America, May 4, 2001
My Dad is such a lucky man!
Today is you're birthday and I am at a loss. What do I get the man who has everything? And I do mean everything a man could ask for.
First, you have your health, unquestionably the most important thing. You are so strong and fit it makes me really jealous. There you are, just past 60, and you are running four (4) hour marathons! Look around at your peers. Exactly how many of them can run to the end of the block, much less the end of the 17th Street bridge? Yes, your son can run a 5K in 23 minutes now that he's started to train again, but after 5 miles, he'll be calling a taxi, thank you very much.
Then you have your wealth, which is never enough I know, but very rewarding for you. Look at what you've done so far. You have a new office and a new van, and your company is well in the black. You can name buildings and projects in several states, countries, and continents that bear your mark. Add to that the skills you've taught others along the way, including your son, and you have one hell of a resume!
Also, you have your art, impressive to anyone who drives by our house or looks at my website, in its variations and skill. You can create in wood, paint, film, leather, seashell, sandstone, concrete, steel, and even stained glass. Did Michelangelo have such a varied palette?
Next you have a wonderful wife, who stands beside you through the very think and amazingly thin, always loving you deeply. She is so impressive, even my housemate thinks she's beautiful, and that's before she knows how good a cook and home organizer Mom can be. She's always there for you, probably showing you this very essay on the computer.
Finally, your pride and joy: your most creative and dashing son who is now successful in his own right. Professionally employed, happily married, and socially acceptable, he's undeniably the product of your amazing fatherly knowledge. Knowledge that only now, years after you perfected it, does he realize is very deep and broad.
So Dad, do you see my quandary now? What could I possibly get you on your birthday, when you already have everything and anything a man could wish for?
I guess, just what you deserve, my deep love and respect.