Sunday, May 18, 2014

TRIBUTE

Today is my oldest child, Kelly's, birthday.

It is difficult not to sing her praises, because, throughout her life, she has given me a lot to sing about.

At the age of 18, she packed her bags, and I drove her 600 miles south, where she didn't know a soul, to attend the University of South Carolina.

In three years she graduated with honors, earning a teaching degree in social studies, like her dad. Along the way, she served as an aide in the office of a South Carolina Senator.

She decided to stay at USC, where she picked up her Master's Degree a year later.

After teaching in South Carolina, she moved to the York area, where she accepted a job at Eastern York High School. She now serves as Chairperson of the Social Studies Department.

Kelly has traveled extensively. She really likes the other side of the world, having visited China, South Korea, and Japan. She has also been to England, Germany and Ireland.

It wasn't until nine years after her college graduation that she decided to become a runner, and true to her drive and determined nature, she decided to skip the shorter distances and go straight to the marathon. She ran, and finished, the San Diego Marathon, under the guidance of the superb coaches of Team in Training, for which she raised over $3,000 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society

She has been a runner ever since. One of my proudest moments occurred when we ran the 2010 Philadelphia Marathon together.

Last Saturday, she married her best friend and soulmate, Mike Silvestrini. He, Kelly, and their dog, Maggie, frequently run races together. In October, Mike and Kelly ran the Chicago Marathon in honor of Mike's mother, Millie, who passed after a courageous battle with cancer. They raised over 6,000 for Team in Training in honor of Millie Silvestrini.

Their wedding, in Dewey Beach, Delaware, reflected the persons they are. It was perfectly planned, thoughtful to all in attendance, comfortable and downright fun.

This morning I texted Kelly a happy birthday message. She thanked me, and told me she ran six miles today.

Makes a dad proud.

Happy birthday Kelly!