APRIL, “HAPPY 43RD BIRTHDAY!” I could never forget your birthday and the day you were born. I have never missed a birthday in your life and never will as long as I live. I owe you a bucket of chicken!
I do not want to miss the chance to say Happy Birthday and I love you! I watched you grow and mature each year. I could not be any prouder of the lady you have become.
April, I have a lot in my heart and on my mind, so there are a few things I want to say to you. My mind goes way back before you were born. When I found out your mom was pregnant with you, I was the most proud man in the world. I could not wait for you to be born, so I could hold you in my arms. It was the same when your brother was born.
Now, here you are a grown woman and living on your own. It is always hard for a parent to let go. It is normal for a dad to want to keep you safe and protect you. No matter how much you grow or how old you get, you will always be, “DADDYS LITTLE GIRL.”
I know there comes a time when you become an adult, live your own life, and make your own choices. Every parent fears hurt, pain and heartache for their children. Parents still spend many sleepless nights, begging God to keep their children safe.
We never stop asking God to watch over you, and asking Him to put angel’s around you for protection. We ask God to do, what we cannot do.
I sit back and look at your childhood, teenage years and into adulthood. It was not easy for any of us, especially you. You did not come with an instruction book or manual that said, “Do this or do that.” It might have been easier if there had been one. Too many things were the trial and error method.
The only instruction manual I had was the Bible, and I think it was the best one. Dr. James Dobson’s (Focus on the Family broadcast) and materials really did help. I freely admit, I made enough mistakes with you and your brother. There were things I learned raising you, that I did not want to make those same mistakes with Tony.
The problem was that you were 5 years older than Tony, and he wanted to be just like you. Somewhere along the line I think he forgot that. You got your share of getting your butt whipped. 98% of those, you deserved. The whipping with the hair brush, I truly REGRET. I have apologized more than once for it.
I made mistakes with you honey.I cannot go back and correct them. Every parent has regrets and ask themselves, “WHAT IF?” When you were older and left home, I went nuts more than once. Not knowing where you were. If you were safe, hurt, abducted, or worse.
I also look back at the things I believed in and hope I did right. I wanted a Christian home where God could be real. I wanted family Bible study and prayer each day. I kept you all in church because it was and still is important.
I drove you and your friends to school. I always had prayer with you, before you got out of the car.
April, I tried to set a foundation in your life and your brothers life, built on Christ and the Bible. I have always wanted God to be real in your life. THAT IS NOT A MISTAKE. I do know there are things that you will never get away from. I hope they remain in you, it is part of me.
I will never forget children’s church or the first time you stood up to sing in church. All the people could say was, “WOW.” They were blown away. They could not believe this was the voice of a 12 year old. God gave you a natural talent to sing and yes, I did push it (even though you liked rock and roll). I wanted to develop it. And of course, you got all of your good looks from ME–HA HA!
I will always remember you sleeping. I would come in, kneel down at the foot of your bed, and pray for you. I did it with Tony also. I remember you and I up late, many times, talking and using pen and paper to write out your problems. I still miss that honey.
Now you and I just do, “an all nighters”, on the phone talking and sharing! That means so much to me. I want to be so close to you, more than you know. I want to be there for you. I also recognize, you are grown and have other friends.
I have so many proud moments of you that I cannot list them all. I bet you have forgot when I took you to the haunted house and you and I worked in it for a whole week. I am afraid if I list them all, it will give you the big head, just kidding. I take great satisfaction in knowing that you and your brother are both Christians. I only wish you shared it more.
If I had a dollar for every prayer I have prayed for you and your brother, I would live in the biggest mansion and it would be paid for. I have never stopped praying and I never will.
April, you have a very big heart and a lot to give. You are kind, loving, caring and compassionate. You forgive easily even when you have been devastated by others.
You have been robbed of all you had and your life savings stolen. Your furniture and house destroyed. You have been cheated, used and abused by others. All because you felt sorry for others and trusted them. You have dated some real ” GOOBERS” and been used by them . But you keep going.
You always try to look for the good in others and not judge them. You have been a friend to those, that other people would not want for a friend. You have given to others, when you did not have it to give. You have given when they swore they would pay you back, but you knew they would not.
YOU HAVE GIVEN SO MANY TIMES, WHAT YOU DESPERATELY NEEDED.
You have spent night after night listening on the phone or in your house, to other peoples problems. They always want to carry their problems to you. They know you care and will be there for them. You have given up tons of sleep to counsel others and help them.
I cannot complain too you about it. You saw me do the same thing for too many years. Maybe I taught it to you indirectly. I worry, because I know the toll it takes on your mind and body.
HOW COULD I NOT BE SO PROUD OF YOU!
I have watched you do without when you had real needs, but you were always giving to others. God has seen this and He will reward you for it.
You are stubborn and independent like me. You will not ask anyone for anything. I know you would go hungry first, before you would ask anyone for food or anything. You have learned too many valuable lessons the hard way.I hate that for you. It hurts me more for you, than you know. I would give you or your brother anything I have.
You have already had all the “Users”, to date or be friends. The one’s that only cared about SELF. They would drained you dry, then dumped you. But you still considered them a friend. You have shown more Grace and Compassion in this respect, than I could.
I keep praying God will send you the right one. The one who will love and cherish you for who you are. The right one to share your life with. I want you to have a husband and good man to grow old with. I know your hopes, your dreams, and what you want. I know it is not easy waiting and living alone.
I do believe God has the right man for you, the one that will make you happy. When he comes into your life you will know he is the right one. You have already had all the “Users.” The right man will make you forget all the other ones.
April, I only want you to be blessed and prosper. I want you to be happy, smile and laugh. I want someone for you who truly loves you, and wants to share and build a life with you. That is all I want for you and Tony both.
April, I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART AND EVERYTHING IN ME! YOU AND YOUR BROTHER BOTH. I WOULD DIE FOR EITHER ONE OF YOU AND NEVER BLINK AN EYE.
I have prayed one “SPECIAL” prayer for many years. I have prayed this: “GOD, PLEASE DON’T LET ME DIE UNTIL I SEE BOTH OF MY CHILDREN SERVING YOU.” I don’t know if that will happen. I am old and I feel my age. I have been blessed with good health so far. I know I have more days behind me, than I do ahead of me.
I worry about you and Tony both. I worry a lot honey, but all I can do is put both of you in God’s Hands. That is the best place, for you all to be. You and Tony both need to be closer. You family is slipping out into eternity and all you will have is each other.
April, I do not have much to offer or leave you and Tony when I leave this world. I wish I had more to give and make your life’s easier. Every parent wants this for their children.
My website here may not seem like much, but it is part of my HERITAGE to you and Tony. It contains my writings and a large chunk of my heart. I hope my writings will mean something to others and help them.
Most of all honey, I love you and Tony more than you can ever imagine. I have been so blessed and honored to have both of you for my kids. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AND TONY. I AM SORRY FOR NOT TELLING YOU ALL MORE OFTEN.
I have gone through the good, the bad and the ugly with both of you. We have butted heads too many time, but I NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU ALL AND NEVER WILL STOP. I am old, stubborn and opinionated, especially when it comes to the Bible.
Always remember I said this: “IF GOD SAYS SOMETHING IS RIGHT, THAN IT IS RIGHT. IF GOD SAYS, SOMETHING IS WRONG, THEN IT IS WRONG–END OF STORY.” In the end that is what we will all be judge by regardless of what anyone thinks or says.
I have told you before, The Lord is coming soon and the Rapture will take place. If you and Tony are ever going to serve the Lord, it better be NOW. Both of you need to use the gifts and talents God gave you. You need to use them for Him. Both of you need to be in a good Bible believing church. DO NOT WAIT AND PUT IT OFF.
God honors those that honor Him! If you want God to bless you, then use the gifts and talents He has given you.
April, I write this on your birthday so you will know that I love you and I am thinking of you. I wanted to share my heart with you. I am truly honored and blessed to be your dad.
You are different than your brother. You are two different individuals. I want you both to know that I love you EQUALLY. I do not have a favorite and never have. You are both my favorites.
I hope and pray you will smile, have some fun and celebrate your birthday with good friends. I do not think all of my prayers have been in vain, but will be fulfilled.