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.
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.