TO OUR BELOVED FATHER ON HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY
Written by Emma & Rebecka Massey
Since our father has held many speeches for us in the past we thought we would try to do the same for him. As you all know our father is a very happy and up-beat person and he is somewhat absentminded (I’d like to say that this is because he’s getting to be so old but since I’m a bit absentminded as well, I guess it’s genetic). I’d like to tell you a little about how he is as a dad. He is the one in the family that you’ll very rarely see throwing a temper tantrum or sleep in, in the morning. A day without our dad would look like this: 1. We would all oversleep in the morning. 2. When we missed the bus to school we’d have to walk or wait for the next. 3. The refrigerator would be empty. 4. We would have to shower in cold water. In movies, “Edgar” is often the name of the evil villain of the story like in Aristocats where Edgar is the evil cat murderer who thinks only of himself. Well, our father is as far from this portrayal as you can possibly get.
The word FATHER is a word that famous linguists have fought over for centuries. Does the word simply mean someone of male gender who produces offspring? And if so is a male shark with children also a father?? No, the word “Father” means so much more than simply the person who gives us half of our chromosomes.
To be a father means being there for your children through every stage of their lives. To always be there but without being embarrassing in front of our friends, to give advice but still making us think that it was our own idea, to think we are amazing when we’ve just made a fool out of ourselves, and to love us when it seems that nobody else does. To be a father is a delicate balancing act between knowing when to let go and to let us take our first tottering steps on our own yet not be too far behind to quickly be able to grab on to the carrier of the bike when our confidence is lacking and it looks as though we might hurt ourselves. To be a father must be exhausting yet you never seem tired of us and you do it with as much ease now as you did 23 years ago.
A father’s job is never done. It only changes through the different stages of a child’s life. When we were children, you were our safety. Our harbour, the one thing constant in our life that we knew would always be there. You were the one we trusted to teach us about the world and how it works but at the same time, be there for us as a safe place to fall when the world proved too much for us to handle. You are our safety.
When we were teenagers you were our light house, guiding us now at a further distance through the fog of life. To prepare us for adulthood yet leave us enough space to grow and develop independently. You were no longer the only voice to influence us but you were the one voice we knew only had our best interests at heart without ulterior motives. You are our guide.
As an adult you are my role model. The one I strive to be like. You have strength and dare to stand up for what you believe in and are not afraid to go against the flow. You are brave and can’t let injustice pass by you without doing something about it. You believe in the goodness of people even when they have betrayed you. People say that as a woman the father is the one you compare all future men against, that’s why I blame you for always being single as there is no man in the world that can compare to you. You are my role model.
You are the one who made us home-made bandages to put on our wounds; you are the one who got up early on Saturdays to make pancakes. You are the one who gave us ice cream in your office when we were sad, you were the one who drove us to school and didn’t mind that we kissed you goodbye 2 miles from the front gate so we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves in front of our friends. You are the one who cooked us fried pork and macaroni with tomatoes when mom wasn’t around, you are the one who hands us 20 dollars when the phone bill has just arrived. You are the one we call when we don’t know how to collect unemployment or how to drill into concrete walls. You are the one who thinks we are the most beautiful in the morning when we aren’t wearing any makeup and who thinks the clothes are too small if they are a size 42 (European) or less.
In the dictionary the word “father” is defined as a title of respect for an elderly, honourable man. Now that you are 60 we think that you definitely fall under the category of elderly and even though it may not always show, you always, and will always have our respect!
You are our safety, our guidance and our role model. You are our father and we love you!!