Today is my Dad’s birthday.
But he lives a couple hours away from us.
I can’t bake him his favorite cake.
I can’t give him a hug.
I can’t wash his car.
I can’t take him to the movies.
So I will just write about him.
My Dad is one of my heroes.
There is no way to accurately portray in words the impact he has had on my life.
My Dad is one of the strongest men I know. In fact, my Mom is also one of the strongest women I know. They have endured many hardships. Job transfers, job changes, multiple moves, cancer, crazy commutes for work (whether weeks at a time or months at a time to different states or countries), a complete career change, sicknesses and surgeries and everything else have not made my Dad slow down or lose his faith.
He keeps going. He keeps persevering. He keeps pressing on.
And in the midst of it all, he has continued to work extremely hard. My Dad is by far the hardest worker I know. He instilled in me his hard work ethic. We have trouble slowing down, taking it easy, and resting. But when it comes to seeing what needs to be done, doing it, and doing it well, we have that covered! No matter what the task is, my Dad pours his heart into it and works so incredibly hard. He gives everything his all. I’m so grateful for him teaching me that by example.
My Dad loves his family more than anything. Family has always been his top priority. Every job he took was to better provide for us. Every hardship we went through brought us closer together as a family. He (and my mom) has sacrificed so much in order to make sure we were provided for.
My Dad has always been our biggest fan, especially when it comes to sports…even if that meant showing up to a game right after a surgery, still slightly out of it from anesthesia and hunched over from pain, so he didn’t have to miss it. He never wanted to miss a game, concert, play. And if he had to, he always called to let us know he was thinking about us and wishing he could be there.
The older I get, the more I appreciate all he has done for our family. And the more I realize how much he truly cares for all of us and deeply loves us. As we begin to grow our family I can better appreciate the sacrifices he had to make for his own.
My Dad is hilarious. Really. He has always made us smile and laugh. I treasure the funny stories he tells us and I always look forward to seeing him laugh. He has taught me to work hard but also to play hard. Life is too short to not have fun.
He has taught me to be generous. My Dad has always been a generous man. He has helped neighbors, given of his time, and shared his resources. If someone needs help, he just helps them.
I gained a love for traveling and experiencing other cultures early on from him. We’ve been able to see and experience so much. And I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunities he has allowed me to embark upon. He gave me a love for the water. And I began to realize it a little while after moving from Florida. There is just something about being on the water that reenergizes us.
Obviously, this all goes hand in hand with traits of my Mom. They are the best. They’ve persevered, had incredible strength, and always prioritized family.
My family has been through a lot through the years. But the Mitchels have always stuck together and grown from it all. We walked through valleys and climbed over mountains, metaphorically and literally. We don’t give up. We just press on and love each other.
I could say a lot more about my dear Daddy. I will always cherish our relationship. I’m so grateful for the sweet moments we shared at Spencer and I’s wedding last June. And now as we prepare for our baby girl, I am just beyond excited that our little girl gets to have my Dad has her grandfather. She is already so blessed.
I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday!