Friday, January 20, 2012

Dad's birthday gift

So I love my dad and it's his 75th birthday so I wanted to do something extra special for this special year. This is a phenomenal idea (not mine of course) for a birthday/anniversary gift. Definitely one that won't be forgotten and can be passed down.

For my dad's 75th birthday (tomorrow), I saw this idea that involved collecting people from his past to contribute a memory they had of him. I'd put each memory in an envelope--75 total, of course--and have him open them, one by one, on his birthday. That would be a lot of memories, but so much fun, right?
So I wrote and email. I sent it to family, friends, and everyone one in between. This is what I said:

Hello everyone!

If you're receiving this email, you probably know that my dad, John Koehler, is turning 75 in January next (much as he would hate us to be reminding everyone, I'm sure.) To celebrate his birthday, I'd like to put together a little surprise to let him know that his nearest and dearest are thinking of him. I"m going to try and create "75 Years of Memories" by filling 75 envelopes with a memory his friends and family have of him.

And this is where you come in!

If you have a spare moment in the next few weeks, I would be so grateful if you'd jot down a favorite memory you have of my dad and put it in the post. It doesn't have to be anything fancy -- you can just write it down on a piece of paper and sign your name. You can mention anything you like -- although the more nostalgic the better! Please absolutely feel free to send more than one memory (in fact, I welcome it -- I've got 75 envelopes to fill!), but make sure you write them on different pieces of paper (and sign your name to each) so I can split them up.

Thank you so, so, so much for participating -- I know everyone is busy with their own lives, and I do appreciate you taking a few minutes to do this; it will be so worth it when he reads all the memories people have of him! (Please don't forget to keep it a surprise until then, though!)

Thank you so much again.

So I sent the email and then I waited. I collected them for two months, my heart pinging with excitement each time a new one arrived. In a way, I'm sort of sad that this project is over because it was a huge amount of fun to collect and collate all of these memories, many of them occurring years before I was even born. I enjoyed reading and reminiscing about the each memory. I realized even more how blessed I am for a loving and highly involved dad and role model I have in my life. Grateful for all the lives he has touched including my own and my family. I could go on and on about him.


Kirsten said...

That's such a cool gift!! He's gonna love it!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Dad was really surprised and totally overwhelmed !!!! He loved it! It took us over 1 1/2 hrs to read them all. Some he teared up over and many caused him lots of laughs. He was amazed that you would go to so much trouble to bring him such a joyful gift. Thanks doesn't even cover it! XO

Amy said...

I LOVE that idea! My grandma is celebrating her 80th this year and I so want to do that for her! Thank you for sharing that!