Today is my Dad's birthday.
So this morning on my way in to work, I decided to pick out a card for him. I usually go with the goofy, funny card. You know... one that references boogers or farting or something like that. (Let me explain my father's sense of humour to you. Farts? Are funny. Burping? Hilarious. Bodily functions are the highest form of humour. My brother, father, husband and I once laughed until we couldn't breathe due to a "chain-fart" thing we had going on. Need I say more? No? Okay then.)
Anyway, as I was scanning the cards, the words "For Dad from your daughter with love" caught my eye. I opened it and teared up a little at the mush inside. Not because the card was superbly written. But because, quite simply, I love my Dad. A whole heck of a lot.
When I was in my second year of university, we almost lost him. He caught a strange virus on a weekend, and by the next Thursday he was in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. By the time I got home and arrived at the hospital, I heard the words "If his blood pressure doesn't rise, we may lose him."
We may lose him.
That was just not a possibility. Not from my Dad. The tough, strong big guy who used to hold my arms while I climbed up his belly and did a back flip when I was a kid. The man who would be sure to ask me if I wanted to go with him every time he was going anywhere - even just to the corner store to pick up bread. (I always did.)
The Dad who would let me mold his curly hair into funny shapes or use his belly as a pillow. The Dad who whistled along in a teasing way as I read sappy cards out loud to my Mom on Mother's Day. The one who would "fight" for the last spoonful of the Matterhorn ice cream sundae with me, long after my Mom and brother had given up. And the Dad who would jump into the car and actually chase down the ice cream truck with me.
My Dad: Fun. Amazing. Wonderful Dad.
So the fact that he fought against whatever it was that tried to take him away, and is celebrating his 64th birthday with my family and I today... and the fact that I can keep on making those special Daddy-daughter memories with him for many years to come... well, it makes me cry a little.
And he may try not to show it, but I think he might tear up a little when he reads that card, too.
Happy Birthday, Dad. From your daughter, with love.