Today is my dad's 79th birthday. November is a big birthday month for our family. My niece Sami turned 19 yesterday and my brother Mikey hit the big 5-O on the 10th. Every year I think of my brother and father arguing about aging and what constitutes "middle age" when their birthdays pop up. I just realized that this year, I am half my dad's age, and my niece is half of my age. My poor brother has reached the exact age that he deemed my father to be "over the hill" and "well past middle aged" while I have reached what my brother (who was probably still a teenager at the time) defined as middle aged. How time flies.
My brother, my niece and my father are all wonderful people. You'd like them. I know this for a fact.
Sami is beautiful and smart. She's a wonderfully caring person. Her friends and family are some of the world's luckiest people because she loves them fiercely and would do anything for them. She just started college this year and a whole bunch of new folks are going to find out how amazing she is. She has the potential to do anything she puts her mind to and I know that her future will be bright.
My brother is one of my favorite people in the universe. I've always looked up to him and admired him. When I was a kid I wanted to be anywhere he was because he just seemed like the coolest person in any room. I still have (and wear) old t-shirts he wore in high school that he told me would be "worth lots money" when he was famous. He has always been there for me. He even dried my tears and drove me across the country to start a new chapter in my life when I had hit rock bottom. I've no doubt that if I needed him he'd be there for me again, in a heartbeat.
Then there's my daddy. Joe. My wonderful, witty funnyman. My father could have a conversation with anyone. He is the guy that would talk your ears off with stories of news, history and current events, and listen and marvel at the tales you told him return. He has a way of making you feel like the most exciting and interesting individual he's ever met, and you're likely to become one of his stories because you're that special. He met every challenge with the most unwavering dedication and took pride in the simplest tasks. He exemplifies love every day and I am the luckiest kid to get to call him Dad.