PAPA TURNS 82!!!!!

Today is my Papa’s birthday.  Hmmn, that’s nice (you may think) – a birthday, whoopie. But celebrating my Papa’s birthday is  kinda a Big Deal, cause each day around here life (especially his) is a gift.

Way back in 1980 (a long time ago) the Mayo Clinic docs diagnosed Papa with Multiple Sclerosis. As he moved from a cane to an Amigo-drive-yourself cart, to a large wheelchair, to total bedfast living the past 10+ years, it turns out he actually has a rare quadriplegia disorder that caused his paralysis from the neck down.

He can’t move anything except his head & his mouth, which he uses often to write zillions of words using voice-activated computer software for his books & blog (click to check it out here)… (& click here to learn more about him in a past blog from me …)

The thing is, my Papa was quite athletic in his day (he played high school football outside Pittsburgh where football is HUGE.) When we were little, he was into running – 5 miles every day in his flashy jogging suit emblazoned with “Temple Maintenance” on the back.  In the winter my younger brother & I counted Papa’s laps as he ran up & down the boardwalk by the beach where we grew up.

Getting hit over the head with a disease & loss of mobility & ability was definitely hard – but my Papa, well, he kept on keeping on, by the grace Of God. As he continues keeping on even though he is in pain 24/7.

The docs didn’t think he’d make 70 (most quads don’t) but there is so much for Papa To Do (people to meet, books & blogs to write) that each day we celebrate the gift of life as Papa continues to bloom as a Rose in the Rubble of the disease around him. So, he’s a masculine rose (!) handsomely emanating joy-filled aromas around the thorns that bind his body – but not his spirit.

“Dick rocks!” (as the young interns he mentors claim.)

So here’s a Birthday Prayer…

Oh Lord,  as we celebrate 82 years for Papa today

we want to say a Big THANK YOU for the Gift of Life …

… and FOR…

… Your Love in Papa, shared in so many ways

… Your Grace in Papa, to face many challenging days

… Your Peace in Papa (most of the time!)

… Your Joy in Papa that despite pain rises sublime

… Your Wisdom in Papa, the Whole Word for the Whole World

     (the truths in Your Holy Scriptures  so boldly unfurled!)

Oh Lord, we thank you for Papa, his life

… (& for giving him such a dear Wife!)..

Please bless him this day, this week, this year

As we hold the 4 Secrets he says about You so dear:

I’m not, but He is.
And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I can’t, but He can.

And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I don’t want to, but He wants to.

And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I didn’t, but He did.
Because I was in Him and He was in me.

Thank YOU, Oh Lord, for being Papa’s Guide

–  always &  forever intertwined –

Vines & Branches, fruit-filled blooms

Thank YOU for the Rose of his life amidst Rubble

that has NOT spelled doom & gloom –

but Joy in Jesus, Your Son

All battles won.



So Papa, as you turn 82

Don’t take any time out to Be Blue.

Instead, believe this, ‘cause ‘tis True:



grace, peace & Birthday Hugs

 Virginia :  )


This entry was posted in Life (in general) and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to PAPA TURNS 82!!!!!

  1. Mark says:

    Very well said, GL. Hope you all enjoyed the e-serenade.
    Much love,
    Mark & Cindy

    • Virginia says:

      Markus – thanks so much for the wonderful music that started off Papa’s birthday with resounding pizzazzz – you & Cindy need to think about the duet circuit : ) Love to you & Cindy – grace, peace & e-serenades _ GL

  2. John Paine says:

    What a tremendous blessing! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Virginia says:

      John – Papa is SO enjoying the new LCD computer screen that is like Christmas & Birthday all rolled into one. Big Thank You’s !! Blessings to you along with grace, peace & JOY – Virginia : )

  3. Nancy Hathaway says:

    Beautifully written Ginny Lea!!! Give him a huge hug and a birthday kiss from the Hathaway’s!! …and remember, he introduced us 🙂

    • Virginia says:

      NANCY! many thanks again to you & Steve for ‘rescuing us’ during the Water Heater crisis 2 weeks ago in the early Saturday a.m. (& you looked SO TOTALLY BEAUTIFUL AS ALWAYS, even without any makeup! how DO you do it?? must be that Love Thing – so glad you & Steve followed Papa’s nudges into that marriage thing. Papa is Rather Proud of you two! : ) Hugs delivered – grace, peace & Birthdays – VA : )

  4. Cindy Kranich says:

    That’s wonderfully written and a great tribute!
    Luv, Cin

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you Cindy – the flowers are so beautiful & Papa so enjoyed the birthday serenade from you & Mark (the 1st bday greeting of his big day!) As always, the Persian Party continues (celebratory dinner with Shere & company moved to Weds due to storm & we just Keep Going with special happenings) Love to you – & lots of grace, peace & Persian Parties – GL : )

  5. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing your tribute to your Papa, Virginia. May God grant him another year filled with joy, love, laughter, peace, and blessings. What a witness to faithful discipleship!

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you Sharron — we are big on prayers for ‘Holy Hilarity’ every day (the joy-grace-love-laughter type!) that God so does answer (it helps that Papa has a Great Sense of Humor!) Thanks for these wishes that i shared with Papa. Grace, peace & Faithful discipleship – VA : )

  6. jaymers says:

    What a lovely tribute to your father! Happy birthday to him, and many happy returns of the day!

    • Virginia says:

      Jayme – thank you for the birthday greetings. Have passed them on to Papa (he stretches out the celebration into a Persian party, so the fun will continue another week or two!) Blessings to you & your girls! : ) VA

  7. Edie Rittinger says:

    What a lovely tribute to a singularly gifted and treasured man – pastor, teacher, friend to all of us who know and love him. Please give “Papa” a big hug and lots of love from me. And lots of love to you as well….

  8. Beatrice Minja says:

    Tallented Virginia. Your Message is the greatest gift of all to Papa.

  9. Virginia says:

    Thanks so much Beatrice! So appreciate hearing from you : )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.