This post is “re-cycled” from last year, however everything in it is still valid so I believe it bears repeating. I have “tweaked” it so the dates are correct.
Rick’s dad, Russell is having a birthday today. He and our daughter Megan blew out the candles of his birthday cake together a few years ago.
Here is Russell and his brother Rodger on our trip to Indiana and Kentucky two years ago. They are standing in front of the military memorial in their little town. They both served in the Air Force and if you look closely you can see Russell’s name listed.
And here is a shot of Russell holding our son Alex. That has been a few years ago!
Russell is one of the kindest, most likable people I know. He truly has a gift for making friends wherever he goes. Let me illustrate: Several years ago after Russell retired, he came to work for our company to do some bookkeeping. He managed several time-consuming tasks and was a real help to us. One day when he was off I took over his business errands route; to the post office, bank, supply house, etc. Every place I went people were looking past me to see “Where’s Russell?” When I got to the bank I was in a hurry and went to the drive-thru instead of going inside like Russell did. The bank teller came over to the drive-thru window with the standard question of the day “Where’s Russell?” She had a bouquet of Chocolate Tootsie Pops for him and was so disappointed to see me instead. I mentioned that I too appreciated Chocolate Tootsie Pops and would be happy to deliver them. She politely declined and said she would give them directly to Russell herself (she must know about my chocolate addiction). My point here is what I viewed as a list of annoying tasks to be completed as soon as possible so I could rush off to my next thing to do, Russell viewed as an opportunity to make friends and visit with them. And people love him; the more people I meet in life the more I think that trait is a rare gift. Seriously folks – when is the last time the bank teller had a single Tootsie Pop especially for you, much less a whole handful?
I have been a part of Russell’s family for 33 years, and I can honestly say that from the first moment I met him he has made me feel welcome. I have appreciated that so much over the years. He is a great role model for my children and the rest of our family.
So, Happy Birthday Russell! Though I can’t be there with you in person, I am thinking of you and sending you best wishes.
Did I mention that Russell is 81 years old today? An accomplishment in itself!