Happy birthday to my dad, whose character can be defined by consistency, work ethic, and commitment to principle. He’s been nicknamed Bob-Dad for 25 years now (my ex-husband nicknames everyone—this one was inspired by Bob-Dog on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood).
He’s had plenty of stress and bad things happen to him in his life, like pretty much everyone who makes it to 70, right?
His mother committed suicide when he was 12. His dad struggled with alcoholism and was married 5 times. My dad lived on his own since age 16.
He got two degrees and navigated B-52′s in the Vietnam War, missing the birth of one of his children.
Wasn’t always around much because of long military hours and long commutes and church service. Worked spraying pesticide in his grandfather’s Santaquin, Utah cherry orchards through college, without a mask, swallowing tons of chemical that the U.S. would eventually ban for excessive toxicity. Still, he’s lived an incredible life and is really healthy.
My dad came to Tennyson’s baseball game on Memorial Day and we had this conversation:
Me: Are you excited about turning 70 next week?
Bob-Dad: Yep. Then I won’t have to do so much stuff.
Me: Yeah? Who’s going to do it, then?
Bob-Dad: I don’t know. Somebody else.
Me: What are you going to do on your big day next week?
Bob-Dad: Maybe same thing I did all last week. I ran 36 miles.
Me, laughing: Why’d you do that? Don’t you usually run about 20?
Bob-Dad: Yeah. I got to Thursday and realized I’d run 6 miles every day, so
I figured I’d just finish out the week.
Me: That’s so cool! What’s the key to living a healthy life at 70?
Bob-Dad: Did I tell you I’m within 5 pounds of my high school weight?
Me: Whoa! So how do you do it? What would you tell people?
Bob-Dad: Get rid of the crap in your diet.
Sorry if you were hoping for something more profound! My dad, like most men of his generation, is not verbally loquacious. Instead, he has about 100 infamous “Bob-Dad-isms,” one-liners he recycles almost daily. He’s a father of 8, grandfather of 29, husband for 48 years, and one of my all-time heroes.
HERE’S a short video of my dad talking about his service to his country, made by my cousin Blake Romney for the Provo Freedom Festival. Happy birthday, Dad, I love you!