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Monday, August 25, 2008

My Dad's Birthday Speech


Check out the speech I wrote and delivered during my dad's 65th birthday party HERE.

Below is the speech I made during my dad's 60th birthday party. 

Good evening.

For the past year, I’ve thought about what I’d say tonight. Jokingly, when asked by my mom how long a speech about my dad would take, I replied ‘a few seconds.’ In all honesty, there is a whole lot to say about an extraordinary man.

I am honored tonight to be among friends and family who have gathered together to pay tribute to a great person. Yes, I do have a speech prepared, but unlike my dad, this speech will be much shorter, and it won’t go on a tangent.

If you ever wonder whether I am more like my mother or father, it would be clear to see that I am more like my mom. In zodiac calendar, we are both Dragons, while my dad is a Rat. Honestly, my mom and I are the quiet ones with strong opinions. My dad is obviously more vocal and loves to share his thoughts. My mom and I are reserved when it comes to our private lives, while my dad shares our lives with everyone. Of course, by the time the tenth person heard a story told by my dad, I can assure you it has no true validity; however, it is always fun to hear his tales the way he remembers them.

As you probably know, I am the only child. At times I wonder why they decided to only have one. But as the only child I was fortunate enough to have many brothers and sisters. What was great was that these brothers and sisters would be at my house for a couple of hours and then leave. What more can an only child ask for?

My dad’s students have been and continue to be a huge part of his life. The love and respect he has received from his students is obvious. At times I wonder why? Don’t you guys remember having to come over to the house to rehearse over and over again speeches, or make posters, or organize slides or PowerPoint presentations late into the night? Then to be water squirted by his annoying son. And your reward? You were given the honor of hanging lights from the roof during Christmas time. And if you were lucky you were called back to take down the lights after Valentine’s Day, “Jito… Eddie, me pedes alludar?” Thought you’d be guaranteed an ‘A’ if you helped with the lights? Wrong. Regardless, his students love, respect, and admire him as a professor, a friend, and role model.

Like many fathers to their sons, my father is my role model. I look up to him. I listen to his advice; although, to him and my mom it may not seem like it. He is what I aspire to be. Maybe not like a professor of economics, or a master of two languages, but as a civil servant, a community organizer, a great father, and an amazing grandfather.

Ever wonder who the disciplinary parent was in my family? My dad would discipline me, but for some reason I feared my mom and still do. Although my dad disciplined me, he showed a lot of love. He has gone through a lot with me, but he stood beside me and never gave up. I could only hope to be the father he was to me.

The love that he has for his grandson is priceless. Both understand each other, and in many ways they are very similar. Like my dad, my son loves to talk. He loves to say what he thinks. He is also very social like his grandfather. At first, he may be shy, but if given a few minutes, he can carry on a conversation. My son, who is 4 years old and 3 months, is extremely intelligent. He is able to count to 103, do short addition, complete the alphabets, and spell words—even his name. He loves outdoor sports. He’s a big fan of baseball--Go Express--track, and hiking. His mommy and I are very proud of our son and his accomplishments. We indeed made a beautiful child.

Five years ago, tonight, my wife and I were joined by many of you for our wedding and reception. When I first laid my eyes on her, I knew that she was the one. I didn’t know how I would get there, but I knew somehow she and I would be together. Like many of you, our life isn’t perfect. But like a lot of you, we survive because the love and respect we have for each other is strong. I am fortunate to have an incredibly smart woman in my life. She is not only the perfect wife for me, but she is also a wonderful mother to our son. And most importantly, she’s a fantastic cook.

Months before I asked my wife to marry me, my dad asked me if I loved her. I shyly responded “Yes” What I really wanted to say was “Hell, yes!” But being who my dad is, he understood what I felt back then and supported my choice.

With that said, I propose a toast to the honoree. To a person who is admired by many. To a person who inspires his students. To a person who has been a loving father and grandfather. To a person with a very sincere heart. For you to have health, happiness, and good fortune for the many more years to come. Salute!

UPDATE

Check out the speech I wrote and delivered during my dad's 65th birthday party HERE.

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I've noticed that this is a pretty popular post to read.  Thanks for your interest. 

If you are stumped on your speech, check out Joan Detz' How to Write and Give a Speech and Richard Dowis' The Lost Art of the Great Speech.

I thought I would also add some pictures from the event for your enjoyment. 

Dad's Birthday Celebration 2008

Dad's Birthday Celebration 2008

Dad's Birthday Celebration 2008

Dad's Birthday Celebration 2008


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this....needed some help with a speech and this provided inspiration. All the best.

Anonymous said...

This is really good. Gave me some inspiration as well :) God bless you and your family