This past weekend my family and I celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday in his home state of California. It was such a perfect weekend visiting and catching up with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Even though we all live such busy, crazy lives, I am reminded by a short weekend trip that family is the most important thing.
What I loved so much about our little vacation was that it was centered around my dad. My Grandma threw a birthday celebration in honor of my dad at her beautiful house in Orange. That woman has always known how to throw a good party. Fortunately, it was a catered party with lots of wine, beer, and champagne so no one had to do any extra work and we could all relax and enjoy each other’s company. The menu included some of my dad’s favorites: prime rib, garlic mash potatoes, creamed corn, steamed vegetables, and birthday cake, of course. After we stuffed our faces we all sat around my Grandma’s outside patio and everyone shared their favorite stories about my dad. He is the 3rd born out of 11 kids and the oldest son. It made my heart smile to see that all of his siblings made an effort to leave their hectic lives to be with my dad for his party. I really enjoyed hearing all of their funny stories about my dad growing up. He seemed like the laid back, “who cares let’s just be spontaneous” kind of brother. What’s more, he was also a role model to his siblings and was always there to help and in some cases, take the blame. Eventually, it was time for my brothers and I to share our stories and thoughts about the man who raised us. I had a feeling what I was going to say and just stood up and went with it. The wine definitely helped me “go with the flow.”
The past couple of months have been stressful for me personally. I have been dealing with work and relationship issues and basically just trying to find my way through this crazy life. I feel like I have so many options right now and I can’t figure out what it is I truly want. Last time I was home visiting my parents was the beginning of May. The first night I was there my dad could sense there was something wrong and he sat me down to talk about everything that is going on. It really meant a lot to me because we have a different relationship than my mom and I. My mom and I text or talk on the phone almost every day. My dad is a busy man; he is a surgical oncologist so there isn’t always time to catch up with one another. We had a great talk that night and he really gave me some valuable advice and insight. He’s always supported me emotionally and financially and taught me the value of the dollar and how important it is to have a strong work ethic. I thank him every day.
Both of my brothers and my mom also had great things to say. It almost brought tears (happy tears, of course) to my eyes to hear all of the amazing tributes everyone had for my dad. In that moment I felt so blessed and lucky to be surrounded by such amazing, loving people. My family means the world to me and always will. I am a protective daughter and sister. I fight hard and I love hard and it is always from the heart. I don’t bullshit or beat around the bush- especially with my family members. The McCoy family (all seventy-something of them) are extraordinary people. It is so fascinating and almost mind-blowing to see and witness what my Grandma and late Grandpa did on their own. They raised 11 kids to be hard working, loving, sharp human beings. Of course, there were bumps along the way and will continue to be with each family, but that’s what makes everyone’s lives so different and unique. It is how we deal with the hardships that will reflect on our futures. I am so blessed to have been raised with these fabulous people around me. Always remember how important family or loved ones are! Happy 60th Birthday to an amazing father, husband, brother, son, surgeon, and friend!