Thanks Dad…

Lisa and I had the honor of being raised by a great father whose birthday we celebrate today. We credit him with teaching us so much about life, integrity, hard work, the value of a dollar and not making excuses.

We were not taught “what” to think, but challenged and taught “how” to think for ourselves. He taught us the importance of hard work, knowing when to push us to do better, work harder, and when to back off and let us find our own path. From him we learned right from wrong, and to remain mindful of how our choices affect others. Through his actions he showed us how to appreciate, support, and value others without being judgmental or intolerant.

He holds personal responsibility in high esteem; “no excuses, just get it done” is something I can remember to this day. We grew up hearing that life is not always fair, but you choose how you will respond to it.

By his lead we grew up knowing that family is the most important thing. Even though we may be different and sometimes difficult, we will always love and support one another.

Today, on your birthday Dad, we thank you for being a good father and husband to our mother and for being a large part of what kind of adults and parents we are today.

Thanks Dad for giving us memories of the sweet smell of cut grass in the summer heat, while sweeping grass clippings on the driveway.

Thanks for taking us swimming on summer nights.

Thank you for pleasantly suffering through all of our dance recitals and school events.

Thank you for making us take piano, and for tutoring us in Spanish, and math, and any other subject we’d rather not think about today.

Thank you (sort of) for introducing our children to chocolate milk and cream soda.

Thank you for loving our mother faithfully and constantly.

Thank you for always being there when we need you to bounce an idea off, blow off steam, or get direction.

Thank you for always welcoming us home and showing us how to face any “crisis” with calm presence of mind. (Particularly hurricane evacuations.)

Thank you for accepting our spouses.

Thank you for never giving up on yourself, our mother, your children, and your grandchildren.

Thank you for pushing us to improve ourselves, never settling for mediocrity.

To quote your grandchildren, “Who’s the Boss? PaPa!”


Shelly Henley Kelly