Bill is 60!
Well...Bill is 60 tomorrow! Regardless, Bill is 60!
You don't know Bill...well let me introduce ya!
This is William, Bill, Bill the Thrill, the Billdozer, my poppa, my popsicle, Bill is my dad. He loves his oreos, shirts that have frockets, and working in his garden. He is also turning 60 tomorrow. I hate that we cannot celebrate his birthday like we had planned. I hate that so many don't get to be celebrated during this pandemic. However, all of this time has given me a chance to go back and look through the decades of photos of my dad.
A few months ago, my aunt told me that she had taken all their family movies from when they were growing up, that were on film, and had them digitized. She asked if I would take the now digitized clips and turn them into a movie of sorts. While I couldn't ever hear what anyone was saying, it was the first time that I have ever seen my dad as a toddler. I don't know that I have ever even seen a picture of him prior to his junior high days.
It was so strange, watching this rambunctious little boy play and wrestle. See him with his grandmother and how kind he was. Seeing him play football, climb on everything (I now think he invented Parkour), and hanging out with his friends was something I always figured he did. But seeing it was a peak into a world I didn't know and didn't know I wanted to know. So many questions popped up...
My dad has always been involved in something. Even when I was growing up, his calendar was often more active than my own. Each season had a different activity. Spring through fall was softball, which meant two nights a week we were at the softball fields. Sometimes that also meant weekends. My sister and I, along with dozens of other kids, roamed the park freely while they played. Winter meant Friday nights were basketball nights. Then, of course, were the dozens of church activities that he was involved in. The fish frys, the raffles, the holiday parties that they would cook for. There was always something and we were always busy.
It was during these activities that he taught me so much. How to be a gracious loser..and a gracious winner. Dozens of life lessons that I pray I don't forget. He taught me how to shake someones hand and how to carry on a conversation. He taught me how to be a good friend and how to always close the gate. He taught me how to fish and how to hunt. He taught me how to be two steps ahead and how to catch up if you're behind.
He showed me grace when I missed the bus and he had to drive me to a track meet. He showed me patience when he was teaching me how to fish, or how properly pull a weed. He continues to show me kindness and love and he leads by example when he puts others before himself. He has been such an example throughout my life and I pray that I become half the human he is.
Just like the times have changed, so have our plans. The birthday trip has been postponed, the normal family dinner will have to wait. As will the gifts, cake, and other festivities. Thankfully...one thing hasn't changed.
Bill is still Bill. He is still has that rambunctious spirit that he did as a child. He still enjoys an ice cold beer with his nachos. He still wants everyone to be their best and will help however he can.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Poppa! Hope you have sassiest 60th year ever!