My Dad is 42. But we celebrated his 70th birthday anyway.

My bro, who makes me think like no one else ever can, asked, “So dad, what age do you FEEL?” My dad, with his sparkly green eyes and quick smile masking quicker yet pinpoint accurate thoughts said, “Mid-40s.”

We did manage to surprise him with a cake amidst the Ham Dinner Feast he'd prepared for us.
We did manage to surprise him with a cake amidst the Ham Dinner Feast he’d prepared for us.

This was during a birthday/Christmas celebration for his upcoming 70th birthday. He’ll be in Arizona for his actual birthday, just another sign that really, he is young.

No pressure on singing happy birthday to a guy with a master's degree and career of vocal music!  If we were pitchy, he didn't let us know we were.
No pressure on singing happy birthday to a guy with a master’s degree and career of vocal music! If we were pitchy, he didn’t let us know we were.

He volunteers countless hours at a hospital and on their Board of Directors. He still substitute teaches. Here–and in Arizona (even though his next-best-language is not Spanish but Latin, good Catholic boy that he is!). He helps with church music in both spots, too, playing piano and organ, singing in the choirs. He answered the call at the last minute this year in Minnesota when the music director at his long-time parish needed sudden hospitalization: a week before Christmas! He was right there for rehearsals and Midnight Mass to celebrate this magical night with beautiful music.

At every family gathering at his house, we sing. This evening, it  was Christmas Carols, lyrics rewritten by my dad {and he was accompanied by his youngest grandkid this year, too!}
At every family gathering at his house, we sing. This evening, it was Christmas Carols, lyrics rewritten by my dad {and he was accompanied by his youngest grandkid this year, too!}

He guides kids for ACT test prep. He cooks, bakes, maintains every inch of his home and lawn and driveway (you know, when it snows before he heads south). He admits he’s never operated a snowblower (no wonder I don’t like those either, it’s hereditary!). He’s a marvelous friend and confidant and advisor to many.

We all wore green, his favorite color, to the Christmas theatre he takes us to each year. The cast and audience sang Happy Birthday to him, too!
We all wore green, his favorite color, to the Christmas theatre he takes us to each year. The cast and audience sang Happy Birthday to him, too!

Best of all, he’s an incredible dad. And granddad. He never misses a music concert, he’ll meet me at a museum anytime–and he sends weekly notes to our eldest (now a teenager), just one of the ways he lets us all clearly know he is our biggest fan. He does so many more little things that just add up in gigantic ways. He’s one of those amazing people who always makes you feel like you’re the most special person on the planet.

Sounds like the energy of a 42-year-old to me!

Happy Birthday to my dad. Soak up the Arizona sun, we all love you very much.

I wonder if he saved any of the cake? Actually, I don't want to know. He's a bit of a sentimental store-er.
I wonder if he saved any of the cake? Actually, I don’t want to know. He’s a bit of a sentimental store-er.
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