Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy Retirement (soon) Dad

My dad is retiring in April of 2020. Since we will not be going home for a visit, we decided to have a small retirement party for him when we were home for Christmas. (I know, he didn't want one... but I have never been really good at listening.)

We had family there and some of his work buddies there. It was a wonderful day. Here is the speech that I wrote and read during the party! 

In everyone's life, perhaps, there is a person who somehow impacts you so strongly that your character is molded because of that person. In my case, that person has always been my dad.

You have always been my inspiration and my hero. I have learned so much from you over the years. I know right… you didn't think I was paying attention, did you? Thank you for being such a wonderful role model in my life.

You taught me to work hard. Now, I didn't always listen to you when I was younger and the high school years were rough, but seeing you work hard all your life has definitely taught me how to do the same in my life. I might struggle from time to time, but I always work hard and give it my all. And I learned that from you!

You taught me to always be willing to help others out if I can. I seriously can't remember of a time in my life where you weren't there for me when I needed you. I think this is definitely where I get my desire to volunteer and my willingness to help anyone I can. No matter where life takes me, I know for certain that you will always be here for me.

You taught me to be firm, but loving with my kids and always be there for them.
My divorce was one of the hardest times in my life and your email meant more to me than you will ever know. I might be off a few words, but the part of the email that changed the path I was going down was: What defines both of you at a time like this is how you move forward from this moment on. You can either let it tear you down, or you can grow from it and become a better person. I have lived that quote every single day of my life since then! So thankful for you always being here for me, despite all the grief I put you and mom through growing up. I do remember once, I was telling you a story about Cadence and how she was just being super difficult during her younger years… And I will never forget your response… Michelle, I only have one thing to say about that… Karma is a bitch. Well… if she is anything like I was as a teenager, I could use all the prayers you have!

You taught me how to be strong. During super tough times, you always made sure your wife and kids were okay. It has taken years, but I think I finally know how to be strong no matter what comes my way. I mean, the force has always been strong with you dad and I totally followed in your footsteps… Because the force is also strong with me!

You have taught me the meaning of being a loving spouse. I have seen you be an affectionate husband all these years and face all the obstacles that came in your life with patience. And I am so thankful that God brought you and my mom together all those years ago. And look at you now… you have 3 amazing kids and 12 grandkids… Okay… so I might have gotten all the looks in the family and I definitely thank you both for that one.

You all know me too well… I can go on forever, but I won't. You're welcome…
Dad, a dream come true is what your retirement really is. You have worked so very hard to get to this point in your life. You have won the admiration and respect of your family and your colleagues. Be proud of yourself dad, because I am definitely super proud of you! You are one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I couldn't imagine life with a different dad. I hope you get to do everything that you ever truly wanted to do, as you step into this exciting time in your life. And I look forward to your many texts that will come my way once you retire. Because they are truly epic aka…legendary! Happy Retirement dad!

 My dad's secretary sent me these pictures and I just had to make this poster. 
 This is the candy board that I made my dad. So funny! And after the party was over I let my nieces and nephews clean the board out one at a time. It was great!
 My dad's family! We are so proud of this man. 
He knew this barbecue we had planned was more than a regular one when his sister and brother showed up. They live an hour away.

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