And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?
“Simple Man”…Lynard Skynard
It is late at night and I hear the door opening. You quietly enter the house after a night’s work. I can hear you moving through the house, going through your after-work routine and getting ready for bed. I have to smile as I think of how much you have grown before my eyes. Thinking back to the many “firsts” we have shared together, I get a little nostalgic. Today, on your birthday, I want to share the many things that make me so very thankful you are in my life.
You have reminded me how good genuine laughter feels. The humor you find in life is infectious in its sincerity. I cannot remember another time in my life when I have laughed as much as I have in your presence. The simplest things send us into fits of laughter bringing tears to our eyes. Each of these moments becomes the “inside” joke that only we share. Before you entered my life, I do not believe I had known so many moments of such enjoyment.
I remember watching as you learned the skills many of your peers did not take the time to learn- skills that will allow you to take care of yourself when you are on your own. In the process of acquiring these skills, you have helped the family through many busy times by being a contributor to the household. When I was away on business, I knew that with your help, things would be fine at home. You stepped up to be there for the family when I could not. For this, I am thankful.
I remember the first time I saw your perform in marching band and the over-flow of pride I felt as I saw you walk onto the field in your uniform. Many Saturdays were spent following the high school band from one competition to the next hoping you could feel the pride we had in you as we sat in the stands. I watched you grow as a musician and a leader over the years in band. Through you, I have a new appreciation of music and the skills needed to perform.
I watched you finish high school and take on the responsibilities of college. Though it can be a struggle at times, you have stuck with college and developed the tools to help you succeed on the path to a bright future. You have made me proud that you have not given up when you could have easily done so. I am proud of your persistence and resilience. You have succeeded and grown as a student.
I think back on the many discussions we have had over the years over a variety of topics. How your views help me to understand my own. How your input has inspired me to look deeper into what I thought I knew. How your acceptance of your own sense of being has given you the strength to be who you are…always. I have never met someone who is as comfortable with themselves as you are. For this, you should be proud of yourself and continue to never compromise.
I remember the moment when you walked your mother down the aisle and gave your blessing on our wedding day along with the beautiful speech that you gave at the ceremony. I remember that there was not a dry eye in the place from your heart-felt words. On that day, you brought our family together.
As I think back, I wanted to share with you how you have affected my life, how much you make me proud, and to let you know that you matter to me. You coming into my life brought me the gift of a son. A boy who has grown into a man. A man who would make any dad proud. Love you.
Happy Birthday, my son. Love…Dad