Eighty Ways from Sunday

By Andrea Freedman

A few weeks back, I shared my dread with you about my upcoming 50th birthday. One thing I didn’t tell you, however, partly because I knew he too was not looking forward to it, is that my dad will also be reaching a milestone just two days before me when he turns 80 years old.

I have made a conscious effort over the last couple of months not to mention it, but now that the day is almost here, I hope he won’t mind me celebrating his originality by sharing some of his famous sayings:

“He’s lucky his father was born before him.”

Think of that entitled little jerk you work with, or the pompous braggart who is only too happy to rub his wealth in others’ faces. These people may act like they are “all that”, but the reality is that much of this type of person’s success has little to do with him personally, but rather because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has reaped the benefits of his father’s hard work.

“There’s no such thing as being too careful”.

Although at times I have accused my dad of being overly cautious and over-protective, I cannot count how many times I have stopped what I was doing and heeded his warnings, especially since having had a terrible accident a few years back. Time is never wasted by taking a moment to ensure one’s safety.

“It’s not always the decision you make, but the fact that you made a decision.”

On many occasions over the years when I have hounded my poor father relentlessly for advice when I have struggled with making a decision, big or small, his words helped me come to my senses and get off the proverbial fence. Sure enough, after I had finally made my choice, the relief I felt was just as immense as my insightful father had told me it would be.

“I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.”

As someone who has always suffered from insomnia and fitful, troubled attempts at sleep, these simple words actually help me calm down and fall back asleep when I wake up with disturbing thoughts in the middle of the night.

“Take your rubber stamp and mark him ‘paid’.”

This is definitely one of my favorites and has even been used by one or two of my close friends. Sadly, there will be times in life when we need to deal with disappointment from others, and friendships or other relationships coming to an end as a result. It is not always easy to accept, but once we do, boy does it feel good to do exactly as my dad suggests – imagine that you are marking a person “paid in full” and put them and the grief they caused you out of your minds for good!

“Excuse me for speaking while you were interrupting.”

Never one to be cut off in the middle of a story or when telling a joke, no matter how long it takes, when someone else tries to intercept before he is completely finished talking, this is an expression he says that almost always results in laughter, and at the very least, stops potential interrupters in their tracks.

“Don’t ever lose your sense of humor!”

This is by far one of the best pieces of advice my dad has ever given me. No matter what happens, even in times of sorrow, his sense of humor and positive attitude always makes me feel better. When I was very young, I did not think anyone nearly as funny as my dad even existed. He was born with the gift of laughter, the ability to make jokes and make his friends and family happy. We understand each other’s senses of humor so well that sometimes I feel he is the only person who will really appreciate it when I make a joke. Even as I write this and think about him, I do so with a smile on my face.

Besides all of his sayings, I have also incorporated some of his daily rituals into my own regular routine, such as his habit of making nightly notes and lists of what he needs to do the next day. As much as my mom teases us about it, it has proven to be my savior on many occasions.

I could go on and on about my dad, what a great guy he is and how all the many different ways his words help me when it comes to dealing with everyday life, but if I do, before I know it his next birthday will be here. I wish there were 80 different things I could do to wish him happy birthday but I thought the least I could do was tell him I’ve been paying attention!

For everyone out there lucky enough to have a dad, even if you sometimes laugh at what he says, don’t forget to stop and think about the importance of his message. On April 25, my dad’s 80th birthday, “do yourself a favor” and take a moment to reflect on some of this wise man’s words. It could be the most valuable time you spend all day.♥


Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2016


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on April 24, 2016, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Very touching! I’m sure your dad is very proud of you!!


  2. Teresa Dattilo

    What a beautiful, heart warming tribute to your father!!!! It made me smile and think of my Dad! I hope your Dad has a wonderful 80th birthday and many more to come!!


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