Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad, the year that I was born.
Today is my dad's 65th birthday. YEAH! Happy Birthday! Yesterday I decided to flip through some old photos of the fam growing up and see if I could find a good father-daughter pic for a present. Considering I just got back from Turkey, I found myself noticing so many pictures of us on trips together. One of my consistent childhood memories of my dad was his travels. Our family took advantage of every school break to travel somewhere new. But I also remember, there were mornings when I'd come downstairs for breakfast before school and ask "where's dad?" my mom would tell me "Oh, he's in Haiti, he'll be back next week" or "Oh, he flew to Singapore last night, he'll be home in 2 weeks." I remember thinking how strange, and yet how exciting! I always knew he would return, and with some neat pictures (or souveniers for me) to show me.

I don't think I realized at the time how much my dad's travel impacted who I would become. I, myself, am a traveler. Whether it's a trip for history, for education, for adventure, for rest, for fun, or for serving Jesus through humanitarian help... I watched him go on them all, and he taught me to do the same.

I remember when I was in college, my grandparents (my dad's parents) started just giving me money for birthday gifts and telling me they were giving me "the gift of memories." With it, I was supposed to take a trip to somewhere new. So I guess my dad, in some ways, got his traveling genes from his parents too. Who knows?!

So today, on your birthday, dad, I give you the gift of thanks-- thank you for being part of who I have become-- and a few snapshot memories of travels we've shared together...

Plymouth, Thanksgiving 1980. Dad, Amy, Ally, and little Anna.

Trekking through the jungles in Jamaica, Spring Break 1984. Me and dad, hand in hand on an adventure!

Emerging from the dungeon of Warwick Castle in England, May 1987.

Resting in the arms of my father in Santa Fe, Summer 1992.

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