I didn’t know my dad when my parents got married. I didn’t meet him until several years later. After my parents had made the decision to have a third child — that third child being me.
But I wish I would have known him then.
My dad turns 65 today. Sixty-five is old right? But notsoright. Because to me, his daughter, it feels like my dad is the same exact guy that I met in 1982 when I bounded into the world on a sunny February day.
But he’s not. Because he’s seen more life than he had at that point. He’s raised three kids. Gained three additional kids. Amassed 8 grandchildren.
He’s seen the world with his own two eyes. He’s held a fresh grand baby with his own two arms. He’s run at least 8 half marathons, I believe, with his own two legs. He’s bounced toddlers on his two knees. He’s clapped his two hands at countless sporting events. He’s listened to his favorite music with his two ears.
Right after Thanksgiving, my dad fell. He fell from a ladder. His elbows broke his fall. His elbows broke. And then I realized how thankful I was for his elbows that day. How thankful I was for his two elbows. For his two elbows that took the brunt of the force, rather than his one head housing his one brain.
A couple days later following a surgery on his damaged elbows, I sat with him in the hospital. I looked at him in his hospital gown. His arms wrapped up. I helped feed him his dinner. And I realized that even if he’s 65, 75, 85, or 100, he will always be one of the best “uses” of my time. He will always be one of my favorite people to spend time with, whether he is paying for my dinner or I am feeding him his. He will always be my dad. But never my “old” man.
I have loved every one of the 35 years I’ve gotten to spend as Tad’s daughter and only wish I could have known him for every year of his life. That would be quite the gift.
A huge happy birthday to my dad, one of the best humans. And one helluva 65-year-old wonder.