May 10, 1954: 60 years ago today, my dad was born to Glennie Odale and Willie Rufus Kelly in Wadesboro, NC. Their firstborn and only child – LeGrand. Please note the spelling of LeGrand – it is rarely spelled correctly by anyone. Then again, neither is STARR 🙂
I had a phone conversation yesterday with my dad that summarizes exactly who he is in my life and why I am so thankful to still have him here to share in our family adventure – especially with his 2 crazy granddaughters! I picked up the phone for advice – and the minute he answered I lost it with tears streaming. Dad gave me such a great perspective and some excellent things to think through as I’m dealing with a challenge I’ve never experienced before (I’ll share more on this later – I wrote a blog late last night with more of those crazy details…you’ll have to wait til later in the week for that one).
Dad – you’ll never know what that conversation yesterday meant to me. Probably one of the highlights of my life with you. Right behind the day you dropped me off at Lee. I don’t know why that day stands out so strongly in my mind. Maybe that was the day I realized you were letting me spread my wings and fly (literally fly with 2 speeding tickets in Tenn to prove it..ooops). I appreciate you more than you will ever know. Not because you’re perfect, but because you are a living example of God’s grace to me in so many ways. You never give up when the going gets tough and you have raised me to have such a heart for helping others.
So, Dad – here’s to you and 60 amazing years! Tonight, we sat down and wrote a list of “60 Things We Love About Papa!”
Some of the items ya’ll will get and understand, some you won’t, haha! Yeah, we have our inside jokes too and often I like to refer to our hilariousness as “Life with the Pastor!” Enjoy 🙂
- He gives me kisses – Kayla
- I like to give Papa hugs! – Kylie
- Being my Pastor and my dad – Starr
- For being my Pastor over the past 14 years – Brian
- Take pictures on Easter – Kayla
- Holding Papa’s Hand – Kylie
- Going to Anson Sr High football games with the Band – Starr
- Sitting in the hot tub asking your permission to marry Starr – Brian
- He always lets me go first in Putt Putt – Kayla
- Going to eat at Sun Valley Cafe – Kylie
- Traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway – Starr
- Beach trips with our family in the Spring and Fall – Brian
- Speeding tickets – Starr
- Living across the street from each other – Kayla
- Going to the Auction Barn and getting a GRAB BAG! -Starr
- He gives me cookies and sweets ❤ – Kayla
- The Family Restaurant
- AND The Mini-Mart
- AND The Christian Bookstore
- Pumping gas at The Mini-Mart after Hurricane Hugo – Starr
- For raising an AWESOME DAUGHTER!!! (Not Joy :)) – Brian
- Praying against the terrible boyfriends….hahah (they weren’t THAT bad!!) -Starr
- Grace when I stayed out wayyy past my curfew – Starr
- All the memories with Grandma and Papa – at their house and ours
- For marrying MOM!!!!
- For making me sit in the front pew at church because of talking…
- Giving me no choice but to sing in the choir
- Writing me a music arrangement to Amazing Grace for Teen Talent
- Christmas parades and concerts – my favorite: Sleigh Ride
- Your love for group texts messages…hahah!
- For giving me “My Utmost for His Highest” at Graduation – Starr
- Crying under your sunglasses the day you dropped me off at Lee
- For never giving up – no matter how tough times get
- Forgiveness of speeding tickets!
- Leading the choir at Wadesboro Church of God
- Accepting the call to preach
- Coming to my 6th grade class to let them know about picking on your daughter
- Teaching me to drive – Mr. Former Driver’s Ed Teacher
- Riding in the back of your Mazda pickup truck
- Family vacations to the Stack House & killing roaches!
- Fishing off the pier at Cherry Grove
- Band trip to Washington DC…windy!!!
- My first plane ride in Myrtle Beach
- The 1987 Mustang Convertible – that smoked while driving
- Finding out I would be a sister at 19 years old
- Chicken ‘n Dumplin Dinners at Church with fatback
- Sunrise services at Easter
- People Fest in Wadesboro and fried apple pies
- Ice water surprises when Tenn family is in town
- Ghost Town & Maggie Valley – the doll you brought me from Maggie Valley
- Your willingness to help others and have compassion
- The vision you have for our church to grow and minister
- Your love for Southern Gospel Music
- The hoarder syndrome – passed from Grandma to YOU to ME
- Your unconditional love for our children
- Advice on tough situations and a much needed outside perspective
- Your Reebok tennis shoes
- For teaching me the value of working hard and never giving up on my dreams
- Riding in your boat…wait!…
- Raising me in a Christian home and always taking me to church and instilling in me a heart to serve others.
Love you, Dad! Happy 60th Birthday
~ Starr, Brian, Kayla and Kylie
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