Dreams are a hot topic in my family.
And I don’t mean dreams like the weird ones my dad had when he first quit smoking (which he did have WEIRD dreams when he quit smoking) – I mean dreams like the ones I have for my life, and the ones that Emily has for hers, and Caroline for hers, etc.
And I’m not sure at what point we started talking about dreams, but I’ve always known, for whatever reason, that this conversation started with my dad. For my entire life, if there’s anything Emily and Caroline and I have ever understood about our dad, it’s that he is, and has always been, a big dreamer.
When I was young, he was an immovable force of a man in my mind; there was no obstacle too large, no problem too great, and no threat too dangerous for him to overcome. He was a pillar of strength for me and my sisters and our protector from the outside world. Nothing could touch us inside his castle.
But as time often does, it revealed a lot about him.
Age has exposed me to his flaws. I have seen him in moments of weakness. I’ve seen him in pain, I’ve seen him sad. I have seen him cry and I have seen him fail.
At 21 years old, growing up has revealed my dad to me – but as I’ve gotten to know him better and come to understand him more, my admiration and appreciation for the man he is today has multiplied exponentially. And all the while, it continues to grow – for as a little girl, I reduced him to my mere protector. However today, as a woman, I see his depth.
My dad is a man unmoved by adversity. Although his stresses sometimes wear on him and his anxieties are often heavy, his convictions and his dreams always remain the same.
My dad is a courageous man; as he stands before opportunity, he does not waver. His perseverance is untouchable and his hope for a great life has him constantly driving forward.
My dad is a generous man. The shirt off his back (and his shoes, pants, and socks, if necessary) would be a small price to pay to help another person. He is loving and he is kind – my dad is a selfless man.
My dad is a wise man. He always has advice to offer and more importantly, his willingness to learn and to grow himself never ceases. He is constantly engaging and exploring the world. He recognizes that he will never know enough and there is always more to learn.
My dad is a successful man. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college. He’s had a prosperous career in law enforcement and has built a profitable business to boot. He has raised a gifted family and been a blessing to our household. He has clothed us, fed us, educated us, and taught us right from wrong. He has built a livelihood that allows him the luxury of caring for his own parents.
My father – the big dreamer – has achieved his dreams, plus more. Any man would be blessed to conquer half of what he has and I am infinitely thankful to call him ‘dad.’
Tom Knorr is a good man – and what’s more, he’s an even better father, husband and friend.
And tomorrow, he turns 50.
I think that his mentally 26-year-old self cringes at the thought of being 50, but to be honest, I thank God that he’s so young – I can’t imagine the next 50 years without him.
Dad, you are the standard for every man that will ever enter my life – thank you for setting the bar so high. I love you. Happy birthday!