Happy Birthday, Dad

I stopped at Walgreens on the way home from class today, in search of a birthday card for my father, who turns 63 today. I noticed, a long time ago, that birthday cards are either sickeningly sweet or stupid as hell. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. So I didn't buy a card, because they were all awful, and I know my father will understand.

Plus, he reads the blog anyway, and anything I write here is way more personal than anything an over-priced piece of paper would be.

It's been an interesting year. This time last year the Steelers looked pretty lousy and all but out of the playoffs (kinda like this year). Then they rallied and won eight straight games, including three on the road in the playoffs, on their way to winning the Super Bowl for the first time since 1979. I was able to celebrate a Steelers Super Bowl with my father for the first time, given that I was a year old the last time they won. So that was good.

What else happened in the last year...a lot of time was spent with the grandkids, which my father always enjoys. Being able to watch them grow up has been pretty amazing. And the best part is, they're not his kids, so they get to go home at the end of the day. Being a grandparent means you're around for the fun parts and the parents get to take over for everything else.

He got a new job a week ago. Clerical-type stuff where he's left alone to work at his own pace, which is exactly the kind of job he's wanted since before he decided to retire. I'd say it's going well, but today is only his third day on the job, so it might be a little too soon to tell.

I've gotten that much closer to actually graduating, which I know makes my father proud. Only another year and a half and then I'm outta here. If all goes according to my hastily-designed plan, that is. For a while there I think my father thought he wouldn't be around anymore by the time I got done with school, or that I wouldn't ever get done with school and he'd shuffle off this mortal coil having no idea what I was doing with my life. So, glad to say, barring any unforeseen events, my father will only have to go through one more birthday after this before I graduate.

I get nothin' but support, which is pretty amazing, I think. I've long considered myself pretty damn lucky to have the parents I do. Without them, I've no idea what might have become of me, but I can almost guarantee I wouldn't be finishing school if not for them.

Anyway, it's, you know, been a year. Like every other year, there have been ups and downs, lefts and rights. And life goes on, which is all any of us can really ask for, isn't it?

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