Monday, November 30, 2015

Day 2237 - My Dad

It's been seventy years well spent.

On the weekend we got to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday.  It was an Aussie bushed themed event with around 70 people in attendance from Dad's past and present.

Milestone birthdays are not only a great way to celebrate life, love, family and friends, but they're also a great time for reflection.  A reflection on a life well spent.

There is no doubt that Dad is creating an amazing legacy.

During our day-to-day existence it's easy to take for granted what the people around us do as part of their every day.  But a milestone birthday gives us the chance to put a person's life in review.

My kids, for example, didn't really know half of who Pop was until they got to see the summary which was displayed at the party on Saturday night.

The walls were covered in photos labelled by year from Dad's childhood right through to this milestone event.

His days in the army, horse riding, politics, volunteer work, world travel.  All of it displayed from black and white, to blazing colour, with all the fading tones in between.

Then there were the scrapbooks full of newspaper clippings showing his local community profile including his newspaper column.  Until we see it all packaged together like that we forget just how full a person's life can be.

Even I had forgotten just how much my dad has done.  As I jotted down a few notes for my speech on Saturday morning I though "shit, this guys has climbed mountains" (literally). How do we not acknowledge that more?

Whether he's building fences, renovating his house, landscaping my back yard, or building a cyclone proof community centre in a remote area of the Solomon Islands or putting in a water system for a village on Manus Island.  He's always building.

Whether he's climbing Machu Picchu, trekking through the Amazon Jungle, rafting through Thailand, walking around Vietnam, boating through Laos or checking out the Great Wall of China. He's always exploring.

Whether he's running for politics, writing a newspaper column, on the hospital board, as President of Rotary or actively assisting war widows with Legacy. He's always involved.

Whether he's helping to skill the unemployed, on the Anti-Drug Committee, mentoring young achievers, or raising money. He's always helping.

Sometimes he falls asleep in the middle of a party, or a wedding, or a really expensive stage production, but that's OK, he deserves the  nap.

I loved that we got to acknowledge Dad on his 70th birthday while he's still active and being all the things he's always been.

Too often we wait until a person can't do those things anymore before we reflect with sadness on what had been.

Don't wait to celebrate a person's existence.

Celebrate people now while they're still able to enjoy the experience.

Happy 70th birthday Dad! 


  1. That is beautiful Leanne.He has certainly achieved a lot and given a lot xx Happy 70th Uncle Mick

  2. What a full life your dad has led. I'm so glad you were able to celebrate all that he's achieved so far. Lovely family pics.

  3. What a gorgeous post and what a spunky dad. Your family picture is beautiful. Look at those legs on your daughter..amazingly fabulous.

  4. He sounds like a phenomenal man- no wonder his daughter is such a go-getter!

  5. What a full life he has lead. 70 not out.

  6. I was amazed hoe much my dad had done, when we were planning his funeral.
    Good on your for acknowledging it all now. That's just so important.

    1. That's what made me write the post I guess. So many people don't get to hear this stuff until funerals. It's amazing how much people fit into their lives that others don't realise (even the people closest to them).

  7. Your dad sounds amazing and inspiring! He definitely has lived a full life and from the photo he has many more years to live. X

  8. Oh that's fabulous! I love big number birthdays - I think they're even more special the higher you go, so many more memories to celebrate!


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