Sunday, March 14, 2010

Celebrating my Father's 80th Birthday

This year has been my year to learn about priorities. On this certain Sunday, my plan was to blog about the Miami International Distance Triathlon. My mother, however, had other plans. She put together a huge 80th birthday celebration in the Abaco Islands and scheduled it this weekend. I had to make a choice. Once again, my family took priority and we headed to the Islands much to the joy and happiness of my Dad.

When I tell people I am going to the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas, they usually get a little jealous. To them, it is a tropical paradise. To is definitely that but I also consider it my second home. I made my first trip to the Bahamas in the playpen on the back of a 38 foot boat. For over 40 years, my father spent every single summer and more in the Bahama islands. When he got a little too old to handle his larger boat, my father and mother decided to buy a second home in the Abacos and now they spend some of the year in the tropics.

There were no formal gowns or big time ballrooms set for this 80th birthday. This was a laided back affair that captured the spirit of my father's life. Surrounded by the children that he raised and videos from his grandchildren, our gift to him was a video presentation of the highlights of his life. I had seen a lot of the footage but I still cried. This man has accomplished so much. Judge, attorney, businessman, father, devoted husband, philanthropist, community leader and church elder, he really has climbed many mountains, helped many people, and succeeded in so many areas of life.

I guess that is why, sometimes, its hard being his only daughter. My parents had high expectations for me as I was growing up. I don't really think that I took the path they expected. I don't think they ever dreamed their daughter would do half the things that I do today and one thing is for certain: they are proud of me but they do NOT approve of my triathlon interests. After my last attempt at Ironman, they told me it was foolish to ever attempt anything of this sort ever again. This is when I stopped telling them about my training or about my desire to complete this goal. They just don't understand and at their age, it is truly unfair of me to expect them to change.

So, I never told them I cancelled a race to be in the Bahamas this weekend. It was not important. This celebration WAS. I am so glad that I shared this milestone with my Dad. It was a weekend I will remember forever.

Like my husband's 25th college reunion, this was a once in a lifetime weekend. There will be other Miami International Triathlons...but only one 80th birthday.

Priorities...I am learning to determine what is important and what can be attempted later. I believe God is teaching me patience: one thing I have very little of!!

1 comment:


Sweetie, IT is YOU!!! (you had no doubts?)

My dad turned 80 a couple years back... cherish the days you have together, you never know when they will end.

This "whole tri thing" we do is about the healthiest thing you can do as a pass time. Tell Mom I said so