My dad turned 70 yesterday

Tonight I’m having him over for pot roast (his favorite)  and Abbie is making that famous apple pie.  (Abbie and the neighbor kids are making it now)

He has accomplished so much in his 70 years, he has a successful business that opened in 1974, when I was only four.  He has a gorgeous home in Newport Coast, he has a vacation/retirement home in his birth state of Arkansas, equally gorgeous as the home he has in Newport. He built our first family cabin from the ground up and later sold it to then buy another cabin where we shared many great memories and a few family holidays.   He has three children a son and two daughters.  I’m the daughter who technically is not his.  I’m the one he decided to raise when I was only three.  And from his three children he has three granddaughters, four grandsons and one great grandchild on the way.

 Dad at work

I’m very blessed because this man who fell in love with my beautiful mother decided he not only loved my mom but he also loved me.

He used to buy me push up ice creams, he taught me my A,B,C’s, he soothed my earaches when I was still small, he was there for my baptism, he sent me to many private schools, paid for it all, sent me to winter camps, summer camps and a bunch of other extra activities  He used to ride me on his bicycle for family bike rides when I was so small the long rides were too much for me, he would wrap a towel around the bar between the seat and the handle bars and I would sit there right in front of him, I felt very safe there.  He gave me my first job at his company as part of a cleaning crew with my girlfriends, he bought me my first car, a 1965 red convertible mustang.  I crashed it one night home from my second job also provided by my mom and dad, their yogurt shop. I totaled that mustang out, I was running late so he went to find me, he saw my car and he was the first there to the hospital, which I don’t remember too much about except he was there when I looked up. He then felt it important for me to still have that 1965 ford mustang so he bought another ford mustang just so he could rebuild the one I wrecked.   He was there when I promoted from the 8th grade, he was there when I promoted from the 12th grade, he made every birthday party I ever had from 3 years on, he helped me with dreaded math homework, he showed me his favorite poets, He told me about his favorite books, artist and music.  I grew up listening to really great music. Life was pretty incredible with this man who decided to be my dad.  He gave me everything I ever wanted, I went on trips to Jamaica and Cancun Mexico, he gave me my second fancy camera a Minolta 7000i, and then he gave me my first fancy digital camera the one I shoot today, a Canon 20D.  He has always supported my photography he thinks I’m pretty good.  He also has told me I’m a very good writer.

The famous awesome red 1965 convertible mustang

When I was a not so nice teen and I did some not so nice things he was there when I was rushed to the hospital because I drank a little too much and after they pumped my stomach he was right there holding my hand and feeling thankful I survived.  He didn’t have to do any of this, he didn’t have to offer me my 4th job at his construction business when I had run away and was trying to make it on my own, but he did because I know he just wanted to make sure I was okay, so I took that job answering phones when I was just about to turn 20 and I never left, I’m still there today.  He wanted me to have a dream wedding so he paid for all of it, a gorgeous, amazing wedding and he walked me down that aisle, he gave me away.  He then offered my husband a job at his construction company, and my husband took that job and he is still there to this very day.

My dad came from very little, he was one of five children who was born to a struggling family in Arkansas, a mother who was always very ill and it was not an easy life, he learned early on that he had to make a difference, he had a fire beneath him, he had big ideas and most often they panned out, his was successful in his ideas and is a very, very smart man.  He takes care of not only us but his entire family, he takes care of all his employees, he knows nothing else but how to make sure everyone else is okay and everyone has all that they need. He is very giving with what he has earned.  He has worked hard his entire life, he has earned his life and I’m so proud of him and I’m so proud he picked me to be his daughter and never has he ever made me feel any less than his own.

The House he was born and raised in with his four other siblings

My dad is the cute one there in the middle

 Our life wasn’t perfect there were mistakes and poor mom and dad, the three of us put them through a little bit of hell growing up, they almost lost all three of us at different points in our life, we were reckless and thoughtless and I wonder why now?  They were so good to us, they gave us everything we ever needed yet we all practiced our free will and rebelled a little, some of us more than others but even then, they both, our mom and our dad were there for us, they were always there even when we tried to bail out on them.  We tried to blame them for being gone so much, for working so hard but you see in this life as I have grown up a little bit I know there is sacrifice to be made, we can’t have it all.  They work hard to give us our security, they each didn’t have that security growing up so they felt it so important to make sure we never went without, that we always had a meal, that we always had a warm bed.  They both went without when they were little so you can imagine how this all means so much to them.   As selfish children we didn’t see the sacrifice in the moment.  I only see it now and thank goodness for the wisdom that comes with aging because I see clearly now that they both did everything they knew how to be great parents, and the negative things they may have said that somehow stuck or the times they spent away from home so they could make money so we could have all the things we ever wanted.    In life no matter what, their is sacrifice.  It’s just a matter of choosing which things we want to sacrifice.  Looking back I clearly see the good far out weighed the bad and I’m thankful so very thankful that I have my dad here, still working hard, still thinking up brilliant plans and still taking care his family as he turned 70 yesterday, November 15th in this year 2012.

I just wanted to say a little something about this awesome dude today, the day after his birthday, and really, really there is so much more but as a working, mother of three who is trying to make this man a pot roast, I have to leave it at this.

LOVE       D-1

6 thoughts on “My dad turned 70 yesterday

  1. What wonderful and thoughtful things to say about your dad. I agree I don’t think I could have married anyone that could have taken you as his own daughter and never feel any less than if you were not. He was so proud the day that we all stood in front of that judge and you took his last name as his adopted daughter. That is the best compliment any step parent could ever receive. I am so glad he is your dad and I am blessed that he came into my life too. God is so awesome!

  2. This is so sweet. What a tribute! The pictures say so much. Happy bday to your dad. I’m glad you all celebrated together. Love Abbie in that last shot! Also LOVE young Tracie in her red mustang! I’m glad God had such great plans for your life…and that they include me!

  3. I feel very blessed too! We are lucky kids and I know I was the biggest pain in the ass, wish I hadn’t been. You write so beautifully I am a huge sap because I was bawling my eyes out this is a really sweet post xoxo

  4. i am realizing a few things:
    1# you had not one but TWO 65 mustangs, and they look pretty cherry
    #2 i need to take an aspirin before reading your blog, you always bring tears with your sweet sentiment.
    #3 you are an excellent writer, you portray your feelings so clearly, and well put.
    #4 what were some of his favorite poets?
    Happy Birthday to him from us!

  5. I agree with everything everyone has written! sarah, i loved what you said. That was a beautiful tribute. I know more about your dad now then I ever have. Thanks for sharing your memories. xo

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