Labor Day of Love: The Happiest of Birthdays!


With school starting for so many (both kids and parents) and the summer dwindling down, it is hard to believe it is already Labor Day. Didn’t Summer just start? But, here we are… so, happy Labor Day, Y’all! There is nothing like a long weekend to do a soul good! And for those of you who have to work today, sorry. But, we’re celebrating FOR and BECAUSE of YOU! Thank you! Does that help?

September the 1st is always a special day in my family, for not only is it Labor Day (this time), it is also my Daddy’s birthday today. As he is one of the hardest working fellows around, it is only appropriate that the two days are merged. Before I left Georgia this past trip, my Grandmama was sweet enough to hold an advanced birthday party (for both my brother and father) so that I could attend. That meant the world to me since those are the moments I miss the most living far away. I come from a family of rhymers, studying at the feet of masters. Which is why, if you’ll indulge me, I would like pay homage to my sweet Daddy today… the only way I know how– through verse. Although it is free verse, and contains no rhymes, the spirit remains.

firstreeditThat little boy. Can you see through his eyes? Celebrating his first birthday. He is at the beach with his mama and daddy. A candle is blown out. He is surrounded by love, grandparents, and great grandparents. They make wishes for him, their wishes. Their hopes, fears, and cares for an amazing life for this precious cargo.

It has been 65 years in between that photo and today. The earth has turned around the sun many times. Many birthdays, many adventures, many stories. There were many victories, but also tears. Where is that little boy now? Of what did he become?

toddeditHe was/is/became a devoted son… and a brother… a husband and a dad. An uncle, a boss, a surrogate father.

He is a friend, teacher, and staunch defender: a painter, musician, a yogi, a true Renaissance man.

Whip smart and funny with a warble that could and should win competitions.

For he is competitive, yet always so happy to share in your victories.

He has a swagger, and special dance moves. He knows what the in-crowd knows.

He is a self-proclaimed lover of contrast.

dareditHe is Ernesto, staunch advocate for Mexican Restaurants– though the mayonesa must be refrigerated.

He is a kind master to his pack. Both human and four-legged. He is generous and caring. His pack will follow him unquestionably, for he has wisdom beyond his years and only the best intentions.

He is a listener– an advisee. He is a co-conspirator for a good time. He is the tender of the bar. He is the tender of the heart.

Words fail to be adequate descriptors for the multitude that was within that little boy .



That little boy’s life was/is/ and continues to be full of love and wonder.

If you could reach through that picture, to that moment, and share the story of who this man became to those there that day 65 years ago… they would have known that their wish came true.

Happy Birthday, sweet one. #yktr



Oil on Canvas, 2014, A Chip Vandiver Original

Oil on Canvas, 2014, A Chip Vandiver Original




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