Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad....

He was born on June 25, 1928 and grew up in Lexington, Missouri. Oldest of two, the only boy. His father immigrated from an island off the mainland of Greece. His mother, born and raised in Lexington.

As a young boy, he developed meningitis with resulting blindness. But that didn't stop him! He grew and studied and maintained his independence for a long, long time.

He taught me much over the years. He encouraged my independence, my education and my writing. He taught me not to fear hard work. I learned both through his example and by his lack of it.

Little by little, he gave away his joy to depression, though you could catch a glimpse of it again in the presence of his children and grandchildren. He had a deep, joyful belly laugh that would compete with any Santa Claus, but he had an equally deep melancholy that could invade and overcome the room. His presence was felt either way.

He loved birds, and storms, travel and world cuisine - though, try as I might, he'd never try sushi! Not even his own words - "How do you know you don't like it if you don't try it?" - couldn't win him over to the experience.

Recently, I found a few letters he had written to me while I was at camp and in college. I literally LAUGHED OUT LOUD and the absurdity that was his sense of humor.

He died several years ago. Even in his death, he taught me: Of love, of peace and of wisdom.

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Know that you are missed.... and loved.

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