. About politics. About family politics pertaining to specific sports.
- For teaching me how to read a map, change a tire, drive and parallel park. Because you insisted on me learning in that order, I’ve never felt helpless on the road. And it’s because of you that I stop and smile when I squeeze my car into a spot that few other city dwellers could maneuver.
- For never choosing favorites. Correction. For always choosing favorites. Your frequent “favorite daughter” references have left Anne and I befuddled as to who the favorite actually is. I assume that’s been your plan all along. Well played.
- For teaching me how to fix things. When it came to emotional or physical breaks, there wasn’t much ice, an aspirin or electric tape couldn’t fix.
- For having high grammatical standards. I’ve run a lot of races, but none have been as physically challenging as the dinner you challenged me to form sentences without using the word “like.” And for that I’m like totally grateful. Like totally.
- For being patient. It’s not easy being a father of two daughters. Especially during the tumultuous water bra years.
- For encouraging me to be independent, but helping me when I needed it. Disclaimer: this does not mean that I will ever get too old for cash day. One can never be too old for cash day.
And finally, for being the type of dad that makes it easy to write a laundry list of things I’m thankful for. Speaking of laundry, remember when you stopped folding ours the first time you found a thong?
To my dad, this birthday may not seem significant in number, but the challenges that he’s overcome over the past few months are significant to say the least. And like most situations, he’s handled them with hope, humility and a lot of humor. Just one more bullet to add to the list of things I’m thankful for.
Happy Birthday, Dad. Next year I’ll get you a golf club.