Today is my dad’s 82nd birthday. As usual, he’s not keen to celebrate it. He received flowers from my brother’s family, and rather than admit to his fellow assisted-living facility compatriots what the flowers were for, he told them, “My cat died.” His cat died in the early 1990s. He does, however, keep track of who sends him cards.
The four people who have given me the most in my life are my wife Sarah, Bob Benson (my cohort and mentor here at ABMP), and my parents. My dad, also named Bob, has passed down to me integrity, the importance of vocabulary and the spoken word, a thick head of hair, the value of dedication to a task, and his sense of humor. The last of these attributes has caused him great consternation, as my sons’ quips have for me. Being a wisecrack apparently does not skip a generation.
When I think about growing up, I think of my dad coming home from the office, changing his clothes, and working in the yard. And every weekend he spent working in the yard, unless he was on a plane somewhere.
Bob Benson and I like to use a phrase here at ABMP—“90% of success is showing up.” Bob Sweeney has shown up his whole life.
Happy birthday, Dad.