Dear CK,

Today is your birthday. Last night I sat with your family and had a wonderful dinner. I got to sit next you, and I got to watch. I watched your children, from across the table, and I noticed how they interact with you. I saw your daughter, who is a grown woman and about to have her own daughter, look at you with the look we hope and pray our daughters have for us after they're grown. I watched how your son and you have a quiet, calm, understanding friendship that I think many men try to have with their sons but few actually pull off. I see so much of you in him; all the things I love about him, all the things my children love, they are the pieces of you in him shining through. I watched your wife, who was on the other side of you, and I saw how, even though she is an amazingly beautiful woman on a normal day, beside you she glows a little differently. She loves you. After 46 years and two children and lives and careers and time and age, she loves you like crazy and it is written all over her.

I spend a lot of our time together watching you. You are the sort of man I heard somewhere existed but I had never seen for myself. I think you are fascinating. You are incredibly talented in so many different ways. I love waiting to see what you're working on next. You are so very interested in that which you are interested in. I can't imagine that there is anything that you do small, or just a little bit. You DO things, all the way, learning every little bit about them.

I look at the family that you have built up and I stand in awe of you, and how the people in your life are so unique and individual and dynamic and confident. You raised wonderful children. You married a wonderful woman. And in your quiet, unassuming way you sit right in the middle of them all. You are the kind of husband and father that I lost all hope in the existence of too many years ago.

And so, on your birthday, I am going to say how very, very much I love you and that I am more honored than you could ever possibly know to be your friend and a part of your life and to have a place in your family. I hope you have an amazing day today and every day. I hope that I can bring you, in some small way, even the tiniest little bit of the joy you have given me.

All my love,