My dad turns 90 on Monday.
While time has robbed him of his sight and ability to move the way he once did, he’s as lucid as he was 50 years ago, and uses his voice in simple, direct conversation that leaves no doubt where he stands. That we could all live the life he has would be a gift beyond our wants.
So, that life, that 90 years; what a remarkable time to be alive. Born in 1921, he’s seen roads turn from dirt to pavement, the depression from a child’s eyes, World War II, Korea, the Cold War and the falling of the Berlin Wall.
He remembers Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and has opinions on each.
He’s seen a man on the moon, Vietnam, Martin Luther King Jr., The Beatles, Radio, Television, Computers and the Internet.
He’s seen polio almost eradicated and AIDS. He’s seen x-rays used to size shoes and MRI’s to see inside you.
He’s lived through Albert Einstein and Madam Curie.
He went from the party line phone to the cell phone.
He went from aspirated engines that needed cranking to start to fuel injected engines that can be started from inside the house.
He went from son, to husband, to father, to grandfather. His hair went from black to gray to now almost white.
And, yet, when you talk to him, he says it’s a blur, that life moved so fast that he wonders where it went, like some time lapse photography.
In his lifetime, there has been more change in the world than happened in the entire time of man.
He knows his time is close to an end, but he lives everyday the best he can. There is one thing that hasn’t changed in my 53 years of being his son. I’m proud to call him my father, my dad.
Happy Birthday, Dad.