Today is a very special day.
Yes, it’s Friday the 13th.
But it’s also my dad’s eightieth birthday! So as a special birthday wish I wanted to break from my traditional DIY and design posts to share something from my heart.
A very special message for my dad.
One that wouldn’t fit in one card.
Some thoughts that sometimes I don’t always say but am always thinking. Now that I have two busy little boys and two active dogs not all my thoughts or sentences get finished.
To My Father on His Eightieth Birthday
Thank you for being the best and most supportive father any girl could ask for. In you, I’ve had such a great teacher and role model. I know you think I get everything from mom, but there is so much in me that is you too. Your sheer determination and entrepreneurial spirit. Maybe one day my business will be as successful as your restaurant. A girl can dream right?
You’re an amazing father and grandfather and so amazing with our fur babies, too, especially, Max. He loves cuddling on your lap.
Over nearly 40 years you’ve taught me so much. Too many things to put in one blog post or letter. But here are some of them:
Family is the most important thing.
You always made a point to be there for us. Family trips to the Cape. I remember fondly our strolls through woods. Skating on frozen ponds in Andover followed by the obligatory cup of tomato soup after. Our ice cream dates, where you’d always have to lick around the cone to stop it dripping all over my hands. I remember you always being at every single one of my plays in high school even though the restaurant was so busy. You’ve instilled this in me. Family is everything.
The secret to success isn’t the person who is the smartest or the most gifted but the person who is persistent. I’ve seen you face all kinds of adversity from trying to turn around a struggling business to fighting health problems. You know my favorite quote of your’s is:
“If you throw enough mud,
Some will stick.”
This saying is on my office wall and also is inscribed on a bracelet. A daily reminder to keep trying, even if I get off track or knocked down. I will never give up.
I’ve watched you persist and succeed.
Time Goes Quickly
If feels like just yesterday when we were on Rye Beach playing in the sand, running down the beach. It feels like a moment ago when you were teaching me to ride a bike. I remember being so scared but you running with me to catch me if I fell. Do you remember the first time you took me to the driving range to teach me how to play golf. It feels like only yesterday John was born and you became a grandfather but it was almost 11 years ago. I remember you visiting every day at first. You and mom helping so much with tiny John. I’d look forward to each visit, needing adult conversation and advice. Each day seemed to go so slowly especially when I didn’t know anyone or have mom friends. You said to me, “Dani, you’ll wish for these moments back when they grow older.” You know what, Dad, I do. I can’t believe both my boys are already too big to hold in my arms.
Dreams Come True
In your lifetime I’ve witnessed so many of your dreams come true.
You loved golf and through lots of practice you became a great golfer.
You always dreamed of owning a restaurant. Guess, what you checked that off your list. I’m not sure you knew exactly what you were getting into with all the long hours and stress but over 11 years you made Baldwin’s such a special place. You made the best drinks and you and mom were the heart and soul of the restaurant. So many great memories and so much hard work.
You dreamed of living by the sea.
Your home in Scituate Harbor right on Lighthouse Road was so beautiful and I know you enjoyed having the ocean in your backyard. We have such special memories of staying with you and delicious grilled meals on the back patio.
I know dreams come true because I’ve seen all your’s come to life.
Girls Are Equal to Boys
I kind of never thought about this growing up. I didn’t know in life there might be times where I was overlooked for a position or not qualified because I was a girl. You always valued my viewpoint and encouraged me in my education. I remember our trips to look at colleges, getting lost in Yonkers (yup, I can’t read maps) and the whole family including the dog coming to Mount Holyoke College, the oldest women’s college. You may not have realized it but you raised a feminist. 😉 I also remember you brining me to the UK for my year abroad. What fun we had with Adrian soaking up the sites of Wales, Yorkshire and London before heading to Bristol. I’m so glad I had my safety net there for my first week in England. I thought it would be just like America because we all speak English but it was so veery different and took some time to get acclimated and make friends.
Old House Love.
I like to think I got my love of old houses from you and mom. Watching you renovate the cape on Bartlet Street and fix up the colonial mansion into a restaurant has left an indelible mark on my being. Old homes are the best!
Be Kind. Be Humble.
Kindness and humility go a LONG way in life. You have so much of both. You’re so giving and kind. Many people don’t realize all you have accomplished.
It’s Never too Late to Dream a New Dream
Watching you have a second career after you lost your job taught me it is never too late to dream a new dream or take on a new challenge. You redid that restaurant until it sparkled then you opened and worked so hard morning, noon and night. You taught yourself how to run a successful business and how to bartend despite not drink yourself.
Dad, you are truly amazing. I could go on and on and on. There’s so very much I’ve learned from you. I love you and so do Luke, John, Conor and our two fury babies, Max and Poppy.
Happy Birthday to you!