Though I wrote this 4 years ago, I can’t think of any way to say it better, except by changing 88 to 92.
This is my tribute to a great man.
I’m glad that fortune teller of his younger days was wrong about the long life he would live until 83.
We all breathed a happy sigh of relief when the 84th arrived.
Today is actually the day before your 92nd birthday, but I wanted to share some thoughts with you and give them to you on paper for your birthday.
When we first met, because I was falling for your daughter, we didn’t have the best of beginnings (100% my fault), but as time passed, and Wendy and I were married, you totally accepted me into your family.
First of all, you are absolutely the best storyteller I have ever known. Some of the best memories of my life are sitting with you and listening to the true stories of your life. You remember everything, and I hope my memory holds as strong as yours has.
You have had a major role in helping me to become the man I am today. You took me under your wing and taught me car repair (oh, I hated doing those brake jobs, but you always got me through them), fence building, carpentry, cement pouring (way harder than brake repair), gardening, fishing, camping, plumbing, electrical (maybe not so much) repair, lawnmower fixing, and the list goes on.
We spent a lot of time together, and you always made me feel like you were glad I was there.
You gave me my first power tools, helped me through some really hard financial struggles, and you did not hire me when I asked you for a plumbing job. (Seriously, that was a God-directed decision.)
. I honestly believe that I would never have been able to start my own business had it not been for strengths you gave me through the time we spent together.
You have taught me patience, kindness, perseverance, contentment, fearlessness, courage….
You are the best man I have ever known.
You are the best friend I have ever had.
Honored to be your son, even if I had to marry my way in,
(the “them” of “Wendy and them”)