Sunday was my father's 70th birthday. In an odd move precipitated by my two older brothers and I being unable to come together on a joint birthday day gift/getaway for him (and our mom) all three of us produced something separate and unique for him. First, my youngest older brother took our parents away to a house in the Hudson Valley for a long weekend. They toured West Point, took a boat cruise and relaxed in a backyard that was on a cliff 90 feet above the Hudson River. Wow.
This past weekend my dad and I went away to New York City for the final Red Sox vs. Yankees game in old Yankee Stadium then we flew to Chicago from JKF airport to spend two nights in the windy city. We caught one of the Phillies vs. Cubs games at Wrigley, an amazing place that he'd never been. The Chicago piece of that gift was a surprise. We went to NYC with an extra overnight bag in the trunk for him and I sprung the news at ESPN Zone in Times Square. He was pretty floored.
As an extra bonus we got to see a High School football game at Soldier Field, an event we just stumbled into as we only went there on Saturday morning to see it from the outside and take some photos. But it turned out the 1st game of a Kickoff triple-header was starting in 15 minutes. So I bought a pair of tickets and we watched powerhouse Mt. Carmel dismantle Curie inside one of the most famous football arenas in the country. How cool.
All that was special but my oldest brother may have topped it all. He didn't whisk my dad away anywhere...his gift was enjoyed by all in my parent's living room. My oldest bro had collected old slides, photos and some of our dad's favorite songs and had a DVD made that serves as a 15 minute this-is-your-life style retrospective. We saw our dad from his childhood in West Philly to his time in the service stationed in Alaska to him and our mom meeting and getting hitched and then us as little kids and our kids, his grandchildren. We were all in tears at the end.
My brothers and I are pretty lucky dudes, and I think most of the time we three know that, but what we learned this past weekend is that my dad is also an amazingly lucky guy to have such a beautiful & wonderful wife, three sons and seven grandkids who love him so much as to want to make brand new memories with him and also to capture all the old ones for him to remember forever.
Happy 70th Birthday Dad.