A long, long, long, long time ago (59 years ago to be exact), in the little town of Whitney, South Carolina, a baby boy was born. His family didn't have much and so he learned at a very young age how to work hard. His daddy drank too much which made him sad and he learned that he didn't want that for his future wife and kids. The little boy got older and kept working really hard. He was an athlete. A wrestler and a football player. In fact, he was the best wrestler in the entire state! Newberry College begged him to come to his school and so he did. One day, he saw a pretty lady practicing her piano and he ran into the room and laughed at her and that annoyed the pretty lady. But the pretty lady saw him again and decided she liked him. They got married and both became school teachers. He taught psychology and his students adored him. And, because he was such a hard worker, he decided to start his own painting business. His business grew and grew and grew. After 20 years of teaching, he decided to resign and put all his hard-working energy into his painting business. He and his wife had a beautiful daughter (that's me!!!) and a handsome son. He taught his children the value of hard work. He taught them to give sacrificially. He taught them to have a heart for widows and children in need. He was a strict daddy and sometimes he could give a look that made his children poop their pants. His children's friends were scared of him because he was a wee bit intimidating but he was also super, super, super loving and gentle. He said, "I love you" about a million times a day to his children. He gave really big hugs. His children grew up. And one day, his daughter came to him and said, "I have found someone that reminds me of you! He's giving and loving and he works hard and he loves Jesus and I want to marry him!" And so he walked his daughter down the aisle. She had three children and he became a Papa. And now he is teaching his grandchildren all the same things he taught his children. To work hard. To give sacrificially. To say "I love you".
I love you, Dad! I couldn't be more proud of the father you are to Kevin and me, the husband you are to Mom, the father-in-law you are to Nathan, the Papa you are to Landon, Reagan, and Connor, the friend you are to so many, the representative you are to Spartanburg County, and the example you are to everyone you encounter. Happy Birthday!