Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Dear Papa Dean
For his 80th Birthday party on Christmas Eve the family is getting together and offering a note of what we have each learned from Papa Dean. I won't be in attendance due to another family Christmas party but I am sending my letter. Here it is:
I want to be just like you when I grow up. I want to be on the cusp of my 80th birthday and still living a full life. I want to still be married to the love of my life. I want to be retired, but working full time because my work ethic is like no others. I want to have 6 grown children who are all as much the same as they are different; who are all successful in their own way, but don't flaunt it; who are all raising children and grandchildren to be respectful people and productive citizens; who have all had their trials and tribulations but have a level of faithfulness that is to be admired and copied.
I want to attend as many sporting events, band concerts, graduations, choir concerts, high school plays, talent shows, dance recitals, homecoming parades, and any other activity under the sun as many times as humanly possible just so I don't miss out on the events of my children and grandchildren. Even if these events are clear across the country, I want to find a way to get there and make sure whoever else wants to go can get there too. And I want to do this because I LOVE every minute of it.
And when I attend each of these activities, games, meets, events, and performances I want to meet people. I want to stand in line at the front door and know the person next to me. Or know their neighbor. Or know their 3rd cousin who used to live next door to my best friend. And I want to remember that person so that when I sit down in the bleachers or theater seat or lawn chair I can meet someone else that knows someone else that knows that someone else. And I want to say "This is what my Papa Dean always did whenever he met someone."
I want to teach my family to be competitive and appreciate a good win, but be respectful and have great sportsmanship.
I want to have 19 grandchildren (including their spouses) and seven great-grandchildren with 1 one the way. And I want all of those children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to LOVE coming to my house for Christmas. Even when we might have outgrown my home, I want them to still want to come because there is no place else they would rather be on the weekend before Christmas.
And at Christmas, I want to hear my adult grandchildren talking to each other about their fondest memories of my house "I loved the kitchen in the playroom." "Oh, what about the rocking horse?" "and the Lincoln Logs." I want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to remember reading Dr. Seuss books in my basement and playing on the back patio and the carport (YUP, I want a carport) in the summer.
I want to be there on my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren's first (and second, and third, etc) trip to Disney World. I want to be in the pictures pushing the stroller and holding a place on the curb for the Disney Electrical Parade while everyone takes turns with potty breaks and snacks...and more potty breaks because of the snacks.
I want my children to start every other story with "On our way to...." or "we were on our way back from....." because it will mean that we have travelled and shown our children as much of this great country as we possibly can.
and lastly, at the age of 60ish I really, really, really want to be able to beat my 12 year old granddaughter in a foot race down Main Street in Gallatin just to say that I can.
Happy Birthday Papa Dean. I love you.