This week my father will
be celebrating his 64th birthday. Wow! One more year
until retirement. Dad is one of the few people that I know who
belongs in the hero catagory, if there’s such thing. He’s mine.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by life’s problems, I think of him and
all that he’s accomplished and it gives me the strength to carry on.
When I was a kid, I had a
lot of heroes like most other kids. Athletes, movie stars and
musicians were on the top of my list. But as an adult that view gets
very jaded. Athletes are greedy, musicians and movie stars turn out
to be human just like the rest of us. Dad, however, never lost his
status. A few years back I wrote a poem for Dad on his birthday
telling him that he was a hero. When I was writing it, the only
other person I could think of that remained heroic in my mind from my
childhood was Terry Fox. A man who wouldn’t give up no matter what
I had a wonderful
childhood. I grew up on a farm. My mother and father worked it
together and raised us. We had ponies, bicycles and a vacation every
summer. We had a lot of work to do, and not a lot of money, but we
didn’t want for anything. It was a great life. But when I was
eleven years old my mother passed away. Everything turned upside
down. In such a crisis, we needed a rock, someone to hold everything
together and Dad did just that. He never gave up, or said he
couldn’t continue on. He just tried harder. Getting us up for
school in the morning. Making our breakfast and lunches. Doing
things that he didn’t have to before and not complaining about it.
That’s a real hero.
I’m sure when Dad looks
back on his life he doesn’t have many regrets. He’s been a farmer, a
truck driver, a meat shop owner and a restaurant owner, and a whole
lot more. Horses have always one of his passions, and he still has
close to 20 kicking around his home. Most people measure success by
how much money they have, or things they own. The truth is, if you
don’t have your family, it’s no good to you anyway. When it comes to
family, Dad is the most successful person I know. We are all very
close after all these years. And it’s all thanks to him. Happy
birthday Dad. You’ll always be my hero!