Happy Birthday Dad!

How many people do you know who are turning sixty and seem to be excited about it? Well, today's my Dad's 60th birthday and his attitude is impressive. He says things like, "Well, consider the alternative!" and "That's young! I'm planning on living to 100."

My dad almost didn't live this long. A few years ago he got sick. And kept getting sicker. We didn't know what was wrong, for such a long time, and the doctors kept missing it too. After a scary turn of events that kept getting scarier, he was diagnosed with constrictive pericarditis. Which none of us had ever heard of. Seems we all have a protective little sac around our hearts called a pericardium. But sometimes, say after a bout of bronchitis or such, the pericardium can become affected. His did. And it started to calcify. Eventually the pericardium that was supposed to protect my Daddy's heart had turned into a little cage...a hard shell. Which had to be chipped away in surgery. Considering - again - the risks now, I feel especially lucky to have my Dad.

So over the years since he made it through that scary time, and the recuperation that followed, my Dad has started experiencing life differently than before. He sees, now more than ever, the Huge Gift that his life is...that our lives are...and he's taking full advantage. You can read about his Very Big Deal hike to the top of Table Rock State Park last month, at his new blog, Auxanomen.

Meanwhile, I want to say I love you to my Dad, and that I'm really, really glad he's "only" 60 now. I hope it's the best birthday ever!