75 years

I sit at the computer compiling photos for my dad’s upcoming celebration. 75 years. How is this even possible?

As I sift through the endless memories, I am taken aback. My father has lived an extremely rich life.

At 25, he was serving our nation in the military. His rigid household molded dad perfectly into a strong, determined, and proud soldier. Having recently lost his father to a heart attack, he had a lot on his plate. I can’t say for certain, but I don’t think my dad ever dealt with the grief. To this day he never talks about his dad.

At 25, I am sure he was not seeing his life 50 years later, living in a beautiful country home with mom, retired, taking up real hobbies, and reaping the joys of 3 grandsons and 1 granddaughter (another one on the way).

At 50, he was raising four girls, alongside my mother. At 50, he had 10, 9, 8, and 7 year old girls in various sports. He may have been found attending, or even coaching, a girls basketball game. I am sure he was not anticipating that in just five years, he would have 4 very hormonal young women on his hands.

At nearly 75, he is retired and enjoys woodworking. His latest project is the best Christmas present I had ever received…homemade wind chimes. They are beautiful. The smooth, gentle sounds fill my soul. Better yet, I see my dad every time they sound.

At nearly 75, he stays indoors when the Wisconsin winter days decide to really show off. “I had to work outside all my life delivering feed to farmers, why should I go outside now when I don’t have to?” Well said, dad. I agree completely.

At nearly 75, he has become soft. Growing up, my dad never expressed his emotions. EVER. Today, on a Facetime chat with the family, he ended the call with, “Love you, too.”

At nearly 75, my dad is finally letting it all the way in. Letting US all the way in. Letting LIFE all the way in. At nearly 75, my dad is the best person I have ever known.

3 thoughts on “75 years

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your dad, Joy. You are blessed. I love wind chimes. I love the line: “I see my dad every time they sound.” I love it for its meaning but also for the way you crafted it to hold you, your dad, the chimes and engage seeing (as memory) and sound (used as a verb to evoke its noun meaning). Just plain lovely!


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