In so many things, my Dad is the standard for me on how one ought behave. Dad is kind and giving and loving, and he helps people whenever he can. If Dad's feelings are hurt, he doesn't hurl invective. I think he examines his own behaviour and makes sure he's behaved honorably, and he lets the bullshit slide right off. Dad is a strong man and not to be trifled with, and he's confident in that and doesn't need to abuse to feel like a big person. Dad also NEVER berates his children or Mom. Dad says what is right and just, and would tell us if he thought we were making a mistake, but there was never a raking-over-the-coals ordeal where he sought to make us feel bad for being so very, very naughty and a tedious waste of his time.
As for not-to-be-trifled-with, I think I have a certain confidence that can only come of having such an exceptional man for a father. It's not just me who feels that way, either. Dad is a pillar of strength to everyone who knows him. He has a giant heart and has kept countless people afloat throughout his life. I know that with all his heart, Dad loves me very much and that nothing I ever did would change that. I know that [despite my self-indulgent vulgarity] my default setting must be to be the decent, honest person Dad taught me to be.
I also know that under fire, Dad has my back, every single time. I know that if any evil ever befell me, he'd make Charles Bronson look like tadpole class in the bringing-perps-to-justice department.
Maybe that's the key to what's wrong and what distinguishes a man like Dad from other types of people. Dad is strong, decent, and bad medicine to bad people, whereas people who abuse are thuggish and ultimately feel weak and powerless. Dad's strong enough to be a gentle man.
Dad has said so many times that it made him feel good that I was always so proud of him. He's said when I was little bitty, he'd come to pick me up from school in his dirty work uniform and that I was gleeful to see him and wasn't ashamed of him being all grubby from work. Well, you can't polish a turd(even if you can get a dull shine on one), but a little honest dirt is not going to sully a diamond, and that's what he is to everyone who knows him. Dad's a sparkling, brilliant diamand, and oh so precious to me. How could I not be proud of the best father in the world?
Happy birthday, Dad. Thank you for being so decent and loving and supportive. Thank you for being exactly who you are and not being some soulless business mogul or some Hollywood person. Thank you for showing me and countless others what a person ought to be. Thank you for making such a wonderful home and life for us-- you are a jewel. I love you more than words could ever convey.