Just a couple of days ago, we celebrated my father’s 50th birthday. This year, instead of just having our usual family dinner, we added something extra special!
We wanted to include as many people as possible without having to throw a huge party for a rather private person. So for a surprise, my mother and I collected messages from people from various parts of my father’s life – church, family, childhood and work. And to keep it all a secret, all communication and preparation had to be done on my laptop instead of the family computer (My mum got something out of all this preparation too. She learnt how to use a Mac!).
It was fun trying to keep everything a secret, with some of my father’s friends getting somewhat overly excited. It definitely wasn’t easy dealing with people coming up to my mom or me asking how the celebration went or is coming along when my father was standing right there! And some even wished him a “happy birthday” a little too early because they misunderstood my email! But overall, my father enjoyed getting so many wishes over the course of the past few weeks, even though most of the wishes came on the wrong day.
The messages were a way of appreciating him. It was also to honor my father – by showing him that he has indeed been a blessing not just to us, his family but many others as well.
As I looked back on the preparation leading up to D-Day, the influence that my father has had on the people around him is obvious.
In my father’s long…no, short lifetime so far (OK Papa, you’re still very young), he has been a positive influence although he did ruffle some people here and there. Here are some notes that people have written about him,
“A source of inspiration, support and kindness to all who know him”
“A joy to have around”, “Such a joker”
“A COURAGEOUS Leader, Teacher and a Good Father”
“A very lovable and genuine guy”
Observing his response (huge smiles and positive comments) as he read each message on the PowerPoint slides, I’m glad that we collated these messages for him. Even big and strong fathers can do with encouragement from time to time.
Have you appreciated your loved one lately? If not, all it takes is a word or two to put a smile on that person’s face