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Birthday Thoughts about Glen

On August 22, 2013, in News From Gayle, by Gayle Brantuk

So, today’s my dad’s 95th birthday and just now I decided it would be a good time to tell you a little about Glen L from a personal perspective.

First of all, let me make it clear that he won’t be happy that I’m writing something about him so let me say, sorry Dad.

We have articles about Glen-L and our history as well as Glenwood’s, but this will be a little more personal. When my mom (Vera) and dad were married in 1956, this was a second marriage for them both. My dad came into the marriage with a son, Barry, who was 13 and my mom had a daughter, Janet who was 6.

So, when I came along in 1960, this made us a “his, mine and ours” family as many called it. Although, all were treated as “ours”—my parents were really good about that.

I think my earliest memories of my dad was when he taught me how to swim in our pool. I later learned that he didn’t know how to swim himself when they had the house and pool built but he quickly learned. Interesting for someone who grew up in California and spent a lot of time around boats. Dad would have me swim to him from the steps in the shallow end as he continued to back up so I’d have to swim farther.

At our cabin in Lake Sherwood, Dad and I had a special rock that we would walk to at night. It was flat and we could lay on it and watch the falling stars and point out the constellations. We used to lay in a hammock in our backyard at home too and do the same. I have a lot of wonderful memories and I’ve shared many of them throughout the years in my emails and Newsletters.

But, who is Glen? From my perspective, he’s one of the most humble and kind men I know. He’s very friendly and nice but is more comfortable alone, for the most part. He’s always had a libertarian philosophy that anything is okay as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

When I was growing up, he was never one to discuss religion or politics. He’s also not someone who verbally said “I love you” to me but I never once recall not knowing that he did, or feeling hurt by the lack of words. Dad is a doer and not a man of a lot of words—his love is shown by taking care of us.

He’s always been a true gentleman in every aspect and treated us with respect. He’s a serious person and not one to tell jokes or cut up. As a result, if you got a laugh from him, it felt really great!

I really wish when I was younger, that I would have gone to him with my problems, but for some reason it was more natural to talk to my mom. But I really think I could have avoided some pitfalls had I discussed things with him. But, I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway—seems to be the case the few times I did talk to him.

Here’s something odd—I never remember my dad being too busy. He was a really hard worker but somehow seemed to be able to balance life naturally. My mom was the social butterfly, not my dad. He had a few close friends but I don’t ever recall him leaving us to “hang out with his friends”.

Recently my dad mentioned something about him “getting old” and I thought that I’m pretty sure he’s arrived at old. His example is one I pray I remember when I am older. He hasn’t stopped. It would be so much easier for him if he sat at home in his comfortable easy chair all day. But, he continues to come to the office and until recently, was driving 83 miles to his weekend getaway each Thursday and then returned on Sunday. He does his own shopping and cooking too. When I offer to do these things for him, he says that as long as he can do it himself, he needs to.

And, on his birthday, he considered staying home and then decided it would be a good thing to be able to say he came to work on his 95th birthday! He’s an excellent example of how to grow old as well as how to live life well.

Steady, dependable, trustworthy and honest. That’s my dad. And I couldn’t ask for a better one… Happy Birthday, Dad!


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