Donna Wheelehon

Rookie (09/15/1967 / Culver City, California)

Dad's 60th Birthday - Poem by Donna Wheelehon

Most of the time, when I write, the words flow easily.
Yet, when I sat down to compose this, I had a problem,
There are so many things to say, how could I possibly say it all.
So, I played it by ear, and with my ears that was not easy. Ha! Ha! Ha! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

In today's busy world,
We seldom take the time to honor the people we hold dear.
Usually, we wait until their death, to honor their life.
Tonight we have the opportunity to honor a very special person.
The man, whom we have all gathered to honor this evening,
was born on January 8,1937, in St. Francios County, Missouri,
to Clifford and Benzina Wheelehon.
He was one of four children –
Betty, Robert and Cliftina, his brother and sisters.

A small family, living in a small house in a small town.
His childhood was short, but not without mischievous moments.
His humble and modest youth was not filled with monetary effects.
The abundance of down-to-earth morals and
unselfish generosity bestowed upon him,
Help provide him with the foundation
On which he stands today.

Having lost his father at a very young age,
his sense of obligation and duty to his mother and siblings,
prompted him to quit school, and go to work.
The different jobs he held and the chores he did,
for only a small wage, if any, varied widely,
from bowling pinsetter to outhouse emptier.
Each strengthening him,
Making him more concentrated.

His hard work never went unnoticed, even today.
He is the proof that the best lessons
are not only learned from books,
but also with each life experience,
though the lessons may be difficult at times,
With determination, courage and strength
Nothing is unattainable.

Assembled here tonight are
Dad’s closest friends and relatives.
We have all changed over the years,
We have gotten a little older, and wiser, too.

Through all the changes of our lives and lives around us,
The one thing that has not changed is Dad.
Oh, sure he is a little grayer, (That is if you can find his hair.)
His appearance has changed but he has not.
He is still
The adviser, the teacher, the counselor,
The listener, the helper, the friend,
The husband, the father, the grandfather
And the icon
We have looked to all these years.

The first person to offer
Assistance, guidance or support
But the last to ask for
Assistance, guidance or support.
Even though we each
Have a different relationship with Dad,
We can all agree, just simply,
That he is the best.

We all should take notice of
His life and easygoing spirit,
to use him as an example of what we all should be.

Though no one is perfect, we all have our flaws, Dad too,
but his carefree disposition makes those flaws indistinguishable.

The most important lesson
That I have learned from Dad is:
Always do your best,
no matter what it is,
be happy with what you have,
and learn everything you can.

We, Debi, Linda and myself,
Want to thank you for all the times
You took us to school,
for the unending driving lessons,
for maneuvering the boat all day, just so we could ski,
and for the exhausting bicycle lessons.
For letting go
When you knew we were ready;
For being close enough to catch us,
If we began to fall;
for watching intently as we slowly rode away;
And for still being there
When we needed to come back.

Now I want to honor another person,
she is the one who is responsible for this fabulous party,
my mother, Judy.
Dad will agree with me as I say,
that your continuing support and
Your unconditional love
Is a major factor in him
Being who he is now.

Let us lift our glasses to the man of the hour,

You always said that you wouldn’t see 60,
Well, we are all here to
‘Show Ya’! !

May you have what you want,
may you want what you have,
may you receive what you wish,
and may all your dreams come true.

Happy Birthday! ! !
January 8,1997

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Poem Submitted: Friday, July 31, 2009

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