The First Day of Summer.

The Longest Day of the Year.

The Summer Solstice.

My Birthday – June 21st. Occasionally, it falls on Father’s Day.

In fact, I was born on Father’s Day, 1953.

I have no idea whether my Mom presented me to my Dad as a cross-eyed, little 4th-of-7 gift or not, but the First Day of Summer has always been special to me.

As I awoke this morning, I laid in bed and looked back on some of the things I’ve accomplished in my 60 years, reflected on some regrets, but most of all thought about my children.

I’ve been a stock boy, peach picker, altar boy, corn husker, paper boy, caddy, landscaper, student, delivery boy, car jockey, janitor, salesperson, Fuller Brush man, file clerk, assistant manager of a Circle K, jewelry salesman, handyman, house painter, typesetting machine operator, church founder, proofreader, deacon, teacher, missions director, missionary, researcher, bible smuggler, copy editor, cross-cultural trainer, elder, writer and

… brother, son, friend, nephew, confidant, cousin, boyfriend, uncle, lover, husband, Father and grandfather.

I haven’t made a lot of money or attained any level of fame; I’ve never commanded troops or run a corporation; my name will not go down in history – and that’s okay. Really. Because, you see, I helped create (along with my beautiful, loving wife Sharon) three of the most wondrous human beings that walk the planet.

Jesse (center), Benjamin and Sarah.

Jesse (center), Benjamin and Sarah.

My heart is full and my life really is complete, because I’m just so damn proud of you, my kids. You have all far exceeded my expectations because each one of you has a loving and compassionate heart.

Sure, you’ve all finished college and gotten degrees. You have traveled the world and taken courageous risks as your futures have unfolded. All of you have experienced daunting pain and hardship – and come through on the other side better, deeper, more understanding human beings.

But most of all, you are my prize. I win. It doesn’t matter what else I’ve done in my life – YOU three are my reward, and I love you very much.

Of course, I don’t want to take anything from your mother, but she understands, because she feels the same way. You have made me proud and continue to do so. Every day, I think about you, miss you, pray for you and rest in the knowledge that you are three rare jewels that make me the richest man in the world.


Happy Birthday to me.

Posted on June 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Did Mom have to call Dad home from the golf course to present you to him as his #1 Father’s Day gift? What a trophy! I know you had a wonderful birthday even if you didn’t have a party! Love you little bro! E.

  2. Maryann, you are my favorite little sister! I love you so much, and am always encouraged by you. Thanks for your love.

  3. My Man Mike – How could we have made it through the last five years without you and Vicki? THANK YOU for always being there for me, and for helping me to speak the truth.

  4. Thanks, Joe! Good to hear from you.

  5. My partner Gary – YOU are the best friend anyone could ask for! I love and appreciate you, brother. You’re a great encouragement to me and always a source of hope.

  6. Meghan, you have always been a blessing to us and our kids, and we’ll never forget the years we spent together. Thank you!

  7. Thanks, Mariam. Love hearing from you!

  8. Tears. This post brought life and hope to my heart and soul. Happy birthday, Dennis!

  9. Dennis you write from the heart. You did win. Thanks for trusting me with your treasures. Loved watching your kids. And I still do on facebook. Btw I cried as I read this. Love you and Sharon. Hope to connect again when I visit Michigan. Hopefully this August.

  10. Gary Potapshyn

    I’m sure you were a great son, You now are a great Husband,Father Grandfather, Uncle,etc. I know one thing for sure, you are a good friend and the best anyone could ask for. I’m blessed to have a friend like you.Who’s always there to encourage me no matter what is going on in your life. I thank God for Blessing me with a Good and partner like you!

  11. Happy Birthday Brother Dennis! Your Words of Love are right On !!!
    You are truly a Blessed Man !!
    God Bless and have a Great Birthday today !!

  12. Happy Birthday to the richest man in the world.
    The beauty of having children that are rare jewels is that rare jewels beget rare jewels. I am personally a better man from know you Dennis (Sharon too and your kids). Your heart is that of a man who really gets it and gets it all. Today is a good day, today is your Birthday. Happy Birthday my brother, friend, confidante and fellow faith walker.

  13. Thanks for making my mascara run! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG D!!! You are my favorite brother with blue eyes! Mizpah, Love, Emmy xoxoxo

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