Last Friday we celebrated my Dad's birthday...and his Retirement Day! (We do things big around here!!)
My dad has worked at least 3 to 4 jobs MY ENTIRE LIFE. He’s a hard work and a giving provider for our family. He and my mom have taught my sister and I through their example to be a hard worker, a dependable employee and a supportive leader to those around us. Nothing is given to us. You work for things you need and especially the things you just want. As soon as we were able, we both had jobs and making our own money, saving our own money. Our parents helped us when they could (and still do even though they do not have to), but we were expected to pay for our portion too whether it was gas money, car insurance, student loan, etc. We’ve never felt entitled or spoiled. We work and we earn.
As an adult and now as a parent myself, I can’t thank my parents enough for these examples set before us. I see the sacrifices Dad made for us growing up. At the time, I never felt like we were left out or that he wasn’t spending enough time with us. Watching him as a grandparent for ten years now, I see the difference in him. In these past ten years, he himself has admitted that he spent too much time working and not enough time at home with my sister and I when we were young. He’ll tell you that the years fly by and we’ve grown up to fast for him. It hurts to hear the disappointment in his voice when he talks about it now and I have never looked back on our childhood and thought we were missing out.
Instead, I see a father who worked tirelessly to provide for his family. We never had fancy things, new cars, or elaborate vacations, but we had what we needed and even had what we wanted most of the time, which our tastes weren’t that elaborate either. Goodness knows I never needed anything from the San Rio store (children of the 80s and 90s will remember these stores in big malls as the “Hello Kitty store”, ha), so I didn’t need anything else, but gosh I loved that store and wanted it all. I never had it all, but I had some because my parents were able to afford that to us.
He’s teaching us invaluable lessons of love, concern, support and encouragement now as a grandparent. My nephews and our daughters are so richly blessed to have him as one of their grandpas.
Friday, he retired from his 40 hour a week job. Don’t worry, he’ll never FULLY retire. I can’t imagine him just “staying around the house and piddling”. There’ll always be a sermon to be preached, a high school basketball game to be called for the local radio station, a random radio morning show to fill in. So, he’ll always work. That’s just who he is; but now, he’s working because he WANTS to.
Thank you Dad for all of your selfless desires for your family. Thank you for your patience and determination for one more year at work, and one more, and one more. Thank you for the hours spent away from us because it meant we had to cars to drive when we turned 16. Thank you for finding us “jobs” when we were far too young to be in the workforce. (11 is a tad young, and he paid me under the table, haha) Thank you for teaching us about the reward of being a hard worker and good employee. Thank you for being our example…always.
We love you and wish you wonderful Retirement years and a Happy Birthday!