My Dad turned 84 today. It is an incredible blessing for me to celebrate him today. He hasn't had it easy the past few years but you would never know it because he is always smiling, always positive, always full of love.
My Dad has struggled recently with Dementia so communicating with him is not what it used to be. He used to be such a social butterfly and although sometimes he still tries, processing words is something that he struggles with. It's been hard to see him in this condition and especially to see the struggle my Mom faces on a daily basis but it has also been encouraging to see how he remains happy and positive and my Mom remains strong. I believe it is their faith in the Lord that is helping them in this season.
We began our morning taking Dad to Aulani for breakfast. As soon as we got out of our car and the hotel staff saw my dad wearing leis and holding a balloon, they made a birthday button for him to wear.
As we walked through the hotel property he was embraced with birthday greetings from each hotel employee he passed as well as hotel guests and even Mickey and Donald waved as they passed by. It is so wonderful to have such a beautiful Disney hotel so close to home, it is one of our most favorite places to celebrate with breakfast!
Since my Dad also has challenges when he eats, we ordered him a small single pancake. But when our food came he was presented with this stack of fluffy pancakes and our kind server said, "Mickey wanted you to have these instead". Although he couldn't communicate, the look on his face let us know that he was very blessed by this sweet gesture.
After we ate I gave my Dad the card I had created for him. It is a fancy fold card that I made in colors to match one of the newest Starbucks Gift Cards that you'll see on the inside of this card in the next photo. The dimensions of this card are, 4 1/4 x 11 and I scored it at 4 and 7 1/4. Here is what is looks like when it is open.
We had a funny moment when I gave my Dad this card. My Dad carefully opened up the card and began to read the message I had written inside. The last line I wrote was "Happy 84th Birthday". When my Dad discovered his age, his eyes got really big and he exclaimed, "84", "I'm 84"????????
and then he broke out into a hysterical laughter, the same laughter that is so contagious and has made us all laugh and smile for years.
It was a special morning. We enjoyed time with Dad with this incredible view from our table.
I was able to bless him with a card I had stamped with aloha and one that made him laugh and smile.
You see my Dad can't talk like he used to, he doesn't always remember my name but his Spirit has never changed. He can still sing along with the Gaither's when I play their music in the car and he remembers the words. He can still pray and thank God before our meals, something he does automatically. He can still laugh and smile and set a good example of someone that knows that the joy of the Lord is their strength.
Happy 84th Birthday Dad, I love you!