I celebrated my 78th birthday on Thanksgiving Day in Acto, N.J., at my daughter’s home. All three of my daughters—Toni, Kim and Jerri—were present.
I received the usual gifts and my favorite lemon pie was substituted for the traditional birthday cake. My wife and family presented me with birthday cards, with words so moving it almost bought me to tears. These cards are in my column this week.
1. Ever since I can remember, there has been kindness in your eyes, caring in your voice, and love in your smile. These are gifts, important gifts you’ve given, maybe without even knowing it. I’m not sure I’ve ever tried to say how much they mean to me, but your birthday is the perfect time to tell you.
2. DAD, You have always loved me for who I am, but you also loved me for who I can be. And as much as I may have pushed back from time to time, that loving nudge to be more has made a difference in my life. It helps me dream big, dig deep and discover the best in me. Time after time, you’ve been there, cheering me on and keeping the faith and I realize now just how much that’s meant. Good love can take a person far, Dad, I know because of you.
3. A GOOD MAN chooses to do what’s right. He places his faith in God and puts his family first. A GOOD MAN changes the community around him by the light of his own example. A GOOD MAN shapes the lives of his children with the strength of his love. Thank you, dad, for being such a good man, for loving me strong, and raising me right.
4. A grandpa brings to each moment a past filled with memories and values and hopes meant to last. He brings to the family the wisdom he’s learned, the strength he has gained, and the respect that he’s earned. He’s honored, admired, and loved so much, too. We could not ask for a better grandpa than you.
5. It’s been wonderful spending 55 years of the 78 by your side.
6. All of us can be proud of the fact that the best in life is family, friends and good health, that is true richness.
Please remember Kingsley House.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)