I had last week off to go visit Iowa. It was a nice trip to see friends and family, but nothing about it compared to celebrating my dad’s 75th birtday party.
My siblings and I decided in January to plan a celebration for the man who raised us. It turned out great. We had extended family and a multitude of friends turn out to honor him, and he was quite touched.
The week was filled with a lot of memories, especially going through boxes of old photos to put together a photo board display.
There was, of course, some razzing. It is, after all, how we show our love. With my dad being an avid sports card collecter, we had cards of him made up from his old slow pitch softball days. He really got a kick out of that one when he opened the pack of Topps cards — with gum — and saw his own face. “He’s a stud!” he exclaimed. We all got a good chuckle.
But in all seriousness, this man deserves to be celebrated. He has truly taken on the challenge of fathering us four kids — no easy task — including two teenage girls as a single parent after my mom’s sudden death in 1996.
He took up the mantle for us, sending us off to college one by one, seeing us all find our careers, celebrating our marriages and doting on his grandchildren.
There is no hesitation from him if one of us is in need of advice or support. And he’s always good for a classic dad joke.
The party is just a small repayment of everything this man has done for us over the years. It was so fun and touching to just sit back and watch him enjoy himself as the crowd wished him a happy birthday.
Happy Birthday, Dad, and Happy Father’s Day. You truly are a great man, and I love you very much. Here’s to the Great Ronaldo!