|William F. Leen, 90 years young on June 5, 2013 (Photo taken at his 90th birthday party, Sunday, June 9, 2013)|
My father in-law celebrated his 90th birthday this past June 5, 2013. We held a little party in his honor the following weekend on Sunday, June 9.
Ninety years is a long time! But dad sure has made it look good. His mind is sharp, his health is good, and his spirits are as positive as they've always been in the 18 years I've known him. I look at him at 90 and I see a template for what I'd like to be in fifty years (assuming the Lord doesn't return first):
|Dad raking the lawn of excess mown grass on the morning of his 90th birthday party.|
|Dad with his best friend from high school, Charlie Whistler|
|Dad and Mom Leen|
|The Leen Family|
|Dad's birthday pies. Dad loves pie, especially apple and pumpkin, so I made him these two apple pies and a pumpkin pie (not pictured) for his birthday celebration.|
Most important--and this can't be pictured, only experienced when you have the good fortune to spend time with him--is dad's gentle, Christ-like spirit. Dad is a man of deep faith, but he's never let religion get in the way of his connection to Jesus or his treatment of his fellow man. He's the kindest person I've ever met. He shows a genuine interest in other people like few others I've ever encountered. He is humble and generous in spirit. He is patient and loving. He is everything I hope to be not just when I'm 90, but right now.
Happy birthday Dad! And may you have many, many more.
Some pictures from Dad's 90th birthday celebration:
|The cake, with exactly 90 candles on it.|
|Lighting ninety candles took awhile. . .|
|Dad's cake aflame.|
|Mom Leen and her sisters. I believe they all came to the party except one that lives on the West Coast.|
|Hanging out with Leens on the front lawn. The whole party was classic Bill Leen. Simple food, not a lot of commotion, just the simple, deep joy of being with people you love.|
|Two of my heroes: Dad with his brother-in-law, Gene Brock. Check out my 2007 and 2009 Heroes blogs to find out why each of these great men of the Greatest Generation are my heroes. Dad's last remaining sibling, his little sister (and Uncle Gene's wife) Betty passed away this past April.|
|Dad with his family: neices, nephews, brother-in-law, grandchildren, daughters, wife. He is a blessed man and we are blessed to have him in our lives.|