Today is my father’s 96th birthday! He lives in FL with my stepmom who is 90. They live independently and I’m so proud of both of them because they lead active lives. They still drive and go to the senior center once a week. At their age, many elderly people seem to isolate themselves and seem depressed, but not my parents. They are very upbeat and happy people, which may explain their longevity. They are great role models for how I want to lead my life and I hope I live to be his age and longer!
When I was young I was told how my father arrived in the United States and I am always amazed at my father’s bravery. My father came to the United States as a young boy all by himself. He took a boat from China and arrived in Vancouver, Canada. Then he took a train across the country to Boston, MA to meet up with his father whom he hadn’t seen in years. I can’t imagine being alone and not even knowing the language and embarking on a trip of this magnitude. Whenever I think I can’t do something or I’m too scared to do something, I think about my father’s great adventure.
My father served in the army during WWII and I love to hear him tell stories about this time. He talks about his time in Italy and Africa. Last year we took a cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam IV and he reminisced about being on the Nieuw Amsterdam II that took troops to Africa. I can only imagine the courage it took to be living during these times.
So, I just want to take today to wish my father a happy birthday! I hope he has a day filled with lots of love and laughter.
Happy birthday Pa!