Paul has been my blessing, my example so often.
Especially when I am blustery and speak too much,
I see him sit quietly and gently listen.
He is a model when I need a calm model.
He is my mentor when I need my father here.
He is my sample on how to grow and how to age.
When I am bone-headed, he chuckles ‘OK.’
When I am sad, he says “I know,” and I know he knows.
When I really need to talk, he listens so well.
Paul at eighty still has that questioning spirit.
Paul asks how and when and where.
Paul at eighty doesn’t have to ask why.
He knows there is no why sometimes.
And still he knows some really big ‘whys.’
Paul at eighty is smart enough to not say it: He is wise.
Paul is an anchor.
Paul is a lion and a fisherman. He builds things to last.
Paul is a calm husband, a calm father.
Paul is faithful.
Paul has been a brother here, and especially
Paul is a my father when I need a father.
We thank God today, and many days:
We are blessed by Brother Paul, Father Paul.
At eighty, Paul blesses us.
Bless Paul today.
(c) Tom Bolton, April 26, 2012, Milwaukee, WI
My mother died when I was in High School, and Dad passed on about 20 years ago. So I am thankful that my mother-in-law and father-in-law have adopted me as their son in so many ways. On the event of his 80th birthday this month, I was thinking about Paul Jentz, my father-in-law. I am planning to share this poem with him on Saturday. He is a very special person.