Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

October 8, 2009
My Daddy's 66th Birthday

Happy birthday to the man of many names... Mr. Draper, William, Tony, Daddy, Pop, Grandpa, PaPa, T-Tone, Big Tub, Pop-Dukes, Buddy, Unc, Big Tone, Scoopy...... :-)

Sometimes it's hard to imagine that you were ever someone else besides "Daddy", but when you got the job, you ran with it... and never stopped! You somehow managed to find the right balance of unconditional love, compassion, strength, respect and fear (yes, fear!) to raise four children who are all grown up and absolutely adore you.

Yes, we can now laugh about all the whoopings, punishments, endless lectures, and, of course, the infamous "Pulling a T-Tone" events, because we know you did everything for our own good. Sure, we probably thought you were kinda crazy at the time, but we know why you did everything you did raising us. Watching you interact with people as we were growing up, watching the decisions you've made, watching you care about the well-being & education of every child, watching you take a stand-- not only for yourself but for friends, coworkers & even strangers, did not go unnoticed. We're better people for it today.

And now... as Grandpa and PaPa, you have taken it to a "whole...nutha... level!" I like to call it "T-Tone 2.0"... It's so much fun to watch you with David, Tyler, Gabrielle, Olivia, Isaiah & Zachary. I see them look at you the way we did 30+ years ago.... like you're Superman... because, to us, you always have been. Every morning when you wake up and walk 5 miles you give them a gift (and us too!) of a Grandpa/PaPa that will, God-willing, be around for a long, long time.

Thank you for being a daddy, a teacher, a disciplinarian, a leader, a strong man, a role model, and dare I say it.... now, a friend.... but ALWAYS a father first.

I love you!
Spunky (on behalf of Bodena, Dinky & Kimbo)

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