Tree of Life

life

Last month, I celebrated a birthday, which usually does not hold much significance for me. I don’t believe in time. We all have the same amount. The sun rises every morning and sets every evening. What we do in between depends on priorities.

When I hear people say they don’t have enough time to do something, it translates to me that the speaker has placed a greater priority on something else. If I invite you to join me in an activity and you decline because Uncle James is visiting your home that evening, it is perfectly acceptable to me. It signifies that being in the company of Uncle James for that occasion is more important than, let’s say, fishing with me.

But this last birthday was of particular significance to me. And while I am not into presents or celebrations, I received from one of my children the greatest gift a father could imagine, which solidified my suspicions that life is worth living. Would I have turned down millions of dollars for the gift? You bet I would. One of my children handed me a partially inscribed, partially hand-written card that read as follows:


          For You, Dad, From Your Daughter

          Thanks Dad, for helping me follow my dreams.

          You’ve always let me know that you were proud of me,

          and that’s given me confidence that I carry with me wherever I go.

          Your support means more than I can say,

          and I hope you know how grateful I am for you.


                                                            Happy Birthday

 

My children took priority over everything in my life – and made my insignificant life worth living.

. . .

Comments

  1. And all they give you is a simple thank you?

    Just kidding, appreciation is the greatest gift of all! Happy Birthday!

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    Replies
    1. joeh: That's it. A "Thank You," which is all we really want, but we don't always get.

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  2. That is a wonderful card! Frame that sucker.
    And happy birthday.

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  3. I know u are a proud Dad!. Your parenting (w/ your wife) reflects in your children...

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  4. I am such a sentimental fool. Your post brought a tear (or two). I agree with Alex... frame that card. Let your daughter know by your actions just how much what was written on that card meant. Don't you love all of the various ways we can let the people we love know that we love them (and appreciate them)?

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    Replies
    1. Robin: I suffer from lack of sentimentality.

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  5. I treasure a few cards and emails like that I have gotten from my children. You're right. It makes it all worthwhile. And happy birthday!

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  6. I trust it's in a safe place, and also in plain sight to brighten your day. You are so right on all levels here, good for you, and feel proud that you are a # 1 Daddy!

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    1. Karen: I don't know about #1, but in this day and age, I am a Daddy, not a baby daddy.

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  7. What a lovely card! And the truth is you have profoundly influenced your kids lives, and it is wonderful to know it is for the good. That is a gift indeed! Happy birthday-just-gone!

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  8. Those types of sentiments are my absolute favorites. I have a box full from the lovelies (our four daughters). It's so true- those are the things that make it all worthwhile. Happy Birthday.

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  9. Definitely a keeper, and the greatest gift of all! :-)

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  10. Great thoughts here today. Thank you for raising good children and being there for them. that is so important. Happy Late Birthday.

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  11. Notes like these make all those years of worry, self doubt, stress, frustration well worth it. You are lucky to have a child who recognized the sacrifice while you are still on this plane; some children don't till they're flying solo with no safety net.

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  12. How beautiful.

    Certainly a treasure moment in time...

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    Replies
    1. Michael: It is a treasured moment.

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  13. So true ... the love of your children is worth more than anything money could ever buy.

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  14. I'm glad you have such wonderful family ties. You deserve it. I know you have put a lot of effort into your relationships with your kids.

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  15. I'm so sorry that I didn't see this earlier. Happy belated birthday JJ! You've raised a wonderful daughter, and there really is no greater accomplishment! I'm sure that she spoke for all of your children. This proves that you are in no way "insignificant."

    Julie

    Julie

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    1. Julie: Thank you so much! I think I got the best of the bargain.

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  16. I'm certain from the gratitude and love emanating from the beautiful birthday message you received that your children would agree with me that your life could never be insignificant! Happy Birthday JJ!!

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    Replies
    1. Katherine: Thank you. I really appreciate those kind words.

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  17. Hi JJ .. such wonderful words .. which will always be remembered ... that's brilliant that she sees you've given her all opportunities that she wanted to pursue or think about ... it's opening the world to them and guiding them along their way ...

    Happy Birthday - father of great kids ... cheers Hilary

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